"With 'No Crossover,' James has created a picture of Iverson that appears to be closer to who he actually is than anything we've ever seen. It's at once troubling, exciting, fascinating, maddening and enlightening -- a complicated and rich film that, like its titular subject, defies categorization and offers no easy answers."
— Dan Devine, Yahoo! Sports
Part of the award-winning ESPN 30 For 30 series, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson tackles the controversial past of NBA All-Star and 2001 MVP Allen Iverson. Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) returned to their shared hometown of Hampton, Virginia to take a personal look at the still disputed incident and examine its impact on Iverson and the community.
On February 13, 1993, Allen Iverson, then a 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star, entered a bowling alley with several classmates. It became a night that defined Iverson's young life: a quarrel soon erupted into a brawl pitting Iverson's young, black friends against a group of older white men. The fallout from the fight and the subsequent trial landed the nation's best high school athlete in jail and sharply divided the city along racial lines.
No Crossover made its premiere at SXSW in 2010, and Steve James was awarded the Best Director award at the "Best of the Midwest Awards" for the film. Following the broadcast premiere on ESPN, Allen Iverson became the sixth most trending topic on Twitter. In addition, basketball magazine Dime included No Crossover on their list of the Ten Best Basketball Documentaries of All Time, coming in at #2 (with Hoop Dreams at #1).
No Crossover made waves in the sports world not just for great storytelling, but for opening a dialogue about race and inequality. The discussions and discourse following screenings amongst audience members and on platforms like Twitter proved the film's real impact was bringing diverse audiences together to really talk about issues of race. Writes blogger Jason Osder after a No Crossover screening:
"And there we were, a group of 100+, black and white and diverse in countless other ways (but unified in our interest in a film and a filmmaker) talking about race – REALLY talking about it – agreeing and disagreeing, pushing on points, relenting, listening, and maybe even (at least for a moment, at least partially) understanding."
Check out this 2010 video of Director Steve James discussing No Crossover at at the film's Chicago 'sneak preview' screening.
No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson is available on DVD here.
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