“The Day Sports Stood Still,” a documentary about the unprecedented sports shutdown of March 2020, will debut on March 24 on HBO Sports.
The film centers on NBA All-Star and NBA Players Association president Chris Paul, who is also an executive producer. At the time, Paul played point guard for Oklahoma City Thunder and was up against the Utah Jazz on March 11, 2020, when the game suddenly stopped. He’ll relive his journey over the last year, reflecting on living in quarantine, his crucial role in helping the NBA reopen and what it was like playing in “the bubble.”
It is directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua and executive produced by Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein and Marc Gilbar. Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes also serve as producers.
The NBA bubble infamously had no COVID-19 cases over a three-month period, culminating in a championship season for the Lakers. Not all organizations were quite so successful. For example, when the Dodgers won the World Series in October— their first win since 1988— third baseman Justin Turner, who had tested positive for COVID-19, celebrated on the field with his teammates. He wore a mask, but took it down to pose for photos.
The HBO Sports feature is anchored by a number of interviews with athletes who detail the profound impact of the sports world’s pause on their lives. This lineup includes the NBA’s Donovan Mitchell, Danilo Gallinari, Karl-Anthony Towns, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, commissioner Adam Silver and players association executive director Michele Roberts; MLB’s Mookie Betts; NHL’s Ryan Reaves; NFL’s Laurent Duvernay-Tardif; WNBA’s Natasha Cloud; LPGA’s Michelle Wie West; Dutch soccer player Marten de Roon and Olympians Daryl Homer and Laurie Hernandez.
The documentary will also highlight the prominent role of athletes in the racial injustice reckoning that escalated over the summer and the complex return to competition thereafter. “The Day Sports Stood Still” will air at 9:00 p.m. on HBO and be available for streaming on HBO Max.