The basketball world will be watching the game's best players take the court on Sunday in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. We expect to see all manner of hot dog creativity and attempts at bombast and showmanship. It's fitting, then, that on that same night, ESPN will be presenting a documentary on Hall of Famer Reece "Goose" Tatum.
Goose, produced by former Hall of Fame chairman Mannie Jackson and TeamWorks Media, will tell the story of how Tatum came to be one of basketball's first transcendent personalities. A star for the Harlem Globetrotters, Tatum was at one point the highest-paid athlete in the world, and in the film, he receives commendations for his presence and skill from legends like Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.
Goose also had a major role as a business pioneer, essentially becoming modern American sports' first major free agent. While operating on a different plane than the NBA's early legends like the Big O, Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor, Tatum had a huge impact on the sport and its stars.
ESPN will air Goose at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, as a part of the network's Black History Month programming. That means that it will overlap with the All-Star Game in most markets; naturally, this is the reason they invented the DVR. Be sure to check it out. Here's the film's opener, starring Bill Cosby, who remembers going to see Goose as a child.