November 30, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

The History of the NBA

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
CBS/Fox Home Video
We gave it a B+

Pro basketball’s metamorphosis from stand-and-shoot boredom into full-court excitement during the 1980s is the great sports phenomenon of our time, comparable to baseball’s ascendancy as the national pastime in the 1920s and driven by the same factors: the emergence of a spectacular offensive weapon (the slam dunk versus the home run) in the hands of a charismatic superstar (Dr. J versus The Babe). The History of the NBA, a hour-long tribute, first seen on HBO, is correct in focusing on the sport’s personalities and in concentrating on the modern era. It may not be ”history” in the Toynbee sense, but the casual fan will be happy. Pat Riley is the host. B+

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