March 11, 2020 will be a date few sports fans forget, as it was the day the NBA came to a screeching halt with word that Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19, which subsequently led to a complete shutdown of the sports world within the next week.
The Utah Jazz were in Oklahoma City to face the Thunder when the game was steadily delayed, and ultimately called off, as they awaited Gobert’s testing results. On the opposite bench from the Jazz was Chris Paul, who also serves as the president of the NBPA, and he recognized this was a moment that would thrust the NBA into a great unknown and was something that needed to be documented. As such, he contacted producer Brian Grazer about beginning to start filming a documentary, which will be directed by Antoine Fuqua and premiere on HBO in early 2021, titled The Day Sports Stood Still.
The documentary will feature Paul, who will talk about that fateful March night as well as the process of making the NBA Bubble in Orlando happen, along with other figures from around the sports world.
Featuring additional in-depth and emotional interviews largely conducted remotely, the documentary captures a broad swath of voices and experiences exploring how the pandemic pressed pause on their careers, but also changed their lives in dramatic and surprising ways. The film features everyone from an NFL Super Bowl champion who volunteers in the ER, to a defending WNBA champ who decides to sit out the 2020 season to focus on protesting racial injustice.
Paul will also serve as an executive producer on the project, as well as being an interview subject, and while there’s no firm release date it figures to arrive not too long after the calendar flips to 2021.