A COMPELLING DOCUMENTARY SERIES PROFILES ATHLETES WHO AREN'T KNOWN FOR WINNING
Available now on Netflix
What can we take from failure? That's the subject of director Mickey Duzyj's new documentary series, which focuses on eight athletes—including Olympic skater Surya Bonaly (above, left), curler Pat Ryan (above, second from left) and golfer Jean van de Velde (above, right)—whose careers were, in some way, defined by loss. Michael Bentt (above, center), the subject of the first episode, struggles with a physically abusive father who coerces him into boxing. He briefly becomes WBO heavyweight champ, only to relinquish his belt when he's knocked out in his next bout—the last of his career. But there's a happy ending: Bentt ends up in Hollywood, where he uses his sparring chops to train actors and even land a few roles himself, including the part of Sonny Liston in 2001's Ali. "Getting knocked out by Herbie Hide was the best thing that ever happened to me," Bentt says in the episode.
Duzyj, who previously directed "The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere"—a 30 for 30 short about a winless racehorse in Japan—supplements interviews and footage with original animations, which he uses to artfully recreate the past, like Bentt's descent into depression. Not every installment is so heavy: In another episode, a police dog helps hapless English soccer club Torquay United (above, rear) avoid what looks like certain relegation. One lesson of failure? It makes for plenty of great stories.
By Kirk Goldsberry, out April 30
You don't have to be a stats geek to enjoy the ESPN writer's new book, which pairs digestible analysis of basketball analytics with instructive data visualizations. The result is a vivid portrait of the NBA's stylistic evolution.
THE MMQB NFLDRAFT SHOW
April 25 on SI.com
It's an April tradition unlike any other: drinking beer, eating pizza and watching guys in suits walk across a stage. This year SI's draft gurus will take part by doing the same—while also offering coherent analysis on camera.
JEMELE HILL IS UNBOTHERED
New episodes Mondays and Thursdays on Spotify
On her new podcast, co-hosted with writer Michael Arceneaux and filmmaker Cole Wiley, the outspoken former ESPN host discusses the intersection of culture, politics, identity and sports.