Inspired by ESPN's upcoming 30th anniversary, ESPN Films is launching 30 for 30, an unprecedented documentary series featuring 30 of today's finest storytellers who will chronicle 30 remarkable stories from the ESPN era. Each storyteller will bring their passion and point of view to their film detailing the issues and events that transformed the sports landscape since 1979. (Source: espn)
Sonny Vaccaro rose from Pennsylvania steel town roots to become one of the most powerful and influential men in the athletic shoe industry and in basketball. What's undeniable is this: Sonny Vaccaro is one of the sports world's most charismatic, polarizing and influential figures. Now 75, he is still a fast-talking maverick whose zeal for basketball, advocacy for underprivileged kids, and instinct for sales forged an era of unprecedented growth for two pillars of pop culture: basketball and sneakers. It was Vaccaro who advised agents during the ABA-NBA wars of the 1970s, who launched Nike's "Air Jordan" empire in the 1980s, and who ushered in the professionalization of youth basketball in the 1990s, when players such as Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, both of whom signed shoe deals brokered by Vaccaro, turned high school games into auditions for the NBA.