The 30 Best '30 for 30' Films

As ESPN's groundbreaking series celebrates its fifth anniversary, we pick our favorite films: tales of triumph, tragedy and (of course) 'The U'

3. 'No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson' (Dir. Steve James)

More often than not, when documentary filmmakers use first-person narration, it's an unnecessary intrusion, but the personal touch that Hoop Dreams/Life Itself director Steve James brings to No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson is essential. As James reflects on the 1993 assault charge that almost derailed Iverson's basketball career – and forever defined Iverson to many as a "thug" – he speaks honestly about growing up in a racially divided Hampton, Virginia, where the Iverson incident took place. A lot of 30 for 30 episodes deal with the uncomfortable realities of the racial conflicts and biases that run beneath organized sports, but No Crossover is the bluntest about how often the cheers for black athletes stop when they leave the court.

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