The Vancouver Grizzlies’ inglorious six-year NBA history may’ve lacked for highlights but it undeniably had a poster boy: Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, the centre whose less-than-sculpted man-mountain frame made him an easy target for criticism, if not outright derision. Documentarian Kathleen S. Jayme sets out to track down her hard-luck hero who has become infamously reclusive since he was forced into early retirement by injuries. (It’s tragically poetic that Reeves never played another game after the Grizzlies’ relocated to Memphis in 2001.)
Initially fuelled by nostalgia and punctuated by endearing revelations, this quest ultimately allows us to reevaluate one of the city’s most maligned sports figures. Given the patronizing tack typically taken with the doomed Grizzlies and their similarly cursed first-ever draft pick, Jayme’s documentary is refreshingly generous and uncynical. As she shares details of her own complex relationship with basketball, it becomes evident just how much she has personally invested in this search. And as she builds the case for Reeves brief tenure in the big league, it grows increasingly apparent that all of Vancouver has some unfinished business with Big Country.