Director Nash
It's true, Kid Canada's making Terry Fox documentary for ESPN

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Everyone knows Canadian Steve Nash can expertly direct an NBA offence. Now he's going to direct a film -- a documentary about Canadian hero Terry Fox.

Nash, an all-star guard with the Phoenix Suns, was on stage here yesterday with filmmaker Spike Lee at the Television Critics Association tour.

Both Nash and Lee are involved with new projects for ESPN Films, which is a division of U.S. cable sports network ESPN.

Nash's directorial debut will be a documentary film about Fox, whose legacy -- The Marathon of Hope -- continues to inspire. Fox, who lost a leg to cancer, attempted to run from coast to coast with the aid of an artificial leg in 1980 but his valiant attempt was cut short in Thunder Bay, when he fell ill again with cancer. He died the following year and has become a national icon.

"I love film -- I'm energetic and passionate about it, and I aspire to be a filmmaker," said Nash, a two-time NBA MVP who recently was named as one of the 2008 additions to Canada's Walk of Fame. "And this is a story that in many ways has been forgotten in the States.

"As a 6-year-old in Canada, I remember what it felt like and how proud we were when he was running across the country to raise money for cancer research. I also remember what it felt like when we found out that he couldn't continue, going to school and everyone was so upset. Those things have stuck with me."

Lee, who in recent months got into a war of words with Clint Eastwood about the lack of black representation in the Eastwood films Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, is directing a film called Game Day with Kobe. It takes a look at a regular game-day experience for Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

When asked about the state of affairs for blacks in entertainment today, Lee said he hopes there will be a positive change if Barack Obama is elected president of the United States.

"It's going to affect art, sports, everything," Lee said. "We'll have to measure time in Before Obama and After Obama."

The film Nash is creating is part of ESPN's 30 for 30 initiative, which will create 30 one-hour films by 30 filmmakers on the subject of the past 30 years in sports. The films will air starting in autumn 2009, in conjunction with ESPN's 30th anniversary