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Kevin Connolly docu on former Islanders owner John Spano comes to ESPN

John Spano

John Spano Credit: Newsday / Paul Bereswill

It has been six months since “Big Shot,’’ about former Islanders owner John Spano, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, complete with appearances by both Spano and actor/Islanders fan Kevin Connolly, who directed the film.

Now, at last, you can see it, too, at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN. It is a must-watch for Islanders fans, and for anyone with an interest in the power of delusion – both of the self and of others.

Connolly, best known as Eric Murphy on the HBO series “Entourage,’’ said in April of the chance to make a film about his beloved Isles, “’It’s a dream come true’ would be sort of putting it mildly.’’

But things got more interesting, and complicated, than the Patchogue-Medford alum anticipated when he landed a rare sitdown with Spano – who in the mid-1990s was able to buy an NHL franchise despite being a rather brazen fraud.

(Newsday’s John Valenti played a key role in revealing the deceit to the public. "Newsday is like the hero of the movie," Connolly said.)

Spano said at the premiere he found the film mostly “fair’’ but complained that some accounts of long-ago events were inaccurate. He said he reluctantly agreed to the interview because of Connolly’s persistence.

“Truthfully, I think it's insane, to be honest with you, that somebody even wants to talk to me or do a movie about me," he said in April. "It's comical."

Still, he acknowledged, "It's a crazy story.’’

I wrote two stories about the documentary in April, one focused on Connolly here and one focused on Spano here.

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