One thing this lockout made perfectly clear is that He Got Game is by far the most popular basketball movie of this generation. By far. It’s been a minute since I actually sat down and watched the flick, but during our Dime Ultimate Movie Baller tournament, no player generates as much interest or popularity as Jesus (say what you want about Billy Hoyle’s miraculous Cinderella run). For every vote Neon got or Moses got or Scott McKnight got, Jesus got 5-10. Fans just cared more about seeing Lincoln’s finest in the final.
He Got Game isn’t the only great movie collecting dust in my room. My five favorite movies that I haven’t watched since the turn of the new year:
4. Tropic Thunder
2. Man On Fire
1. The Godfather
Kevin Durant may never be Jesus Shuttlesworth, but perhaps he can at least be Hustler (Fast Break fans know what I’m talking about). Earlier this summer, news leaked that Mr. Summer MVP would be taking his on-camera talents to Hollywood and would star in a feature full-length film. Now, the plot and synopsis have leaked:
CASTING: preferably people willing to take a backseat to Mr. Durant, play off his strengths and back down whenever he lets them know this is his feature film
PLOT: “In a magical twist, Kevin Durant switches all of his basketball-playing skills with an enthusiastic young fan who becomes the star of his high school team…and leaving Durant and the Thunder helpless. With the playoffs approaching, they need to discover what it is that brought them together before the early end to the Thunder’s season.”
WHERE: Baton Rouge
WHEN: starts Sept. 19, 2011
Fair enough. Naturally, the plot for this movie could only have about three different choices and they went with the easiest. So Durant gets to play a mix of Calvin Cambridge from Like Mike and the actual Mike from Space Jam. That should be good times.
Will it flame out as a colossal box office failure? Probably, even though at this point, Durant can do no wrong and is in that phase of his career where everything he does is praised (it’s a three-step process every star must go through… Kobe is done with it and LeBron is currently directly in the eye of the storm).
What the production company could’ve done is just build an biopic film around Durant’s career. Of course it worked with He Got Game (Stephon Marbury to a degree). It would work in this instance. Add a little drama as a youngster – perhaps growing up in a tough environment, losing a loved one or having a catastrophic injury – and have it lead into a trip to the NBA Finals (which is where OKC will be very shortly). You could end like that or if you wanted to go Spike Lee on us, have the final scene flip back and forth between KD shooting jumpers in the middle of the desert and Russell Westbrook doing the same halfway across the globe. Then, show random balls falling out of the sky. Then it’s over (awesome ending!).
The success of He Got Game shows the career of a professional athlete is perfectly suited to make money in Hollywood. And just as I wrote a while back on some NBA players who seriously need a documentary, I can point out a few biopics (we won’t include LeBron since that’s too obvious) that would eventually be both amazing and get tossed into the corner of my room…
Leon Powe: absolute stud in high school, one of the best big man prospects in the country…family life was always falling apart…living out on the street, in homeless shelters…mother died just before his state championship game…knee injuries nearly robbed him of his professional career…eventually contributed to an NBA champion
Chris Andersen: came from a small town and played at a small school…played in numerous overseas leagues…found success in the NBA but then was thrown out because of drug issues…eventually came back and straightened out his life as best a Chris Andersen can (all of his drug money became tattoo money)
Dirk Nowitzki: ridiculed as a younger player for his terrible hair and his native country…made it through hard work to not only become a great player, but become loved almost universally by NBA fans…lost his mojo, lost his reputation, plus he had that weird girlfriend…got it all back in the end by finally winning the Finals (the movie would end with his hometown parade)
Shaun Livingston: the second coming of Magic Johnson…drafted into a big city with even bigger expectations…the ugliest injury pretty much any of us have ever seen…some thought he would never again play ball, only to return and have some semblance of a nice career (very Ricky Bobby-ish)…would be an amazing up-and-down-ride
Ricky Rubio: the Spanish Jesus Shuttlesworth…
If we’re going all-time, who wouldn’t watch a film based on the life of Dennis Rodman or Scottie Pippen? Both were nobodies even into college. Then two miraculous growth spurts later and both are Hall of Famers. You can’t make this stuff up. I’m betting Kevin Durant’s new flick will be aimed at kids anywhere from seven to 15 years old. That’s not exactly riveting film for someone like myself. But if a director jumped at these possible movie ideas, I’d be there opening night.
Which players do you think would make for the best biopic?
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