Tells the story of Jesus Shuttlesworth, the most sought after high school basketball prospect in the nation. Jesus and his dream to make it to the big ranks in professional basketball are overshadowed by his father, Jake, who is spending his life in prison for killing Jesus' mother. Written by
Spike Lee originally wanted Kobe Bryant to play the part of Jesus Shuttlesworth. While Kobe liked the script, and the idea of working with Spike, he had just finished his rookie year in the NBA (the 1996-97), and had shot several airballs in a brutal playoff loss by the Lakers to the Utah Jazz, and planned a workout program that would help him maintain his strength through the longer NBA seasons (a major adjustment, as Kobe went straight from high school to the pros). So he told Spike the summer of 1997 was too important to spend time making the film, and Spike promptly sought out Ray Allen, who quickly accepted the lead role. See more »
At first while D'Andre is touching Lala's neck, he's not wearing any ring - next scene he's wearing a silver ring on his ring finger. See more »
We could see just one more story about a man who loves his son, but which suffers from various handicaps, like being on parole and being watched all the time, like having no wife anymore due to killing her, and like his son being one of the most stellar basketball players of his time and this man being truck-loaded with the burden of convincing him to go to college. The film marches to the pace of the two leads, Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) and Jesus Shuttlesworth (real-life NBA player Ray Allen, which makes a startling debut), as they have continuous face-offs: Jesus won't accept that he has a father, and won't listen to him, being more interested in becoming an NBA star, as the managers, the limelights, the fame and the fortune keep calling him like the chant of the sirens. Jesus is a young boy with a foot on each side. And he is facing options, choices he will have to make, and traps he will have to avoid. As a friend of his says (in the movie's most memorable quote) "How do you spell pussy? H. - I. - V.". This could be one more tale of choosing between college or fame and fortune, ths could be one more tale of a destroyed father-son relationship, but this is Spike Lee, and the treatment is totally different. It starts with an incredible hommage to basketball, shot like a picture poem, to the sounds of Aaron Copland, whose music flows through the whole movie and makes it look more beautiful and poetic. A characteristic Spike Lee movie, which introduces us to a new way of facing sport dramas. To be cherished.
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