The murder of a private investigator leads back to basketball and the cutthroat competition for court time.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandra Eames (credit only)
Coach Perry Powell
Karen Watkins
Diego Bracho (as Jose Ramon Rosario)
Player in Wheelchair
Advertising Executive
Ben Watkins
Jace Gleesing
Clifton Oliver ...
Kyle Davis
Elvin Fergin (as Malcolm J. Goodwin)


The murder of a private investigator leads back to basketball and the cutthroat competition for court time.

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TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 January 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The basketball players in this episode attend a fictional "Moses Caro High School." The school name appears to be a tongue-in-cheek conflation of two very different New Yorkers: Robert Moses and Robert Caro. Moses (1888-1981) was a once-lauded "urban planning" bureaucrat today often remembered for destroying established, traditional neighborhoods to make room for expressways; while Caro (born 1935) wrote a massive, highly critical biography of the former, titled "The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York" (1974), which won the Pulitzer Prize. See more »


Curtis Romney: It's called grass-roots boosterism - giving the community a team they can be proud of.
Detective Robert Goren: Well, I call it a long-term investment. You recruit the players. You touch their young lives with your "generosity." And then you leave a stain that they carry through their college or professional careers. A taint that you can threaten them with any time you need to shave some points.
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References Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the better episodes
27 May 2008 | by (Chillinois) – See all my reviews

Even though this episode was one of the ones totally missing Eames (Kathryn Erbe), it is still one to watch. Cool story arc, Vincent D'Onofrio put in another very good performance, and there are a couple guest stars whose presence gives this episode extra interest.

We see John Krasinski in one of his first pro roles, filmed in late 2003. (This would be almost 2 years before starting in his role as Jim Halpert in "The Office.") John was playing a high school basketball player. Having missed the opening credits, I was surprised to see John as one of the high school players, and for that first instant it seemed like it was Jim joking around. (It was like when Jerry Seinfeld and George would flash back to their high school days, and you see these way-grown actors done up in their high school clothes and hairstyles.) Your subjective reaction may differ, but you'll have to agree that John looked a bit too old for the role, at age 24 having a full face and, in the outside scene, in need of a shave. Otherwise, sure, he delivered his lines like a teen--though then again, there were a couple glimmers of more mature facial expressions.

Playing the coach was Jude Ciccolella. In 2003 Jude was in the middle of his long run as Mike Novick on "24." Some this coach character's reactions will remind you of how Novick reacts to things, of course, so those make interesting cross-references to give you insight into Jude the actor. Jude gets to show us other bits, too, since the coach is not bound like Novick to the need for tact, observing White House protocol, and generally being in the service of politicians whose needs Novick must think of before his own. For example, this coach can be a total hard guy at times in ways you don't get to see with Novick. Sure, there are times when Novick gets forceful even with his superiors, but not with the type of disregard Jude has coach showing those he's getting tough with.

Even before either John or Jude show up in the epi, though, it was a pretty engrossing story unfolding. It is a trademark of classic "L&O: Criminal Intent" to present a lengthy sequence of clues before the detectives--or we viewers--have much idea what's really going on. In this epi, for some reason, though, it was particularly fun seeing the clues tumble down as Goren and temporary partner Bishop (Samantha Buck) hop from borough to borough following the leads stemming from the epi-opening murder. Nothing too obvious, nothing too far-fetched. Naturally, Goren figures out a couple things because he knows stuff that Bishop and the captain don't, but they aren't way out over the top.

Favorite Vincent acting moment in this epi: Goren yields to an early interviewee and is personally wide open while this person perceptively and succinctly summarizes the young Goren's probable difficulty with authority figures. At the end of this cold dressing-down of an analysis, Goren is completely taken aback--great moment.

Something visual to remark upon: Get Bishop under the lights in the dark blue morgue together with Medical Examiner Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix), and all that red hair is just blazing.

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