Friday, November 29, 2013

Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008)

Gunnin' for That #1 SpotThis movie was pretty cool. I liked how it showcased the backgrounds of several players, showing how hard they work to be as good as they are. My 8th graders can learn a thing or two on how to become a great player by watching some of the things these guys go through. The music was awesome. My wife was inspired as we have two daughters (2 and 5) who she would like to see play basketball. She was wondering if there's anything comparable for girls basketball?

The game itself was just okay. The guy kept saying "and they're playing defense" but the D was a joke, seriously save for a few swats and a couple steals. Blue was giving up the longball all day, no rotations to help, too much one on one. Still, you got guys who can't risk injury, guys trying to build a rep at the Rucker, so that's what you get. Could've done without so much slow motion in the game, and the triple replays. Some of it was done on to some mediocre plays, and some just lasted waaaay too long.

Overall it was a good watch. I'll be showing it to all my ball players and the kids I work with who play ball.

Wow Saw this at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. Great characters, the b-ball scenes were so well blended with music from Jay-Z and NAS and others. A great Doc as well as a great sports flic.

Buy Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008) Now

If you are a basketball player or fan, chances are you will enjoy "Gunnin' for that #1 Spot." This chronicles an elite group of 24 high school ballers who are invited to play an exhibition game in Harlem's famed Rucker Park.

All these kids are "beasts" in their respective orbits around the country, but here they get to test their mettle against other elite players. You learn the back-story on eight specific players, some of whom like Kevin Love and Michael Beasley have already jumped to the NBA after a one-year college "career." You also get some perspective on Rucker Park and its iconic status in American basketball.

The movie is not all hype job, though. It touches upon some darker issues in the scholastic hoop frenzy, such as:

* Elite players are scrutinized closely and often can't live just a normal life

* Some prep rating services are glorified cut and paste jobs, more concerned with generating subscription revenue than anything else

* Sneaker companies drilling down as far as promising 5th, 6th and 7th graders to "brand" their shoes and build brand loyalty

* College coaches who text players they have never met three times a day to say, "I love you and can't wait for you to come play here ..."

* The lack of loyalty among some players; to wit, in high school, Michael Beasley attended four different schools in four years.

* Concerns about whether perfecting highlight dunks on Sports Center may eclipse emphasis on other aspects of the game . (I'm not saying team defense is dead, but the final score of the exhibition game is something like 131-128 judge for yourself.)

If you like hip-hop music and rap, you will also enjoy this movie!

Read Best Reviews of Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008) Here

This isn't an important film by any stretch of the imagination, but sports nuts and especially basketball fans will find it a fun watch. In September 2006 the top 24 high school basketball players in the country gathered in Harlem to inaugurate the first annual "Elite 24" all-star competition. The game is held at the legendary outdoor playground court in Harlem's Holcombe Rucker Park, where for sixty years many of basketball's greats lit up the score board in front of a raucous urban crowd, hecklers, urban rap music, and trash-talking announcers. This is a venue where you would never presume to give yourself a nickname; your opponents do that after you prove your mettle. The documentary focuses on eight high schoolers in particular, interviewing their families, coaches, and scouts. An interesting sub-text is how the attendant media, shoe companies, professional rankers, recruiters, and sponsors all point toward one thing -money that results from basketball stardom. By the way, the final score was 141-139, but you'll have to watch the film to see which team won.

Want Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008) Discount?

I saw this film in a theater nearly alone, when it was released. It showed the upside and downside of what basketball has become. Too many kids have been told at too young an age how good they are and get an inflated sense of their self-worth. When I was coming up we would go to different parks and rec centers around the city, sometimes playing with and against grown men when we were in our early teens and that gives you an idea of where you stand in the pecking order. A film like this showcases the And 1 mixtape "ooh, he broke his ankles" mentality, but shows little in the way of ways that a young player can learn to help his team WIN THE GAME that IS still the object, isn't it by doing the little things. Back then it seemed like a glance into the future of the game, now it just seems like it was just that era's overhyped phenoms, as none of the participants have become transcendent. I wonder how the Wiggins/Parker/Randle/HarrisonTwinz class will pan out? Anyway, it's worth the watch to see what they were then and what they've become.

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