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Gunnin' For That #1 Spot
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On September 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation (among them future NBA stars Michael Beasley & Kevin Love) traveled the country to play at the world renowned Rucker Park in the first annual Elite 24 Hoops Classic. This is their story.
It takes a while to hit its stride, but once that happens, Beastie Boy Adam Yauchs Gunnin' for That #1 Spot does a terrific job capturing the hustle and flow of basketball, the sport it depicts. "Theyre gonna be millionaires in about five years," says the P.A. announcer (a hip and hilarious character known as Bobbito) of the players from around the country who come to compete in the first "Elite 24 High School All-American Game," held in 06 in Harlems Rucker Park, home to countless playground legends. For some, including 2008 NBA first-round draft picks Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, and Jerryd Bayless, it happened a lot sooner than that; for others it wont happened at all. But at the time, all the studs on the Blue and White teams had big-time hoop dreams, and the Rucker event was a chance to strut their stuff on a big stage. Problem is, it takes the better part of an hour to get to the actual game; profiles of the players, including visits to their home towns and interviews with friends, family, and others, are perfectly amiable but end up being rather monotonous (fewer than half are included in the documentary itself, with the others found on the second DVD, which is devoted entirely to bonus material). But when they finally hit the outdoor court, the doc starts to rock (never were a sport and a music style better matched than basketball and hip-hop, so its no surprise that Yauchs use of tracks by Ludacris, Nas, Jay-Z, his own band, and many others, including Old Skool R&B stars like Kool and the Gang, is nigh on perfect). The game is by far the best part of the show, with great court-level fisheye shots and deft editing (including the use of slo-mo and sound effects); Bobbito is a hoot (a personal favorite among his nicknames: Kyle "Wireless" Singler), and its a close, exciting contest to boot. Among the other bonus material are deleted scenes, the players own home video footage of their trip to NYC, and even a section devoted to Beasleys trash talk on the court. --Sam GrahamSee all Editorial Reviews
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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.