Definitions

fakes out

Like Mike

Like Mike is a 2002 movie, directed by John Schultz and starring Lil' Bow Wow, Brenda Song, Jonathan Lipnicki, and Morris Chestnut. The movie was produced by Ameya Deshmukh aka Indifrro and features many cameo appearances by NBA stars.

Plot

Like Mike is about a trio of kids who live in an orphanage. The trio is played by Lil' Bow Wow, Brenda Song, and Jonathan Lipnicki. They are best friends and they enjoy playing basketball and watching NBA games on television. They are taken by a greedy orphanage director (played by Crispin Glover) to sell chocolates after each of a fictional Los Angeles Knights NBA franchise's home games.

One night after a game, Calvin Cambridge (Lil' Bow Wow) meets the team's coach who is impressed by Calvin's knowledge of basketball and honesty about the chocolates he sells, and offers Calvin tickets for the next game. Calvin obtains a pair of old shoes (from a Salvation Army Thrift Store) that had reportedly been used by a great basketball player of the past. The shoes have the initials MJ written, so naturally, Calvin thinks they used to belong to Michael Jordan.

Calvin's shoes are taken by an orphanage bully named Ox who throws them onto an overhead power line. Calvin tries to retrieve them that night in a rainstorm so he can get them while Ox is not around and gets shocked by a lightning bolt. Between the shoes and the electric shock, he acquires NBA superstar level basketball talent.

Calvin and his friends then attend the basketball game between the Knights and the Minnesota Timberwolves that they had tickets for, and Calvin's ticket number is chosen at a half time contest where the winner would face the Knights star player, Tracy Reynolds (Morris Chestnut) one on one. After he makes three impressive scores on Reynolds, including a dunk after bouncing the ball off the backboard, Calvin is signed to a one day contract by the Knights. He comes into that game in the fourth quarter and leads a comeback against the San Antonio Spurs in which Calvin dunked on Spurs future Hall of Fame center David Robinson and scored 27 points. That gave the Knights an unexpected win, which leads to him getting a season contract. Calvin brought teamwork to the struggling Knights and made them one of the best teams in the league.

Calvin's life then follows a path of experiencing luxury for the first time while on the road and going back to his orphanage home when the team isn't traveling. He gets to see hotels and places he never imagined could exist, and he is assigned to be the roommate to Reynolds while on the road. Calvin then starts taking all the headlines and becoming the talk all around the sports media and the NBA.

While this is all happening, Calvin begins to figure out that all he wants is really a father, and he starts looking at Reynolds in a fatherly way. They slowly begin to develop a father and son relationship, although their relationship is sometimes challenged by the daily situations that a thirteen-year-old boy without a father and a single man with no kids might have to face and Reynolds' attitude toward the young player. Although in a win over the Seattle SuperSonics, the Sonics star point guard Gary Payton while guarding Cambridge, tackled Calvin and said to Cambridge "Now you know what it feels like to be in The Glove's hands", and Calvin responded to him by saying it feels more like a mitten and Payton and Cambridge got into an argument as Payton got hit with a technical foul after shoving Cambridge and Reynolds was the one protecting Calvin the most as the two were being separated.

Meanwhile, back home, Calvin's greedy orphanage director signs a contract with the team that says that all of Calvin's money will go to him instead until he's eighteen, or adopted. When the second option is about to become true, the director decides to steal Calvin's shoes and bet US$100,000.00 against the Knights.

After negotiating with Ox the bully and his friends about how selfish the director really is, Calvin is able to subdue the orphanage director and retrieve his shoes by Ox opening Bittleman's safe which was where he kept the shoes and Ox gave them back to Calvin. However the director manages to send several goons after Calvin in a failed attempt to steal the shoes. Calvin makes it to the arena with the shoes after the 3rd quarter ended with the Toronto Raptors routing the Knights 80-59.

Calvin is reluctantly put into the game by the coach and the Knights start to make a comeback after Tracy told the coach that the team wouldn't have been fighting for a playoff spot if it weren't for him and his teammates agreed that if the Knights will have any chance of making a comeback, they will need Calvin. However after a pile-on towards the end of the game, Calvin's shoes are ruined with the Knights down by one point. Calvin was unable to do what he used to do as he tried the shake-and-bake on Vince Carter and had it stripped although Cambridge got it back. Then Carter blocked Cambridge's shot and it went out to Tracy who got it and passed it back to Calvin. Tracy was telling Calvin he can do it after finding out it was really Calvin's sneakers that made him play so well, but Calvin said he can't do it. Than, Calvin fakes out Vince Carter who jumped over Cambridge and Cambridge helped the Knights make the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history after getting the assist on Reynolds' game winning shot, but upon finding out about the contract, he decides to retire and announces that the last game of the regular season will be his last game. After winning their last season game, Calvin then retires.

However, after going back to his orphanage, he and Murph (Lipnicki) get adopted by Tracy, and Reg (Song) to a different family. It's also revealed that the orphanage director is missing because he doesn't have enough money to pay the bet (possibly could have died) and the orphanage is now under care of the Knights.

Trivia

  • When they are playing the game at the Staples Center, some of the audience are cardboard people, while others are kids from Boys and Girls Club of Echo Park.
  • The "magical" sneakers were called the Nike Blazers, and was the very first basketball shoe manufactured in Nike's company, beginning production in 1973. Although Michael Jordan never liked Nike before signing to them in 1984, Jordan actually wore this shoe model in the late 1970s when playing ball at Laney High School.
  • Prior to the film's release, there were public concern over kids imitating the power line scene, where Calvin retrieves the shoes from the power line during a thunderstorm. The makers of this film, at one point, considered putting up a warning at the beginning of the movie, telling kids not to imitate the power line scene. However, they never did it. Pacific Power & Light, however, did issue a statement based on the movie warning children of the dangers of going near power lines, especially in a lightning storm.
  • The exterior view of the arena they were playing in was Staples Center; but they actually filmed the basketball games at The Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California.
  • When there's a highlight reel playing showing the Knights' loss vs. the Toronto Raptors, there is a shot of Vince Carter. The shot was actually filmed from the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Competition.
  • The Knights' colors are similar to those of the Los Angeles Clippers, whom they replace in the movie.
  • Before the film's production, Bow Wow had already had experience in basketball in his childhood years.
  • In the power line scene, where Calvin tries to get his sneakers on the power line, the rain is fake. Over the set there was a pipe where water was pumped through.
  • At the slam dunk competition, Calvin originally was going to go through the hoop. Afterwards they changed it because it wasn't Michael Jordan like.
  • Kurtis Blow can be spotted sitting behind Calvin during the Slam Dunk competition.
  • When they first started shooting, Bow Wow (Calvin) didn't want to be around Crispin Glover (Bittlemen) because he thought he was weird. But in the middle of the movie, Bow Wow saw him as a normal person.
  • At the start of the movie where Calvin (Bow Wow), Murph (Jonathan Lipnicki) & Reg (Brenda Song) were playing basketball at the orphanage, some of the time they didn't know they were being filmed. It was their lunch break.
  • Calvin Cambridge's teacher at the orphanage, Sister Theresa, is played by Anne Meara. Anne Meara is Ben Stiller's mother in real life.
  • During the scene where Calvin and the rest of undadopted orphans see young kids getting adopted, the director can be seen preparing to adopt someone.
  • When the Knights win their last game with Calvin, red, white and blue colored balloons fall down. When Calvin goes back to the court, there are different colored balloons on the court
  • San Francisco 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes made a cameo in the movie as himself.
  • One of the families that consider adopting Bow Wow's character is based on the Banks' family from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Reginald VelJohnson plays the Phillip Banks-like character.
  • When Calvin orders room service in the hotel, he orders french fries twice.

NBA stars

See also

External links

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