For somebody who is completely obsessed with winning and the sport of basketball, you’d think Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant would have seen He Got Game, the 1998 film directed by NBA enthusiast (and New York Knicks apologist) Spike Lee. The film not only featured Denzel Washington but Bryant’s eventual fellow NBA star Ray Allen, who was at the time was a member of the Seattle Supersonics.
Allen, who played Jesus Shuttleworth, is the top ranked high school player in the country and is persuaded by his father to play college ball at ‘Big State’. In exchange, Shuttleworth’s father, played by Denzel Washington, would receive a lesser prison sentence.
While not Academy Award winning, He Got Game is somewhat of a cult classic in the basketball community, so it comes with mild shock that Bryant had never seen the film until today.
Watched the end of He Got Game this am. I have never seen the film!
Even more ironic? Bryant was actually up for the main character role of Jesus Shuttleworth in the movie, though, had to pass due to prior commitments.