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He Got Game!

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In 1998 Spike Lee filmed one of the best basketball movies ever made. Starring Denzel Washington and Ray Allen the movie portrays a young player being convinced by his father to go to college in order to reduce the father’s prison sentence.

Spike Lee originally wanted Kobe Bryant to play the part of Jesus Shuttlesworth. Kobe just finished his rookie season (1996-1997) and had shot a few airballs in a playoff series against the Utah Jazz that Lakers eventually lost. Kobe, being the fanatic that he is, developed a summer training program to increase his strength as he realized he needs to adjust for the longer NBA season. He told Spike Lee that the summer of 2017 was too important to make a movie, so Spike cast Ray Allen for the movie.


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For the scene where Jesus and Jake play for the letter of intent, the original script called for Jesus to win 11-0. However, Spike Lee encouraged the actors to play for real. The game began and Denzel scored four straight points as the crew whooped and applauded from the sidelines. Allen was furious and proceeded to score ten points in a row, at which point, Spike Lee declared Allen had won, and the scene (and game) was finished.

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