Put 300 NBA players and their outlandish personalities in a bubble, give some of them cameras to record themselves, add to the tension of the social justice unrest, and you get “The Game Changing Game,” a Tribeca Festival documentary that will take viewership. Gives a rare behind-the-scenes look at how the Basketball League fared during the turbulent summer of 2020.
The brainchild of former MTV president Christina Norman, who is now head of content at the National Basketball Players Association, the film had its world premiere on Tuesday at the SVA Theater in Chelsea.
Directed by first-time directors Spike Jordan and Maxim Quillin, the 110-minute film features in-depth interviews with Phoenix Suns point guard and former union president Chris Paul, Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Sterling Brown and Phoenix Sun Center Jeweler McGee. As basketball greats like Julius Irving, Oscar Robertson and NBA coach Doc Rivers.
“Our mission is to represent the voice of the real player and that was the driving force behind it all,” Norman told the Daily News.
“In the summer of 2020, when the world was on fire, I was trying to figure out what kind of content to create now. Players were inspired to use their voices, call for justice, wake up the world, and really join in and be involved.
Revealing footage shows that as basketball – and much of the sporting world – sweeps through the country and the world as the coronavirus shuts down, the NBA looks to restart the season by isolating players in a “bubble”. decided.
All 22 teams arrived at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., on July 7, nearly four months after the NBA season kicked off. Many of them lasted about three months.
Jordan and Quillin, better known for the Kanye West, Nas and Travis Scott music videos, used a multi-layered storytelling style to showcase the emotions of the players as they were secluded and faced with intense isolation. Had to do
Within those surreal 18 months of filming, the players were faced with life-changing events: they encountered an unknown virus that was rapidly killing thousands and they had to struggle to keep the billion-dollar basketball industry alive. was closed from the outside world.
At the same time, social justice protests and marches were taking place in the country following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Being an NBA player doesn’t exclude me from any conversation at all,” Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown says in the film. “First and foremost, I am a black person and I am a member of this community.”
In one of the more harrowing scenes, Rivers, 60, reveals his own encounter with racism after skinheads burned down his house because he was “interracially married.”
“It’s one thing to tweet, but it’s another to go out there and embody what you’re saying,” says Philadelphia 76ers’ Mattis Thiebull as cameras bite him as he takes to the streets with Black Lives Matter protesters.
Social justice activists and victims of police brutality are also heard in the “game change game,” including author and activist Kimberly Jones, who rallied for the upliftment of black people.
“This movement that we call the Black Lives Matter movement is actually the Black Death Matter movement because we haven’t even started talking about Black lives… we take to the streets everyday for recognition and justice for the Black Death. fighting,” Jones says.
Norman said, “We couldn’t directly do a documentary kind of story… we wanted something that was visually exciting that would speak to the players in the same language they speak.”
Jordan described the film as both timeless and timely.
“I have to say what this is about and how is this 2022, and we are still going through the same stuff, we are still fighting for justice, our rights as people, for black and brown people. In form,” the co-director told The News.