Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Hoops on the Tube

August 5, 2003 Columns No Comments



Big screen ballin’

by Nicholas Lozito


It’s a sad sight; I’ll admit it. An uncoordinated white kid dribbling a basketball between his legs and behind his back until it caroms off his left knee and knocks over a nearby lamp.

So I’m not the next Hot Sauce. Big Deal. But I’ll bet I’m not the only one living out And 1 pipe dreams in front of a bedroom mirror. In fact, I’m sure of it.

If you’ve tuned into MTV over the past few weeks, you may have seen what I’m talking about. In his latest business venture (that I am aware of), Magic Johnson has brought twelve streetballers from across the country to New York, where they are competing for a $100,000 grand prize in a streetball reality show.

The show’s title: “Who’s Got Game?”

The answer: Nobody.

And you thought “The Magic Hour” was bad.

My Sacramento State women’s basketball team has won a mere three games over the past two seasons, but even they could compete with Johnson’s assemblage of streetball shame. It reminds me of third grade recess, when me and Robby once fought over a loose ball for three-and-a-half minutes before Ms. Cross sat us on time-out.

An ill-advised attempt at cashing in on the streetball and reality T.V. crazes at the same time, “Who’s Got Game?” lacks the free-spirit style which makes And 1 ball so attractive, while not realizing that shower-stall surveillance is why American teens remain glued to “The Real World.”

Not to say I haven’t watched every episode. Hell, even TNN has had me glued to the resurrection of “American Gladiators” throughout this jobless summer of mine. But “American Gladiators” isn’t what has me swept off my feet like an up-and-coming actress in the latest romantic comedy. Streetball is.

That is, until Mr. Johnson and company polluted the airwaves with utter filth. Did he seriously think America would simply eat up any streetball program he threw on the air? Does he think we are that easy? Well, I’ve got a newsflash for you, Mr. Johnson – I am.

Another sad site of summer is that of myself sitting in front of the big screen all day. During my hibernation, or as George Costanza might proclaim it, “The Summer of Nick,” I have come across several comical inquiries concerning basketball on the tube. For instance, does anyone else find it awkward when after-school specials continuously film their basketball scenes inside a small television studio, therefore making the court only a tad bit larger than Mariah Carey’s walk-in closet on MTV’s “Cribs”?

I understand the director’s concern for adequate lighting, but am I really supposed to take Will Smith seriously in “The Fresh Prince” when he’s nailing 3-pointers from half-court with ease?

Which brings me to my list of the Top 5 Greatest Basketball Episodes in Sitcom History?

5. “The Fresh Prince” — Will Smith shocked the world when, in a game versus arch-rival Malibu Prep, he relaxed on defense in the final possession, costing his team the victory. The Fresh Prince must have hit ten 3-pointers on that nine-foot rim that night, but in the end he decided to throw the game, knowing Malibu’s star player was a new father in search of a college scholarship and needed the win much more than he did. (Note: Episode does not include Carlton’s gleeful Tom Jones finger-snap dance)

4. “Saved by the Bell” — Needing community service hours to graduate from Bayside High, Zack and the gang run an after school “Teen Line” program for students who need peer-to-peer counseling. When money for the volunteer program runs low, they decide to throw a charity wheelchair basketball game. Screech decides to hook up rocket boosters to his wheelchair, and sure enough, he is sent flying out of the gym after his contraption goes haywire. No sympathy from Lisa Turtle, of course.

After the game, Zack goes out of his way to let the fans know that his girlfriend, who he met through the peer-to-peer counseling, is actually disabled. Zack, all she wanted was to be treated like everyone else.

3. “Happy Days” — Richie “Luscious Legs” Cunningham hit’s a game-winning shot to send Jefferson High into the state championship game against Fillmore High. However, Richie is kidnapped by some guys from Fillmore, and he arrives late to the game after being rescued by whom other than Fonzie. Richie is fouled with Jefferson trailing by two points and one second left. He hit’s the first free throw, using Rick Barry’s underhand-style shot, but misses the second. The game ends in a Jefferson loss.

2. “Hang Time” — “Hang Time” is a show that evolves around the men’s varsity basketball team at Deering High, which consists of four unathletic guys and a girl. In one episode, Julie Connor (the girl) and Teddy Brodis (roughly 5-foot-10, 230 pounds) get hustled by a couple of college players. Coach Fuller (played by former NBA player Reggie Theus) is very upset when he finds out about his players’ situation. In the end, Kobe Bryant shows up to help Teddy and Julie get their money back, and then he teaches them an important lesson about gambling.

1. “Family Matters” — One episode of “Family Matters” changed my whole perception of Steve Urkel.

When Eddie Winslow chooses to play with Kenny “Spider” Jackson in the city basketball championships, Steve is left crushed and without a teammate. That is, until Larry “Grandmamma” Johnson comes to Steve’s rescue, and the duo go on to take the city crown. But the real story was that everyone learned Urkel has game. Serious game.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.