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LIKE MIKE

The NBA
Picture this incredible scenario: Fourteen year old, four foot, eight inch Calvin Cambridge takes a jump ball away from Alonzo Mourning, battles for a loose ball with Gary Payton and wins, takes a charge from Chris Webber and gets the foul, slam dunks over David Robinson, and out talks Jason Kidd. For LIKE MIRE, these NBA All-Stars and some of their colleagues jumped at the chance to let Lil Bow Wow take them to school on the basketball floor.

The hoopsters' appearances in LIKE MIKE point to the impressive collaboration between the production and the NBA in making the film a showcase of some of the best players in the league.

"The NBA's been a great partner on this picture," states producer Peter Heller. "To allow us to shoot during their All-Star break, one of the biggest media events of the year, was unbelievable." The message of the film: a young boy fulfilling his dreams partially through the help of the NBA, certainly had a positive impact on the league and their decision.

Another factor in the production's favor was the relationship between the world of hip-hop, which Lil Bow Wow inhabits, and the NBA. With players like Allen Iverson cutting rap records, the association between Bow Wow and the league seemed natural.

Director John Schultz was impressed with the on-set cooperation he received from arguably the ten best basketball players in the world. "Every single player we worked with had a great attitude," marvels Schultz. "They all quickly ‘got' the idea of the movie and were more than willing to be ‘schooled' by Calvin Cambridge. They knew exactly how to poke fun at themselves."

To a man, the players themselves all seemed to enjoy their brief stint as movie stars and were also impressed with the positive message the film puts out to kids. "A lot of times athletes and entertainers don't really understand the impact you have on kids' lives," says San Antonio Spurs star David Robinson. Says Sacramento Kings star Chris Webber: "I thank everyone on LIKE MIKE for giving me a chance to be in this movie and for the chance to maybe help make a difference in some young person's life."

Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning likens Calvin Cambridge's dreams with his own as a young boy. "Dreaming helps build a little confidence and establishes hope for kids. They're confronted with so many obstacles in life and you want to make sure to keep your dreams alive.

As for the acting, David Robinson speaks for all the players. "This stuff is harder than you think it is. I'm not gonna quit my day job!"

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