Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Shaquille O’Neal Continue Run of NBA Players as Executive Producers
Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Shaquille O’Neal are no strangers to the movie business. Each of these NBA superstars boasts an IMDb page replete with credits as actors and producers, in addition to appearances they’ve made as themselves on talk shows and in TV series, including the NBA Finals. In February, these on-court champions all made headlines as executive producers.
Steph’s 2019 documentary, Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, will get a one-night theatrical release in more than 250 movie theaters across the United States on April 2. The film, which was produced by the Golden State Warriors star’s Unanimous Media, tells the story of Kenny Sailors, who originated the “leaping one-hander” the world now knows as the jump shot while leading the University of Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA Tournament Championship, and features interviews with Steph, KD, Dirk Nowitzki and Nancy Lieberman, among others. Jump Shot premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas and took home awards from the DeadCenter Film Festival, Heartland International Film Festival and Hill Country Film Festival.
“Ever since I picked up a basketball, the jump shot was second nature to me," the three-time champion and two-time NBA MVP said in a statement. "Learning the history of where the art of the jump shot came from, who introduced it to the game, and how it changed the game, was incredibly intriguing. Even more importantly, learning about the person that Kenny was, and what he stood for, was very inspirational.”
Kevin currently has his own documentary in the works from his production company, Thirty Five Ventures, about the rich basketball tradition of Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he grew up. Entitled In The Water, the film will take a closer look at many of the notable names to have emerged from PG County, from past legends like Adrian Dantley and Len Bias to current professionals and NBA stars in Victor Oladipo, Markelle Fultz, Jeff Green, Quinn Cook and Ty Lawson. The Brooklyn Nets star and his manager, Rich Kleiman, are listed as executive producers of the film, which is currently in post-production and will air on Showtime on a date that has yet to be announced.
Shaq’s latest silver-screen project is called Foster Boy. The film, based on true events from the career of Chicago attorney Jay Paul Deratany, is a courtroom drama that tells the story of a boy in foster care who pursues justice after he is abused by an older boy with a history of sexual predation. With Matthew Modine, Louis Gossett Jr. and Amy Brenneman in starring roles, Foster Boy has accrued 10 awards from film festivals across the country, including Best of the Fest and Best Narrative Feature at the International Black Film Festival, and Best Feature Film at both the Durham Region International Film Festival and West Texas Film Festival. Shaq is looking to sell the film as a series to a streaming service like Netflix or Showtime, and served as its presenter at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.
“Foster kids don’t vote, have no money, no lobbyists. They’ll never march, and you’ve never read an op-ed from a current foster kid. They need a voice,” the four-time NBA champion and Basketball Hall of Famer said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “When we show the film to foster kids, they stand up and cheer. They say the film has finally given them a voice. That’s why I’m part of it. I love these kids. We all should.”
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.