LA Clippers power forward Blake Griffin’s company Mortal Media is set to co-produce a reboot of the 1992 film, White Men Can’t Jump with Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil. It created an uproar in social media.
The original film was written and directed by Ron Shelton. It starred Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as streetball hustlers.
The injury-prone Griffin launched the production outfit last summer. The powerful dunker – not since Julius “Dr. J” Erving retired in the 80s has there been a player as fun to watch as he dunks over bigger opponents – recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
The injury prevented him from playing for four to six weeks. Last season, he was also limited to just 35 games due to a left quadriceps injury.
In early January, the Twitter-sphere was abuzz with strong reactions against the remake. A movie buff tweeted that the “remake should be promising” but added that he would “rather see a sequel with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.
Others expressed how the magic of the original cannot be recreated. Averaging 21.2 points, 8.8. rebounds and 4.7 assists, the five-time NBA All-Star could play a part in the remake of White Men Can’t Jump, and that may attract his fans.
Mortal Media’s other projects in the pipeline include a new version of Disney’s The Rocketeer (a superhero flick that starred a young Jennifer Connelly) and an NBC comedy. For White Men Can’t Jump, the company is teaming up with Kenya Barris (creator of Black-ish on ABC), who will also write the screenplay.
Basketball as Therapy
The new White Men Can’t Jump movie promises to draw bigger audiences if the cast includes Blake. He stated, “When I was hurt, and basically sitting around going stir-crazy, it made me realize that basketball was like therapy for me.”
For some people, playing basketball can sometimes mean everything. Without it, things fall apart: Before the current NBA season started, the 27-year old power forward had an altercation with former LA Clippers assistant equipment manager Matias Testi, whose face became severely swollen after Blake punched him.
The punch cost Griffin around $860,000 in pay. He was suspended for four games, but then he apologized to fans.
Life After Basketball
Some of the greatest basketball players in history, such as Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, have not exactly been camera-shy after retirement. Both now work as TV analysts covering NBA games, with Barkley often eliciting laughter for his outspoken style.
Now in his late twenties, Blake Griffin still has a lot of years before retirement. A stand-up comedy gig he had done in Montreal for Just for Laughs caused one media outfit to state he has progressed to the point where he can probably make comedy a second career after basketball.