A while back, I saw the motion picture adaptation of the Uncle Drew series of commercials, presumably for work, I was writing about it or doing a podcast about it or something. It’s a pretty lousy movie, weird from seed to stem, Shaq’s giant nude bottom is in it, and it has a plot that doesn’t really make any sense or anything. I don’t recommend it, unless you need to write about it for an NBA Website or whatever.
But, when you pay actual money to see a movie you loathe, you do everything you can to wring every possible ounce of utility from it. And so, here we are, on the occasion of my writing NBA previews, writing about Uncle Drew again.
Aaron Gordon, the Magic’s best player, is in Uncle Drew. He plays a young streetballer who is Lil’ Rey’s best player — there’s a dude named Lil’ Rey in the movie, and he plays a streetball coach who doesn’t play, himself, up until someone gets injured at the end of the movie, I forget the character’s name and who gets injured and many other things about the movie and I absolutely refuse to look any of them up — who leaves the team to play with Nick Kroll’s rival basketball coach who is offering him, uhh money or more winning or something. He also steals Lil Rey’s wife or girlfriend or something.
Anyway, in this movie, Gordon plays a real capital-j-jerk. Not because he leaves little Rey for Nick Kroll, truth be told, there are a lot of really compelling reasons to do that. Just because he’s like… not a very nice dude. Like, he makes Lil Rey get him all kinds of food and stuff in exchange for playing with his squad. Bad manners! As the movie goes on, he pays for his hubris when his squad gets absolutely shredded by a bunch of old dudes. In his last scene, he is shown being rude to Nick Kroll.
In watching the movie, you are left to wonder: why, exactly did Aaron Gordon agree to do this? Why, if you’re an NBA player making a pretty extraordinary amount of money to play basketball all year, would you get this call and say “Yeah, sure, I will portray this insanely low stakes monster, whose life has clearly been ruined by his complete lack of moral fiber?”
There are two reasons, of course: one is that Aaron Gordon wanted to be in a movie, and he is, like not nearly famous enough to star in Kazaam 2, so he went with what got offered and hoped it might turn into something bigger down the road. In all honesty, if this is the case, this was probably a good idea, because he really does play a deeply unpleasant dude pretty convincingly. Please, casting directors, hook my man up with an action movie of some sort.
But there’s another, darker force that could be at play here: perhaps Aaron Gordon didn’t think Aaron Gordon-from-Uncle-Drew-I-Absolutely-Refuse-to-Look-Up-His-Character’s-Name was villain AT ALL. Maybe he sees a world where transactional savagery of the type he practices in that movie, his character’s near-sociopathic lack of concern for the needs and desires of anyone but himself is not actually BAD at all, but, in fact, the hero of the movie, the only dude living the proper life that CAPITAL teaches you to live, riding and dying exclusively for one’s self.
If this is the case, the Magic are doomed. That guy in that movie has no success to his name, he is a jerk who is good enough at basketball to throw down an elbow dunk on camera, but not good enough for a Division I college program or an Adriatic League team who needs an American to get to the next level in Eurobasket. The dude Gordon portrays is, honestly, completely pathetic. He hustles his coach for pennies while his peers play actual professional teams, he is rude to EVERYONE, and eventually, he gets whooped by old dudes. NOT what the Magic, or ANY NBA Team needs, if you ask me. Do not sign the dude Aaron Gordon played in Uncle Drew to your team!!!!!