It's obvious from watching "Like Mike" that the National Basketball Association cooperated in the making of the film, which centers around an orphan, Calvin Cambridge (Lil' Bow Wow), finding a mysterious pair of basketball shoes that give him magical powers and make him good enough to actually play in the NBA. Many of the NBA's biggest stars are featured in cameos including Chris Webber, Jason Kidd, David Robinson, and Vince Carter. Given the average NBA player's penchant for leaving little bastards in major cities around the country, this whole orphan theme is one impressive PR move.
Due to the industriousness of our team of Mr. Cranky fact-finders, evidence suggests that the odds that Calvin Cambridge is actually related to an NBA player are 10 to 1. The Los Angeles location of this film has been factored in accordingly, since creating bastard children in L.A. is worth an extra 400 "cool" points on the Wilt Chamberlain righteousness index.
Calvin lives in an orphanage where Stan Bittleman (Crispin Glover) is the guardian. Putting Crispin Glover in a children's film is like casting the pets.com sock puppet as Napoleon. One is never quite sure whether Glover is going to deliver his next line or try to kick someone in the head. Clearly, Crispin Glover as the head of an orphanage is a casting decision more appropriate to a horror movie. Say what you will about Crispin Glover, but the guy's agent is either some sort of super-strong cyborg-agent superman, or has pictures of director John ("Drive Me Crazy") Schultz screwing a goat.
Cambridge is picked up by the local Los Angeles team after defeating team star Tracey Reynolds (Morris Chestnut) in a one-on-one game concocted as halftime entertainment by Frank Bernard (Eugene Levy). Eventually the coach (Robert Forster) puts Calvin in a regular game and he quickly becomes the team's star attraction. But what Calvin really wants is a father. The least likely candidate for that position at the beginning of the film is Reynolds, which means that by the end of the film, Reynolds will be embracing fatherhood like a guy fondling a stripper in the back room at the Gold Club, undoubtedly the conception site of many a future "Like Mike 2" star.
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