Uncle Drew

Kyrie Irving's alter ego Uncle Drew is a senior citizen with impressive skills on the basketball court. The Boston Celtics star popularized the character in short films and TV commercials for Pepsi.

Uncle Drew will be featured in his own movie that opens in theaters on July 29. But history shows that films starring NBA players usually don't translate into box office success.

Uncle Drew stars Tiffany Haddish, WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal.

Critics say Uncle Drew is engaging in a short film format, but the big-screen version is like quenching your thirst with "zero-calorie sugar water."

The movie is brimming with brand placements (Nike is everywhere), and Kyrie is amusing as the trash-talking senior citizen. But it's doubtful that NBA fans will turn out in droves at the box office.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the most expensive NBA movie ever was Warner Bros.' Space Jam (1996). The animation film starring Michael Jordan earned just $90 million domestically.

And Shaquille O'Neal's genie-in-a-bottle comedy movie Kazaam that same year brought in just $19 million in the U.S.

Warner Bros. will take another stab at reviving Space Jam, starring LeBron James taking on Bugs Bunny. LeBron's stiff acting and flat delivery is almost as cringe-worthy as Jordan was in the original.

  • AmericanDream

    Sports figures are polarizing by nature and as such it’s hard to successfully capitalize on their name. If you’re a hardcore knicks fan for instance , what interest to do you have in seeing Kyrie Irving ?

  • Mark mcharm

    NBA stars fail to deliver at the box office? I might be dating myself but cornbread earl and me is a classic with an nba star and kevin durants straight to DVD movie did great. This movie is going to make money. Space jam is still making money.

  • Mark mcharm

    No it is not because the story is inaccurate .

  • BadAss Will

    I don't wanna see this as a TV movie let alone a Big Screen.

  • Rainbowbelow

    Is cornbread the movie about the dude getting killed over a grape soda?

  • KcoolMuziq

    Ray Allen didn't do bad with 'He's Got Game"....

  • Mark mcharm

    actually the cops killed him in the movie ?

  • samuel severino

    Good article but Sandra didn’t tell us why NBA stars don’t deliver as her headline suggests. I was excitedly expecting to learn something new like the time she wrote about why some men only have daughters over and over. This didn’t explain why though.

    And wasn’t Like Mike with Bow Wow a huge success?

  • jazmine

    Nah LeBron was pretty good in that movie with that awful white lady

  • Rainbowbelow

    Ok, I just remembered something about a grape soda but I didn't know the police did it.

  • samuel severino

    Blue Chips was excellent.

    He Got Game was very good and it was written for Kobe Bryant who turned it down so that he could focus on getting his game better. Ray Allen did okay but the movie would have been even better if Kobe was the star.

    Michael Jordan wasn’t in Like Mike but a bunch of other NBA stars were.

  • samuel severino

    Good point. And shouldn’t she at least wait until the movie is out before calling it a fail?
    ???? ????

  • sunni_daze

    I deadass thought this was a commercial

  • Blaque Mahogany

    Uncle Drew will be featured in his own movie that opens in theaters on July 29
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I read the headline and thought the movie was already out and had bombed at the box office. I want to see it. I will let someone pay for me to go watch it. It's not something that I would necessarily pay $11/$12 to see.

  • Pitty Patty

    This movie looks corny af...

  • cherrypie

    Slow azz news day

  • Logan Roberts

    I seriously thought this was a long ass commercial?.

  • HoneyyGoodMoneyy_

    should've went straight to USB.

  • iWasteTime

    lolol! Straight to the FireStick!

  • Phillybruh

    Straight to the library DVD collection.. who is watching this besides 9 yr olds...lol I dred the day mine gets a hold of this it will be played all the damn time :(

  • Libra80sBaby

    Me and my churren love Space Jam. That's all I got.

  • stav

    Bottom line is they are athletes ...not actors! This movie looks horrifying!

  • MsPam

    Why would people go see this movie?! Kyle is boring as a basketball player and as a person. I will never go see Tiffany Haddish in anything, is that Lisa Leslie (#9)?! She looks like NeNe in the picture.

  • FukkFolks2018

    Hate basketball movies. They all suck. I didn't even like the episodes of Scooby-Doo that featured the Globtrotters. Or Grand Ma Ma on Family Matters. And Larry Johnson one of my fave Hornets of all time. But isaa no for me

  • Rainbowbelow

    Good to know I wasn't the only one who thought that...?

  • HoneyyGoodMoneyy_

    but but .. Space Jam is my favorite !

  • MissHarlem
  • FukkFolks2018

    I'm the rare UNC fanatic that hates Michael Jordan. So nope lol. Best Tarheel ever in my book was James Worthy. Followed by Phil Ford. Jordan a distant 4th or 5th lol

  • Blaque Mahogany

    Lol. The comment and the gif together are perfect.

  • FukkFolks2018

    Girl. What a waste of resources is my immediate thought

  • Keyshia Ray

    It looked stupid from the beginning ijs

  • JV

    I liked Space Jam as a kid

  • JV

    I think the NBA as a league is pretty fun to watch and follow on a whole, and I say this as a hardcore Cavs fan. (Of course, being a Cavs fan, I have no interest in seeing THIS movie!)

  • FukkFolks2018

    That is kind of different. Wasnt meant to be a basketball comedy like the others. A movie where basketball is the theme but has sub-plots doesnt bother me. But basketball comedy is awful. Just awful.

  • KcoolMuziq

    I thought Ray Allen was amazing in it! He could have easily had a career as an actor if he wanted to.

  • MissHarlem

    Pure waste ?

  • MissHarlem

    Just silly

  • FukkFolks2018

    I used to clown Jesus Shuttlesworth but I did like that movie.

  • Jethro

    Word. Athletes have never been known to be good actors. I doubt any of their livelihoods are dependent on this.

  • Marlika

    Anything with Tiffany Haddish is a NO for me. ?

  • Missy

    Yesss Larry Johnson was 1 of my favs!

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Love & Basketball has set the level too high for me as far as basketball movies go, even if it is considered comedy!
    Off topic kinda, but I know I'm not the only person on this forum that enjoyed A league of their own?
    (Softball movie about all women's league)

  • Missy

    Very damn CORNY

  • MissHarlem

    Nope one of my favs

  • E-VannaRootsAllEvil

    I don’t see the hype with her

  • Coy little wink

    Saw the preview and chuckled a few times...wonder who greenlit this and how much they spent making it

  • ZRoJoTheLezBeyond

    When Kyrie first came out with those Pepsi short films years ago, I would watch them constantly and LMAO. He's a pretty funny guy. I'm game, I'll be going to watch it!

  • SpillyNillie

    I don't either...but I'm going to see it...I like Kyrie

  • Pnthr

    Who thought this was a good idea? I'm a big NBA fan and I have zero interest in this film. What a waste of money.

  • NYTimes#1Bestseller

    Agreed.

  • NYTimes#1Bestseller

    Movie looked like hot ass from the previews. I'll pass.

  • morenYAHdelsur

    Nooo don’t mess with Space Jam!

  • millz

    Ok I was an extra in this movie ...it’s very corny but funny lol shaq is crazy ... it’s more of a kids movie... with adult satire... I just want to see it so I can see if I made the cut on screen... the transformation of the background is most impressive because it’s supposed to be in New York... kyrie gave me ? ?... a lot of cameos basketball and celebrities...????

  • Kemi

    Kinda predicted this with my hubby, when we saw the preview. It’s kinda stereotypical black movie. But I’ll see watch it for support.

  • Oh Tommie

    He Got Game was my movie though lol

  • Kemi

    I’ll surely go watch it with my kids to support.

  • Trace da Ace

    nope....not my cup of tea....sick of these damn sports movies.....ugh

  • Mrs. King

    Watch it thee other night. Geena Davis is my chick.

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Mine too ?

  • Applebootay

    IKR!!!

  • Applebootay

    Damn you went wayyyyy back! lol

  • Applebootay

    James Worthy was always my secret backup to Jordan, should anything had ever happened to him. I'm a chicagoan so I'm partial....My family, we use to have debates on Worthy and Jordan....

  • Applebootay

    Well, Kinda...

  • Enoughsaid2020

    Everything does not belong on the big screen, and this movie is one of them. SMH!

  • SweetTEE

    Ima be honest. I might catch it on the firestick after I smoke. Might make me chuckle or something lol

  • MissHarlem

    Tell me how it is because even with my haze I can't ?

  • SweetTEE

    Knowing me, my ass would laugh once and fall asleep lol

  • FukkFolks2018

    I'm native NC and we still have debates on who is the greatest Tarheel. Still.

  • Ronnie Hill

    Its STUPID an NOT FUNNY. Shaq couldnt play ball young......
    #AwakeOne

  • hottlanta

    Looking at them ole geezers just reminds me that is why I date younger men because their balls be bouncing just like the balls on the court. Every once in a while one gets hit in the eye. I bet these ole geezers balls just laid there and didn't even move when they were bouncing the ball on the court.

  • hottlanta

    You mean to tell me that folks didn't rush to see the hot new non-threatening black female comedian Tiffany. Not even with a Groupon No way. Monique in the background ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    People must understand that if your product works in the short film (skit, commercial) medium, keep it there. To jump from that to a full on feature film isn't the smartest move. TBH, I've never heard of this alter ego character until the movie promos started.

    I put out a surprise one hit on Saturday that makes a milly, I'm not gonna post a full cd of songs on Monday like awwwwwwh schit, ya dude killin' the game. Take the success and grow it at a decent pace. Good luck with this project. I think the idea that senior citizen looking ballers will not resonate with the most avid bball fans.

  • CocoBabe88

    She’s a token ghetto black girl

  • CocoBabe88

    This movie (like so many others) is an embarrassment to black people. You would have to be a brain dead fool to go see a movie like this. And the people who made it basically think the same about black people. A bunch of entitled actors and athletes pulled some Hollywood strings to get a straight to dvd movie put in theatres.

  • free

    i didn't know that was kyrie lol/smh.

  • Simone

    The prosthetic makeup and hairpieces is a mess! And based on the cast, the acting won't be much better. Save your money and watch or re-watch Above The Rim, White Men Can't Jump and Love & Basketball in the comfort of your home. Pop some popcorn and buy some Twizzlers or Redvines and M&Ms call it a night.

  • Kita Williams

    LOVED THAT DAMN MOVIE!!!!! Makes me cry to this day and I loved playing baseball (hated softball but enjoyed seeing all women). Cat ol hatin ass I did NOT like seeing her on OITNB but man that's my movie

  • TrollingStoned

    Well this will fail because everything about the movie seems dumb and unfunny lol when I first saw them advertise this movie i thought it was a sprite ad or something lol not a real movie.