File:Like Mike poster.jpg|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Schultz|
|Story by||Michael Elliot|
Lil' Bow Wow|
|Music by||Richard Gibbs|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$62.3 million|
Like Mike is a 2002 American comedy film directed by John Schultz and written by Michael Elliot and Jordan Moffet. The film stars Lil' Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Robert Forster, Crispin Glover and Eugene Levy. The film was produced by NBA Productions and features many cameo appearances by NBA stars. The film was released on July 3, 2002, by 20th Century Fox.
Like Mike is about a trio of kids who live in an orphanage. The trio is played by Lil' Bow Wow, Brenda Song, and Jonathan Lipnicki. They are best friends and they enjoy playing basketball and watching NBA games on television. They are taken by Stan Bittleman, the awkward orphanage director (played by Crispin Glover) to sell chocolates after each of the fictional Los Angeles Knights NBA franchise's home games.
One night after a game, 13-year-old Calvin Cambridge (Lil' Bow Wow) meets the team's good-natured coach, Coach Wagner (Robert Forster) who is impressed by Calvin's knowledge of basketball and honesty about the chocolates he sells, and offers Calvin tickets for the next game. Calvin obtains a pair of old shoes (from a Salvation Army Thrift Store) that had reportedly been used by a great basketball player of the past. The shoes have the initials MJ written, so naturally, Calvin thinks they used to belong to Michael Jordan.
Calvin's shoes are taken by an orphanage bully named Ox (Jesse Plemons) who throws them onto an overhead power line. Calvin tries to retrieve them that night in a rainstorm so he can get them while Ox is not around and gets shocked by a lightning bolt. Between the shoes and the electric shock, he acquires NBA superstar level basketball talent.
Calvin and his friends then attend the basketball game between the Knights and the Minnesota Timberwolves that they had tickets for, and Calvin's ticket number is chosen at a half time contest where the winner would face the Knights star player, and incidentally, Calvin's idol - Tracy Reynolds (Morris Chestnut) one on one. After he makes three impressive scores on Reynolds, including a dunk after bouncing the ball off the backboard, team manager Frank Bernard (Eugene Levy) and Coach Wagner sign Calvin to a one day contract by the Knights. He comes into that game in the fourth quarter and leads a comeback against the San Antonio Spurs in which Calvin dunked on Spurs future Hall of Fame center David Robinson and scored 27 points. That gave the Knights an unexpected win, which leads to him getting a season contract. Calvin brought teamwork to the struggling Knights and made them one of the best teams in the league.
Calvin's life then follows a path of experiencing luxury for the first time while on the road and going back to his orphanage home when the team isn't traveling. He gets to see hotels and places he never imagined could exist, and Coach Wagner assigns Tracy as Calvin's mentor while on the road, a decision that greatly annoys Tracy. Calvin then starts taking all the headlines and becoming the talk all around the sports media and the NBA.
While this is all happening, Calvin begins to figure out that all he wants is really a family, and he starts to view Tracy as a potential father figure as opposed to his idol. They slowly begin to develop a father-son relationship, although their relationship is sometimes challenged by the daily situations that a thirteen-year-old boy without a father and a single man with no kids might have to face and Reynolds' attitude toward the young player. Although in a win over the Seattle SuperSonics, the Sonics star point guard Gary Payton while guarding Cambridge, tackled Calvin and said to Cambridge "Now you know what it feels like to be in The Glove's hands", and Calvin responded to him by saying it feels more like a mitten and Payton and Cambridge got into an argument as Payton got hit with a technical foul after shoving Cambridge and Reynolds was the one protecting Calvin the most as the two were being separated.
Meanwhile, back home, Bittleman (the orphanage director) signs a contract with the team that says that all of Calvin's money will go to him instead until he's eighteen, or adopted although Coach Wagner is highly suspicious of Bittleman's intentions. When the second option is about to become true, Bittleman decides to steal Calvin's shoes and places a bet with a group of mobsters for US$100,000.00 against the Knights.
After negotiating with Ox the bully and his friends about how selfish Bittleman really is, Calvin is able to subdue the orphanage director and retrieve his shoes by Ox opening Bittleman's safe which was where he kept the shoes and Ox gave them back to Calvin. However Bittleman manages to send several goons after Calvin in a failed attempt to steal the shoes. Calvin makes it to the arena with the shoes after the 3rd quarter ended with the Toronto Raptors routing the Knights 80-59.
Calvin is reluctantly put into the game by the coach and the Knights start to make a comeback after Tracy told the coach that the team wouldn't have been fighting for a playoff spot if it weren't for him and his teammates agreed that if the Knights will have any chance of making a comeback, they will need Calvin. However after a pile-on towards the end of the game, Calvin's shoes are accidentally ruined with the Knights down by one point. Calvin was unable to do what he used to do as he tried the shake-and-bake on Vince Carter and had it stripped although Cambridge got it back. Then Carter blocked Cambridge's shot and it went out to Tracy who got it and passed it back to Calvin. Tracy was telling Calvin he can do it after finding out it was really Calvin's sneakers that made him play so well, but Calvin said he can't do it. Then, Calvin fakes out Vince Carter who jumped over Cambridge and Cambridge helped the Knights make the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history after getting the assist on Reynolds' game winning shot, but without the magic sneakers, he decides to retire and announces that the last game of the regular season will be his last. After winning their last season game, Calvin then retires. A decision that saddens Calvin, Tracy, and Coach Wagner.
However, after going back to the orphanage, Tracy surprises Calvin with the news that he wants to adopt him. Not wanting to leave Murph behind - Calvin agrees to the adoption under the condition that Tracy adopts him too calling it "2 for 1 Orphan Day". Reg is adopted by a different family but keeps in touch with the boys. It's also revealed that Bittleman is missing (either he is in hiding, or has been killed by the mobsters) because he doesn't have the money for the bet and the orphanage is now under care of the Knights.
- Lil' Bow Wow as Calvin Cambridge
- Morris Chestnut as Tracy Reynolds
- Jonathan Lipnicki as Murph
- Brenda Song as Reg Stevens
- Jesse Plemons as Ox
- Robert Forster as Coach Wagner
- Julius Ritter as Marlon
- Crispin Glover as Stan Bittleman
- Anne Meara as Sister Theresa
- Eugene Levy as Frank Bernard
- Fred Armisen as New Age Dad
- Julie Brown as New Age Mom
- Vanessa Williams as Pharmacist
- Jimmy Kimmel as Client in Commercial
- John Marshall Jones as NBA Player
- Vince Carter as himself
- Michael Finley as himself
- Steve Francis as himself
- Allen E. Iverson as himself
- Jason Kidd as himself
- Alonzo Mourning as himself
- Tracy McGrady as himself
- Steve Nash as himself
- Dirk Nowitzki as himself
- Gary Payton as himself
- Ahmad Rashad as himself
- David Robinson as himself
- Reggie Theus as himself
- Rasheed Wallace as himself
- Chris Webber as himself
- Tom Tolbert as himself
- Hannah Storm as himself
Like Mike received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 57%, based on 97 critics, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A pleasant and innocuous diversion for kids, but adults may have trouble sitting through the movie's predictable plotlines and schmaltz." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The film opened at #5 with a 3-day gross of $12,179,420 from 2,410 theaters for an average of $5,054 per venue, and a $19,018,444 gross since its Wednesday launch. It closed with a final domestic gross of $51,432,760. Overseas the film made $10,842,020, for a total worldwide gross of $62,274,780, making it a financial success as the film cost $30 million to make.