In addition to the 30 for 30 Reaction posts, 2017 brings rise to the new series Hooked Till the Credits where I’ll look at sports films (both documentaries and fictional) that literally had me hooked from the opening sequence to the ending credits. The first film of the series is “Ben Simmons’ ‘One and Done” on Showtime.
It was by pure accident that I found this documentary on Showtime, but I’m extremely happy that I did. I will admit that I was immediately fascinated because of the hype that has surrounded Ben Simmons last year. But as I watched the documentary, I realized that this film was about way more than just the NCAA’s “One and Done” Problem.
The main premise of the film is Simmons’ career including his ‘One and Done’ collegiate career with the LSU Tigers and Simmons makes his feelings on the system well known to which I agree, the system is not ideal with collegiate basketball being the biggest loser. Players should have the opportunity to try out for a professional team once they turn 18, if they have what it takes than they can start their career and if they don’t then they can go to college and continue to enhance their skills. It’s a waste of a scholarship to force someone ready to play at 18 to go to college, when that scholarship could help someone else. Or if that’s not completely fair to collegiate basketball, you can change the one year to three years before being eligible for professional play like college football.
But it wasn’t Simmons’ journey to the NBA and his very hot take on collegiate basketball that had me hooked till the credits, instead I was more fascinated by the family dynamic in the Simmons family the closer Simmons got to entering the NBA.
There is no doubt that every member of the Simmons family only wants the best for Ben and that they all love each other. There is a deep bond between every member of his family, of that I am 100% sure.
But as Ben got closer to leaving LSU and starting his NBA career, tensions started to rise amongst the members of the family (namely Emily and Ben’s Dad Dave). Dave, who played professional basketball in Australia, has some understanding of the realm of professional basketball also has a vested interest in making sure that Ben has the right people around him. Emily, married to Michael Bush of the NFL, has a decent grip on the industry and understands the power of branding with her background in marketing.
But I think that Ben’s sister Emily, who is married to Michael Bush of the NFL, has probably the best understanding of the importance of picking an agent. Of course, Ben’s dad, who played professional basketball in Australia, has a vested interest in making sure his son is taking care of by the best team possible.
It’s interesting to see how the closer Ben gets to his draft day how the tensions start to rise. You can see how Ben’s Dad stopped trusting Emily (doesn’t help that she signs a contract with one of the agents to work marketing). Emily signing on to work with the company looks suspicious, doesn’t it? While she claims that there is nothing unsavory about it, it still raises the question as to why she did.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ben’s sister Olivia, the one he’s probably the closet to. Throughout the film it seems like Olivia and Ben are close, but the closer he gets to the NBA the more Olivia starts to complain to her brother to make him feel bad enough for her to help her out. She doesn’t seem to care that Ben has worked hard to hone his basketball talents so that he could make the big bucks in the NBA, she just wants him to “help her out” so that she can be happy. (It should be noted that there were reports that Simmons had to block his sister on social media back in December because she was roasting him left and right).
By the end of the film, it’s clear to see the cracks in the family foundation caused by Ben’s sudden success. So while I tuned into the documentary to hear Simmons’ opinions on the ‘One and Done’ system, I was hooked till the credits by the family drama that followed him into the NBA.