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ESPN 30 for 30
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 16510

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right about the lack of hype - I didn't even see an add for it. Instead, ESPN kept hyping the new Greenie Show. :(

I'll check this out. Sound really good.
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Yakuza Rich

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also watched the documentary The Legend of Swee' Pea that I rented on Vimeo. This is the story of basketball street legend, Lloyd Daniels.

I first came across Lloyd when I was 8 or 9 years old. A good friend of mine's father was a college coach at Hunter College and he would take us to watch a lot of the top talent around the 5 boroughs to scout other players. At that time Lloyd was playing for Jackson High School out of Queens and outside of Lebron he was the greatest high school basketball player I had ever seen.

The only thing I wish the documentary had was more footage of Lloyd in high school because he was a sight to behold. He had a far better jumper than Lebron did in high school and was a far better passer. He was often said to be 'Magic Johnson with Larry Bird's jumper.' I don't think he quite had Magic's ballhandling to really lead the point, but if he played the point forward spot he could have been devastating because his ability to shoot, create his own shot, pass and general feel for offensive basketball was incredible.

Later on he was publicized as a myth, even when he made it to the NBA. But he was no longer the same player he was when he got to the NBA. He clearly lost his burst and his vertical. IIRC, there was one game we went to where he score 22 points, pulled in like 20 boards and had 16 assists. He wasn't selfish on the court and in high school he was a tremendous rebounder. When he got to the Association he was more or less a jump shooter coming off the bench and people really missed out. Lloyd often said that he was only at about 60% of the player he was in high school and I think that was a fairly accurate assessment.

But as far as a doc...this is really one of the best I've ever seen. This one stuck with me for a few days. I've followed Lloyd's career as intensely as I've followed any athlete...which is saying a lot as I've followed countless athletes quite intensely.

For me, it is almost like I've known Lloyd my entire life and the documentary went into things that I never knew about Lloyd, but felt that I had experienced with him.

He was certainly a product of his environment. And as John Lucas said so well 'he raised himself the best way he knew how for him.'

It's certainly not a pretty picture throughout the documentary. Lloyd has so many friends, in part because of his basketball, but he has a genuine personality of being a kind, loving person when he's sober. He starts to get into drinking here and you see the uglier side of Lloyd as well as the hustling side of Lloyd because ever since he was a kid he grew up around people trying to use him and he learned how to return the favor.

Tark makes an appearance here and Lloyd treats him like a father-figure. This is where Lloyd gets at his most emotional because he does realize that he should have gone further with his NBA career and how much he hurt the people that really loved him. And despite the ugly side of Lloyd, you do see that glimmer of hope for him in the end as he gets off the booze again and is very articulate and reflective about his life and situation and just has a good attitude about it.

And that, while it gives hope also gives a lot of trepidation. I see Lloyd as somebody who was likely a high IQ person if he ever had some sense of education and had his dyslexia diagnosed. So, he could have been even more than a basketball player and he not only didn't live up to his potential on the court, but he had so much more to give off the court.

And I just keep thinking what could have been with the hope that finally overcomes all of his demons and is happy with himself and his life.

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