If you’re like the team at Next Impulse Sports and you have Hoop Dreams on your best sports movies of all time list – you need to stop what you’re doing and go see the new documentary, Lenny Cooke.
Lenny Cooke was one of the most hyped high school basketball players in the country. Back in the early 2000’s, the New York raised Cooke ranked above his peers. He was considered to have more potential and upside than guys like Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo and LeBron. Fast forward a decade later – and Lenny Cooke has never played a minute in the NBA. What happened?
One of the most interesting things about Lenny Cooke is that it’s not a movie about a kid that made a huge life shattering mistake that kept him from being the star he was supposed to be. There was no rape case; no act of violence; no definitive event that altered his life. Instead Lenny Cooke is the poster child for the fragility of choices.
Lenny Cooke the movie shows how brutal the world of competitive athletics can be. It also illustrates how flimsy and delicate our hopes and dreams are. Cooke wasn’t a bad kid. He just made some choices that honestly most kids in his situation would have made. It makes you realize how much discipline and luck is at play to create the world’s Carmelo Anthony’s and LeBron James’.
Another interesting thing about this film is that it’s executive produced by Joachim Noah – which makes me respect him a ton. Noah credits Cooke with bringing him under his basketball wing when he first moved to New York. He watched Cooke’s moves, both good and bad – and apparently the two remain close to this day. The fact that Noah, a guy who has made it would reach back and tell the story of one of his buddies that got left behind is commendable. Noah wanted to get involved in the project because Cooke’s story tells a more macro tale to kids who are putting all of their eggs in the athletic basket.
Be sure to check out this movie if you’re a hoops fan, a sports fan or a sidelines sociologist exploring that age old question: why do some people find success while others don’t?
Go see Lenny Cooke. You can check for screenings in your area here.