Every Uncalled Foul: Like Mike

Like Mike FI3

Every Uncalled Foul is a series in which I’ll watch a basketball movie and record every uncalled foul, citing what happened and how it specifically should have been called. Today’s feature: Like Mike

Foul 1: 0:55: Calvin grabs Murph’s hoodie, throws it over his head, and then leapfrogs him. This is not only a personal foul, but likely a flagrant-1. Murph should get two shots and the ball.

Foul 2: 2:22: Calvin and Ox play a one-on-one game for Calvin’s Allen Iverson jersey. Ignoring how an orphan got a jersey, and why he’s wearing it with a long sleeved shirt underneath, gambling is strictly prohibited from all organized basketball at any level. Though this isn’t an officially sanctioned game, any organized basketball body would likely investigate this incident before clearing Calvin’s eligibility.

Foul 3: 8:05: So, so many fouls on the producers for the magic shoes. Let’s start with the “MJ” initials. Why are we certain that they stand for “Michael Jordan?” You know who else was pretty good and had those initials? Magic Johnson. Sure, the swoosh is Carolina blue, but Michael didn’t play at North Carolina until college and these shoes belonged to him as a child. Second of all, Jordan didn’t start wearing Nike shoes until his professional career, opting for Converse and Adidas instead. In fact, it’s not entirely likely that Jordan even had access to Nike sneakers as a child. The first Nike sneaker was sold in 1972, when Jordan was already nine years old. He also grew up in rural North Carolina, so it seems doubtful that Nike would’ve grown enough as a company in the few short years left in his childhood to reach him in time. And finally, if those shoes did belong to a young Michael Jordan, they would’ve been made in the ’70s. How in the hell did shoes made in the 1970’s last 30 some odd years into the future in wearable condition? I’m fine with shoes granting super powers, really, I am. But these are realistic questions that need to be answered.

Foul 4: 17:05: Tracy sticks his hand on Calvin’s head. That’s a personal foul.

Foul 5: 17:46: Calvin arguably carries on several dribbles, a common theme through the movie. These are judgement calls though, so refs could easily let them slide.

Foul 6: 18:40: Calvin hangs on the rim. That’s a technical foul.

Mike image1

Foul 7: 21:36: The Knights sign Calvin to a one-year deal. Calvin is only 13-years-old. The NBA collective bargaining agreement states that in order for a player to be eligible, they must be at least 19-years-old. Calvin can’t legally play with the Knights for at least six years.

Foul 8: 21:36: It’s never stated who the Knights have to release in order to create a roster spot for Calvin. Most NBA teams do not simply carry an empty roster spot, so in all likelihood such a contract would have to come in conjunction with the release of another player or the expiration of another player’s contract. Neither is stated to have occurred.

Foul 9: 23:34: NBA teams do not have official sneakers as part of their uniforms. Sneakers are chosen by individual players, usually as part of endorsement deals.

Foul 10: 28:12: A full NBA timeout lasts 60 seconds. Are we to believe that Calvin runs all the way back to the locker room, through the tunnel, changes sneakers and makes it back before play is resumed? Unlikely.

Foul 11: 29:58: Calvin hangs on the rim again.

Foul 12: 30:53: Technically, Calvin signed only a one-day contract with the Knights. That means that after the San Antonio game, he should have been a free agent. This is another foul on the producers. Why didn’t any other teams attempt to negotiate with him?


Foul 13: 31:06: Tom Tolbert claims that Calvin’s new contract makes him the youngest person to ever sign a contract. That’s not true. He was younger when he signed his first, one-day contract, therefore this new one does nothing to affect his previous record.

Foul 14: 39:36: No, NBA teams cannot prevent players from bringing women into their hotel rooms. Nor can they impose curfews. The NBAPA exists for a reason.

Foul 15: 40:50: Another carry for Calvin.

Foul 16: 41:00: Calvin hangs on the rim as time expires. This should be a technical foul, and as the Knights only have a one-point lead, the technical free throw could potentially lead to overtime.

Foul 17: 41:32: Jason Kidd taps Calvin while he’s preparing to inbound the ball. A ref could let that slide, but they absolutely would not ignore Calvin grabbing Kidd’s jersey.


Foul 18: 41:58: Why is Calvin performing with the team dancers? And for that matter why did Tracy have to do the halftime one-on-one game against Calvin in the first place? Though there is no clause in the CBA that entitles players to their halftimes and timeouts, there is also very little chance that such performances are written into player contracts. Coaches actually want to use that time to talk to their players anyway. They should be under no obligation to do them.

Foul 19: 43:59: Let’s pretend for a second that this whole “kid playing in the NBA” thing was legal. The nun keeping the Knights from playing until Calvin finishes his homework has no authority. She isn’t Calvin’s legal guardian.

Foul 20: 44:44: The NBA Slam Dunk contest has only four participants. A total of five, including Calvin, are shown competing in the 2002 event.

Foul 21: 1:00:56: Another foul on the producers. They know nothing about the triangle offense. The triangle offense is not just three players standing in a triangle. Do some damn research. Also, the words “isolate” and “isosceles” have nothing in common. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Isosceles comes from the Greek words “isos,” which means equal and “skelos,” which means leg. An isolation offense isn’t remotely equal.

Foul 22: 1:04:22: I’d consider Gary Payton’s defense on Calvin to be less of a foul and more of a sex offense. He’s grabbing at his hips, forcing himself on him. Then he tackles him.

Foul 23: 1:08:33: Ahmad Rashad says that both the Knights and Raptors need a victory to make the playoffs. That’s awfully presumptive. They play in different conferences. Don’t other teams have an impact on their seeding?

Foul 24: 1:23:09: Tracy says that “if it wasn’t for Calvin we wouldn’t be here.” Yes you would. It’s a regular season game. It’s scheduled months ahead of time. I know that’s not the spirit of what he was saying but hey, I’m a stickler.

Foul 25: 1:23:30: Calvin carry No. 4

Foul 26: 1:24:14: Calvin grabs Vince Carter’s jersey on the inbound pass. That’s a personal foul, and likely, due to the clock being below two minutes, would put Toronto in the bonus and allow Carter to shoot two free throws.

Final Tally: 26 Fouls


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