When Judge David Johnson was younger, he ate paste.
The path to stardom.
There's no secret: the NBA butters its bread with superstars. It's a stars' league and David Stern and company love to push the larger-than-life personalities of their moneymakers. I'm a huge basketball fan, but that's the non-cynical truth. It's how the NBA has built itself into a huge sport so a DVD like When They Were Young makes perfect sense—pump the tires of the big name guys.
Things get to a rough start when you look at the disc. There are eight players pictured: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Shaq, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Four of the eight have long been traded but are in uniforms from their old teams. It's not a huge deal, but gives the production a dated feel. LeBron as a Cavalier? Amare as a Sun? KG as a Timberwolf?
According to the end credits this program was made in 2011 and while there's a decent amount I like about it, huge, career-altering moments have transpired since these guys were rocking their old jerseys. It's bizarre that none of this is mentioned. Lebron signing with the Heat? STAT and Melo heading to the Knicks? Garnett gets some love for his Celts championship, though, so that's nice and current.
Regardless, this disc is less about the present but more about the past. By this standard, this is an interesting way to spend 60 minutes, especially if you're an NBA fan. You'll get a decent amount of footage from these guys when they were in high school, which I always find fascinating. Seeing LeBron dominate and Dwight Howard running around the court like a Marvel mutant when compared to other kids his age is fun to watch.
The flow of the program tracks these guys from their teen phenom days to college (if they went) to the draft and then on to their notable pro career moments. For example, with Shaq, you get his LSU days, his NBA Inside Stuff rim-breaker, his transition to L.A. and the forthcoming championships. LeBron tears it up in high school, leapfrogs college and, mysteriously, nothing is mentioned of some of his legendary choke jobs. Garnett gets the most complete tale, his game-altering transition from high school to the NBA and, eventually his ascension to title glory with the Green.
The disc: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen (with full frame footage sprinkled in along with the newer, widescreen player and expert interviews), 2.0 stereo and a handful of bonus segments spotlighting Howard, Anthony, Bryant, Wade, Bryant and Tim Duncan.
Not Guilty, but it feels antiquated for a recent release.
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