For the people not involved in basketball Semi-Pro can be seen as a bad comedy, for the other is a mockumentary about the last days of ABA, American Basketball Association, before the merge with NBA, the team is slightly based on Virginia Squires and Ferrell's character mimic the great Rick Barry, everybody knows the weird style of Barry free-throw, and it's untouched record of 99.3%.
Why NBA try to constrict ABA :
1) Three point shot, only ABA had and it was copywrited, still today on All Star Game 3Point Contest the last ball, that worth double, on each field zones is a three colors ABA basketball.
2) Indiana Pacers, the state where basketball is a religion more than a simple sport had only a pro team...and it's an ABA team
3) San Antonio Spurs, founded in Dallas as Chapparals the relocated in SA, the Lone Star state had only a big franchise, and they're still a big franchise, Dallas waited until 1980 for the Mavericks.
4) New York Nets, later New Jersey latest Brooklyn, even Knicks was a big East NBA team, seconds to Celtics obvious, the Nets was the biggest team in ABA, 2 winning championships and first overall in selling tickets, and they got Doctor J...
5) Denver Nuggets, NBA wants to expand in the west, and surely Colorado was a good point, the other location was San Diego, but they hadn't financial strenght, as today...in 1978 they got the franchise from Buffalo Braves, changing the name in Clippers, after 6 years they relocated to LA...like Chargers, but they lasted more.
6) Kentucky Colonels, the Louisville team had financial strenght, a solid fan base, cable TVs, and a renewed Arena, why nobody remember the Colonels, ABA champ in 1975, the answer : Artis Gilmore
And that's why I don't like Bulls...Artis was the most dominant player in Center position in entire world, nobody can't stop him, Chicago wanted Gilmore, they promised him big amount of money, no Salary Cap in that era, so the Bulls put the veto on Colonels NBA join, the God of the orangeskinned ball punished them both, Bulls never won with Gilmore, Artis finished his career in my hometown team, I got his shirt...
Anyway Semi-Pro is good movie for basket fans, Harrelson over all, sometimes his character seems a clone of Hondo Havlicek, but this is a movie about basketball, so he's simply perfect !
Another perfect character is Vakidis by Peter Vasilevich Cornell, the name is for a baltic player, but the spirit is surely of the sovietic super center Vladimir Tkačenko, the first 7'4" at 76 Montreal Olympic in the Red Army of Marshall Gomelsky. For the numbers : Cornell was a pro-player and he's 7'...
A little to airy André Benjamin, his acting is similar to a modern pro, the movie lives in 1976, black athletes were extremely angry and politicized, anyway we must agree he's mainly a singer.
So, you try to have a different point of view on this movie, both on Will Farrell, here without his jazz flute, and the Chicago Bulls...
I didin't copy this piece, it's not a news item, it's just about conversations that I had with Artis, Mike D'Antoni and George Gervin.