Like Mike

Last updated
Like Mike
Like Mike poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Schultz
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Michael Elliot
  • Jordan Moffet
Story byMichael Elliot
Music by Richard Gibbs
Cinematography Shawn Maurer
Edited by
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 3, 2002 (2002-07-03)(United States)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$30 million [1]
Box office$62.3 million [1]

Like Mike is a 2002 American sports comedy film directed by John Schultz and written by Michael Elliot and Jordan Moffet. Starring Lil' Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Robert Forster, Crispin Glover and Eugene Levy, the film follows an orphan who gets basketball talents after finding a pair of Michael Jordan's shoes.


It was produced by NBA Productions, and features cameo appearances by NBA players. The film was released on July 3, 2002, by 20th Century Fox.


Calvin Cambridge and his two best friends, Murph and Reg Stevens, live in an orphanage. Murph is the youngest of the trio, and has a very close bond with Calvin. At night they all have to sell chocolate for the troublesome orphanage director, Stan Bittleman, after each home game of the NBA team, the fictional Los Angeles Knights.

Calvin meets the team's coach, who is impressed by Calvin's knowledge of basketball and honesty about the chocolates, and offers Calvin tickets for the next game.

Inside a thrift store donation box, Calvin finds a pair of old sneakers with the initials "MJ" written on them; believing that they were worn by Michael Jordan. Calvin's sneakers are taken by a jealous bully named Ox who throws them onto an overhead power line. When Calvin tries to retrieve them that night during a rainstorm, he is shocked by a lightning bolt.

Calvin and his friends attend the basketball game between the Knights and the Minnesota Timberwolves. After the second quarter ends, the team's star player, Tracy Reynolds, prepares for a halftime contest. Calvin's ticket number is called and he goes one on one with Tracy. Calvin ends the contest with a dunk after bouncing the ball off the backboard. Reg and the crowd give Calvin a standing ovation. Calvin is signed to a one-day contract by the Knights. Calvin prepares for his first game with the Knights, but realizes that he is not there to play.

When the Knights play the San Antonio Spurs they start losing badly and Coach Wagner decides to let Calvin play in the fourth quarter. Calvin leads a comeback against the Spurs and they win, which leads to Calvin getting a season contract. Reynolds becomes his mentor since Calvin is still a minor. Calvin brings teamwork to the Knights and makes them one of the best teams in the league.

Tracy starts to respect Calvin after he gets himself into trouble when making sure that Tracy didn't miss his curfew. Bittleman signs a contract with the team that all of Calvin's money will go to him until Calvin is eighteen, or adopted. When the second option is about to become true, Bittleman grows desperate, steals Calvin's shoes and bets US$100,000 against the Knights.

After convincing Ox and his cohorts that Bittleman is selfish, Ox takes the shoes out of Bittleman's safe. The kids head to the arena with Calvin's sneakers. Bittleman escapes and sends goons after Calvin in a failed attempt to retrieve the shoes. Calvin makes it to the arena with the shoes after the 3rd quarter ends with Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors routing the Knights 80–59.

In the fourth quarter of the last regular season game, Calvin is put into the game by the coach and the Knights start to make a comeback. After a pile on towards the end of the game, Calvin's shoes are ruined with the Knights down by one point. Without the shoes, and wanting to be a normal child, Calvin tells the team that this will be his last game.

In the final play, Calvin manages to pump fake to get Vince Carter to jump and pass the ball to Tracy. Tracy makes the game winning shot to clinch the Knights their first playoff appearance. After going back to his orphanage, Calvin and Murph get adopted by Tracy, and Reg by a different family, though they stay in touch.

Bittleman goes missing because he doesn't have enough money to pay the bet, and the orphanage is now sponsored by the Knights.


NBA players

NBA reporters


Box office

Like Mike grossed $51.4 million in North America and $10.8 million overseas for a total worldwide gross of $62.3 million, against its budget of $30 million. [1] The film opened fifth at the box office with a three-day gross of $12.2 million from 2,410 theaters, and $19 million over its five-day opening. [2] The film was released in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2002, and opened on #4 with £246,169. [3]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 57% based on 97 reviews, and an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A pleasant and innocuous diversion for kids, but adults may have trouble sitting through its predictable plotlines and schmaltz." [4] On Metacritic, it has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [5] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale. [6]

Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post wrote that the film depicted "frightening myths about adoption" that ultimately soured the comedy and acting chemistry between Bow Wow and Morris Chestnut. [7]



A direct to video stand-alone sequel titled, Like Mike 2: Streetball was released on June 6, 2006.

Related Research Articles

Michael Jordan American basketball player and businessman

Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials MJ, is an American businessman and former professional basketball player. He is the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and of 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." He was integral in helping to popularize the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming a global cultural icon in the process.

Converse (shoe company) North American shoe company

Converse is an American shoe company that designs, distributes, and licenses sneakers, skating shoes, lifestyle brand footwear, apparel, and accessories. Founded in 1908, it has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc. since 2003.

Bow Wow (rapper) American rapper and actor from Ohio

Shad Gregory Moss, better known by his stage name Bow Wow, is an American rapper, actor, and television presenter. Moss' career began upon being discovered by rapper Snoop Dogg in the late 1990s, eventually being brought to record producer Jermaine Dupri and signed to So So Def Recordings. As Lil' Bow Wow, he released his first album at age 13, Beware of Dog, in 2000, which was followed by Doggy Bag a year later. In 2003, Bow Wow released his third album Unleashed, which was the first album released after dropping the "Lil'" from his stage name, and the first not to be released by So So Def. His next album, Wanted (2005) spawned his two highest charting singles, "Let Me Hold You" and "Like You". In September 2015, Bow Wow signed a management deal with Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records.

<i>A Kid in King Arthurs Court</i>

A Kid in King Arthur's Court is a 1995 fantasy film directed by Michael Gottlieb and released by Walt Disney Pictures in association with Trimark Pictures and Tapestry Films. It is based on the Mark Twain 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, transplanted into the twentieth century.

Vince Carter American basketball player

Vincent Lamar Carter Jr. is an American former professional basketball player and current basketball analyst for ESPN. He has been ranked as the greatest dunker of all time by numerous players, journalists, and by the National Basketball Association (NBA). He primarily played the shooting guard and small forward positions, but occasionally played power forward later in his career. Carter was an eight-time All-Star in the NBA and a two-time All-NBA Team selection. He is the only player in NBA history to play 22 seasons and in four different decades from his debut in 1999 to his retirement in 2020. Carter entertained crowds with his leaping ability and slam dunks, earning nicknames such as "Vinsanity", "Air Canada", and "Half Man, Half Amazing".

Tracy McGrady American basketball player

Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. is an American former professional basketball player, best known for his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). McGrady is a seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, two-time NBA scoring champion, and one-time winner of the NBA Most Improved Player Award. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017.

<i>Rat Race</i> (film) 2001 film by Jerry Zucker

Rat Race is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Jerry Zucker. Inspired by Stanley Kramer's 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the film features an ensemble cast consisting of Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Wayne Knight, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy, Lanai Chapman, Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Seth Green, Vince Vieluf, John Cleese and Dave Thomas.

Jonathan Lipnicki American actor

Jonathan William Lipnicki is an American actor and producer and is known for his roles as a child actor. He has appeared in films such as Jerry Maguire (1996), Stuart Little (1999) and its 2002 sequel Stuart Little 2, The Little Vampire (2000), Like Mike (2002), and Broil (2020). He also starred in memorable roles in the iconic television series Dawson's Creek on The WB and Meego on CBS.


AND1 is an American footwear and clothing company specializing in basketball shoes, clothing, and sporting goods. AND1 was founded on August 13, 1993, on the grounds of "All ball, nothing more". AND1 focuses strictly on basketball and is a subsidiary of Sequential Brands Group. AND1 continues to sponsor NBA athletes, as well as numerous high school and AAU teams in America.

Air Jordan American brand by Nike

Air Jordan is an American brand of basketball shoes, athletic, casual, and style clothing produced by Nike. Founded in Chicago, Air Jordan was created for Hall of Fame basketball player and six-time NBA Finals MVP Michael Jordan during his time with the Chicago Bulls.The original Air Jordan sneakers were produced exclusively for Michael Jordan in late 1984, and released to the public on April 1, 1985. The shoes were designed for Nike by Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield, and Bruce Kilgore.

<i>Stuart Little</i> (film) 1999 film directed by Rob Minkoff

Stuart Little is a 1999 live action/computer-animated family comedy film loosely based on the 1945 novel of the same name by E. B. White. Directed by Rob Minkoff in his live-action debut, the screenplay was written by M. Night Shyamalan and Greg Brooker, and stars Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, and Jonathan Lipnicki, alongside the voices of Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane, Chazz Palminteri, Steve Zahn, Bruno Kirby, and Jennifer Tilly.

British Knights

British Knights (BK) is a shoe brand founded in 1983 by Jack Schwartz Shoes Inc., based in New York City. In the 1980s, British Knights distinguished themselves as an inner-city and music driven brand, appealing to the predominantly male youth in urban communities.

Nike Shox

Nike Shox is a shoe feature first released by Nike in 2000 that is incorporated in several of their flagship sneakers. The shoe design includes a support system feature, which is an arrangement of small hollow columns in the midsole supporting the shoe's heel, which are made primarily with polyurethane. There are different formations of the shox technology, but most models include four circular columns in a square formation to provide cushioning. Later variations in shox models added one or two additional shox, 25 mm high, though they may vary in height; as well as triangular and rectangular shox that Nike claims provide better stability. Some shoes have midsoles made entirely of Shox, like the TL and VC series.

2003 NBA All-Star Game

The 2003 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 9, 2003 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks. This game was the 52nd edition of the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 2002–03 NBA season.

<i>Like Mike 2: Streetball</i>

Like Mike 2: Streetball is an American direct-to-video film, and stand-alone sequel to Like Mike. It was directed by David Nelson and released on June 6, 2006. The film does not feature any of the original cast members nor are there any mentions of the previous film's events.

The 1999–2000 NBA season was the Raptors' fifth season in the National Basketball Association. The Raptors received the fifth overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft from the Denver Nuggets, and selected high school star Jonathan Bender, but soon traded him to the Indiana Pacers for Antonio Davis, and signed free agents Muggsy Bogues and three-point specialist Dell Curry. In their first full season playing at the Air Canada Centre, the Raptors got off to a 12–6 start, but then lost five of their next six games. However, the team got better as the season progressed, winning seven straight games between February and March. Second-year star Vince Carter led the team in scoring, averaging 25.7 points per game. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest in Oakland and was selected for the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. The Raptors improved and qualified for their first playoff appearance with a 45–37 record, finishing third in the Central Division. However, in the postseason, they were swept in the first round by the New York Knicks in three straight games. Following the season, Tracy McGrady was traded to the Orlando Magic, Doug Christie was dealt to the Sacramento Kings, Dee Brown signed as a free agent with the Magic, and head coach Butch Carter was fired.

Nike, Inc. American athletic equipment company

Nike, Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. It is the world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment, with revenue in excess of US$37.4 billion in its fiscal year 2020. As of 2020, it employed 76,700 people worldwide. In 2020 the brand alone was valued in excess of $32 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. Previously in 2017, the Nike brand was valued at $29.6 billion. Nike ranked No. 89 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

<i>Lottery Ticket</i> (2010 film)

Lottery Ticket is a 2010 American comedy film directed by Erik White and starring Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Keith David, Charlie Murphy, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Terry Crews, Mike Epps, Loretta Devine and Ice Cube. The story follows a young man from Atlanta who wins a $370 million lottery, and soon realizes that people from the neighborhood are not his real friends, but are after his money. The film released on August 20, 2010, received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $24 million.

<i>Inappropriate Comedy</i>

Inappropriate Comedy is a 2013 American satirical sketch comedy film directed by Vince Offer. It stars Ari Shaffir, Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez, Adrien Brody and Lindsay Lohan, and was released on March 22, 2013.

Montrezl Harrell American basketball player

Montrezl Dashay Harrell is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals. Harrell received the Karl Malone Award as the top power forward in the nation as a junior in 2015. He was selected in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017 and was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2020.


  1. 1 2 3 "Like Mike (2002)". Box Office Mojo . Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  2. "Weekend Box Office Results for July 5-7, 2002". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  3. "UK Weekend Box Office 13th December 2002 - 15th December 2002". Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  4. "Like Mike(2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  5. "Like Mike Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  6. "CinemaScore".
  7. Hornaday, Ann (July 3, 2002). "'Like Mike': Lil' Bow Wow Jumps Through the Hoops". The Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved 2020-11-02.