You know the script. You’ve likely seen the viral videos. Kyrie Irving dresses up as an old man known as Uncle Drew and dogs it during his first pickup basketball game. He soon gets progressively better and better, at which point he starts dunking over guys. What people on the playground court first thought was an old man who could barely make it up and down the court, ends up being an old man who miraculously plays at NBA All-Star level.
However, what the film crew didn’t know is that they picked the wrong courts to play at in Mosswood Park. And-1 Mixtape legends, former NBA standouts, current D-League, and Laney College point guards were all playing pickup games in Mosswood Park the day the Pepsi MAX team came out to film Uncle Drew going up against some authentic Oakland streetball.
Pickup game at Mosswood Park in Oakland
Kevin Love tried to post up Greg Foster, and got swatted. On the next possession, J.R. Rider, with a 42-in vertical leap, drove baseline, leaping from outside the key and dunked over 6’10” Kevin Love. The NBA All-Star from the Minnesota Timberwolves looked stunned, and wondered what just happened, but he played on. Kyrie Irving, dressed as Uncle Drew, tried to cross up Antonio Davis, but Davis stole the ball, and did and off-the-backboard dunk to himself. At which point Irving and Love called a time-out to discuss their game plan.
Subbing in Ayinde Ubaka and Leon Powe on their team, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love held their own and hit some outside jumpshots, but they couldn’t get enough penetration on Foster or Rider to dunk.
When Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell drove onto the court in a Cadillac, the teams took a break for halftime. He got out, and in a running start, leaped over the Cadillac for a dunk. Shocked, Irving and Love didn’t know what to do. Irving, trying to stay in his Uncle Drew character, said “In all my years of making buckets, I’ve never seen someone fly that far over asphalt to make a bucket.”
Just another day on a basketball court in Oakland. Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell showcases one of his usual dunks.
Irving and Love decided to play against some older men who showed up on the court, including Brian Shaw, Paul Silas, and Wolfe Perry, but they were still neck and neck and couldn’t win a game. Silas said that he was going to call Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, and Bill Russell who’re in town for a Oakland Athletic League Hall of Fame ceremony, and see if they wanted to get in some games with Uncle Drew, who seemed to know his fundamentals.
When asked if they wanted to play these former NBA All-Stars from Oakland, Irving responded, “You know, I think we’ve had enough. I came to show these young bloods how to get buckets, but now I need to sit down, catch my breath, and drink some Pepsi MAX.” When interviewed after the streetball games in Oakland, Pepsi organizers said, “We should’ve done our homework before coming into Oakland for a pickup basketball game. We heard rumors about Oakland’s raw basketball talent before, but who knew that Oakland was stacked this deep with playground legends.”