Kyrie Irving is one of the most exciting athletes on the planet when he’s hot, his uncompromising handle and ability to shoot off-angle leading to preposterous highlight reel shots. At the end of his rookie season, he appeared in old-man makeup for a longform Pepsi advertisement where he played Uncle Drew, an old-timer crawling out of retirement to play some street ball. The ostensible joke is watching an old dude splash in three-pointers and improbable layaways against a bunch of youngbloods, but the real humor comes from Kyrie’s on-court shit-talk throughout. (He credits his musical theater background for his comedic timing.) Since then, four more Uncle Drew advertisements have come out, often incorporating Irving’s famous athlete friends as their own old-people counterparts.
The tensile strength of the Uncle Drew character will now be tested as it is translated into a full film, Variety reports. Described by scriptwriter Jay Longino (whose previous credits include the Jackie Chan vehicle Skiptrace) as a “Blues Brothers in the pick-up basketball world,” the movie promises to feature more famous basketball stars pretending to be old people while doing cool basketball things. In the process they will probably rib basketball conservatives who sit around grousing about the good old days. Whether or not it will be any good, one thing is certain: it will be better than Space Jam.