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|The 8 Minute Cure - Page 12|
Then Dr. Phil introduces, to the adulation of the audience, the actor Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the coach. Then the real Coach Carter comes on. It's no exaggeration to say that the studio audience beams in all this reflected "star"-light--a TV star, a movie star, and a real-life guy who's so great they made a Hollywood movie about him. The screen fairly shimmers with celebrity-power.
Into this highly charged environment comes a terrified boy (the basketball kid) and his almost equally intimidated mother. The boy is convinced that he's going straight from high school into the NBA, though he admits he's not an exceptional player, not the best on his high school's team. In short: he's delusional. "When I can't play basketball," he says, "it's like I'm a drug addict." The kid himself makes the connection between basketball and drugs, but nobody picks up on it. That would be too much like therapy. Never is it suggested that the onset of adolescence and the slow realization of the kind of world he'll soon be asked to confront on his own has terrified this boy so deeply that the only place he feels safe is on a basketball court, and the only safe and meaningful future he can imagine is as an NBA player, shielded by money and celebrity from the rigors of the world.
This child is now harangued by Samuel L. Jackson, Dr. Phil, and Coach Carter, who lets slip the only cogent sentence of the hour: "You can't solve a problem on the same level as the problem."
Tell that to Dr. Phil.