5 Lessons from 2002 Smash Hit “Like Mike” that Only Millennials will Understand


As we all know, sports movies are notorious for inspiring people with their tales of hard work. Like Mike is no different. Objectively, this movie single-handedly shaped the millennial generation. Like Mike is jam packed full of lessons for kids. This movie, released in 2002, taught kids that with kindness, dedication and magic sneakers, all things are possible.


The story starts out with Lil Bow Wow, not to be confused with Lil Romo, at an orphanage, who finds his home on the basketball court (unfortunately, parents are not included). Calvin is an extremely terrible basketball player, but has all the swag of Kobe Bryant. In Cabo.


Calvin dreams of playing in the NBA, but with little skill this is unlikely to happen. But then, miraculously, Calvin finds a fresh pair of old sneakers in a donation box delivered to the orphanage. These sneakers belong to Michael Jordan. Although Lil Bow Wow is very “lil” in stature, MJ’s old shoes fit perfectly. Magic.


First lesson – Buy Second-hand

This hand-me-down donation box single handedly started the thrift store trend among young adults. Millennials flock to thrift stores hoping their clothes will give them magical powers and not staff infections.


Second Lesson – Not Everything is what it Seems

Ox the bully, not to be confused with actual oxen, throws the fresh to death sneaks onto a telephone wire in spite of Calvin. This is the first instance where shoes on a telephone wire did not mean drugs were being sold, but it can’t be the last. Don’t judge.


Third lesson – Chase the Storm

Later that night, Calvin goes to retrieve the sneakers in the middle of a thunderstorm. Calvin and the sneakers get struck by lightening. Don’t be afraid of storms. Be one with the storm.


Fourth lesson – Keep Your Shoes on at All Times

These sneaks make him Like Mike (get it) and help him break the ankles of the biggest names in the NBA. Only problem is, like Cinderella and every drunk girl at the club, he struggles to keep his shoes on. His manager, legal guardian, and Ox fight to get the shoes from him. However, like a hero, Calvin kept his J’s on his feet.


Fifth lesson – Looks are More Important Than Skill and Hard work

It turns out, swag is all this sport actually requires. Calvin had the swag. In true hero form, Calvin makes his dreams come true through patience, perseverance, and supernatural power. This is a lesson all children need to learn. If you want something, go after it. If nature seems to be going against you, try electricity or maybe witchcraft. Stand out in a storm, touch a telephone wire, pray to a celebrity. Your future is in your hands.


Dreams don’t work unless you werk some fresh kicks.




This article was written by the wonderful Caroline Baniewicz, who balls on and off the court on the daily. Follow her for more on Twitter @CarolineBano.


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