by Ben Osborne / @bosborne17
SLAM’s history with Jack Ryan began when we (Lang, Russ, Ryan and I) got caught up in some pick-up games with him back in the summer of 2000 on Manhattan’s East Side. Russ in particular was at the wrong end of a fair number of “Black Jack”‘s wet jumpers. We were a bit ashamed to be outplayed so badly, but that’s just because we didn’t know our history.
By the time SLAM put out the first STREETBALL issue in 2003, and Bobbito Garcia wrote a bio of Jack in our section on “the greatest playground players of all time,” we’d figured things out.
From there, the relationship grew. Lang and I kicked it with him at All-Star 2007 in Vegas. Matt Caputo reviewed a documentary about Jack’s life in SLAM 111, then did a sick “Skillz” segment with him on the site in ’08.
I bumped into Jack Tuesday on the set of the Converse commercial I’m (hopefully) going to be in, and when I asked what was going on with his movie (he’d long ago deaded the documentary in the hopes of his story being turned into a major feature film), he told me that Justin Timberlake was open to playing Jack “if he liked the script.” I couldn’t tell if this was secret information, so I pretty much kept it to myself.
Apparently Jack spoke to the New York Post on set as well, however, and it’s official. Says Page Six:
Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake, who’s interested in playing Ryan in a movie about his uncoachable life, recently met with him on the court at Chelsea Piers. “I was surprised to see how good a ballplayer he is,’ Ryan, who once tried out for the Nets, told us. Timberlake challenged Ryan to a game of horse. But, ‘after the fourth game,’ he said, ‘I can’t go out like this. One more.’ After seven games of beating him, we called it quits,” Ryan related.