HoopsHype Demetrius 'Hook' Mitchell rumors

April 9, 2012 Updates

Why one man made it and the other didn't is the fascinating question explored in the one-hour documentary "The Town Game: Two Lives, Two Paths," which premieres Monday night on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Narrated by Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale, it also doubles as a love letter to Oakland basketball history; Jason Kidd, Brian Shaw, Antonio Davis, Greg Foster and Marshawn Lynch are just some of the Oaklanders who participate in the documentary. Comcast SportsNet producer Matt Abrams conceived of the idea with the station's NBA reporter Matt Steinmetz, initially as a celebration of Oakland basketball. But then, "Everything I read, the name Demetrius 'Hook' Mitchell kept coming up," Abrams said. "I went back to Matt - 'Who is this Hook Mitchell guy?' It became clear during interviews that Demetrius and Leon were two symbolic figures for this community." Mitchell called it "therapeutic" to have his troubles be a focus of a documentary. "It's the cards we're dealt with, and you have to roll with the punches sometimes." Mitchell said. "I accept the bad decisions and bad choices I made. It's my current reality." San Francisco Chronicle

Powe, who is working to get back in the NBA after recovering from a series of knee problems, said he faced a situation similar to Mitchell's. Powe's father left the family when he was 2, and the family's house burned down when he was 7. His mother, brothers and sisters were homeless, constantly on the move. "We were struggling the whole time," Powe said by phone from Los Angeles, where the Cal alum is trying to get ready for the next NBA season. "We stayed in a lot of different rough areas: Acorn, East Oakland. We used to live around drug houses - guns, violence - and the police would raid our house every couple of weeks. We didn't know when they (were) coming to kick down the door. San Francisco Chronicle

"I could have (gone) either way. My family was struggling. The (drug dealers) came to me and told me, 'We got a million-dollar plan for you, to help your mother out.' I was like 'OK, cool, what do I gotta do?' That's what I told the older (dealer). And he said all I gotta do is sell some drugs, do some runs for him. 'It's no big deal. You can make a lot of money.' They gave me a day to think about it. ... "My mom said to do the right thing and treat people the way you want to be treated, no matter how hard the struggle is. 'We'll make it through, just don't do the wrong thing.' " Did the dealers accept no for an answer? "They didn't force me, but you had to be careful how you tell them no. You had to be real careful. I knew that." San Francisco Chronicle

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