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‘Gap Year’ review: Controversial decision opens lots of questions about NBA

A decision that may be felt for years.

Gap Year is a sports documentary that follows Darius Bazley’s hectic journey to the NBA. The highly touted basketball player may have changed the way things are done in the basketball world. Bazley decommitted to a pair of major colleges and the NBA’s G-League on his way to the NBA Draft. His decision was questions by many while also putting eyes back on the what the NCAA treats its student athletes.

The documentary can be described as a coming of age story. Bazley is an 18 year old entering the adult world. In an unprecedented move, he takes a year off from basketball and becomes an intern at New Balance. (To be clear, it is not a regular intern position. His agent Rich Paul from Klutch Sports negotiated a one million dollar intern position.)

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Gap Year also shows the training that Bazely is going through in preparation for the draft. In addition to starting a new job, the young man must now work out like he never has before. In essence, he has started an entirely new life. The documentary does a great job of making sure Gap Year is not a film about an athlete. The film does a great job of showing a child growing to an adult. This is shown throughout as Bazley tries to adjust. There will be a high degree of relatability for many.

While Bazley is the focus of Gap Year, there is little insight into him. The documentary is mainly others talking about him and his choice. The documentary would have benefited to hear more from Bazley. A big part of Gap Year is the debate between going to college or straight to the NBA. These are the best parts of the documentary. There are arguments from both sides. Everyone speaks with passion and interviews include David Stern, Jay Williams, and Jay Bilas. 

Again, it would have been good to hear Bazley’s opinion. There are vague comments about the plan working, but it is left to others to talk about the decision. The joy Bazley shows once he is drafted does show how nervous the entire time was for him, however. Gap Year is a fascinating documentary about Darius Bazley’s odd journey to the NBA. Though hearing more from Bazley would have been an improvement, it is clear he is a trailblazer. His story and impact on the sport will be an interesting one to revisit in a few years.

A family thriller that makes for good holiday viewing

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