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Office Hours: Terrence Watson on Writing Basketball Doc Point Gods

Updated: Mar 4


The writer of 2022's hardwood classic gives guidance on putting the right arc on your words

When interviewing, it’s important to remain open. Do your homework—come prepared—but don't go into an interview feeling like you already know the answers, and end up leading the subject or narrative in a direction. Let the subjects tell the story.

When [executive producers Coodie & Chike] brought me in to write Point Gods, they had these great [primary] interviews, but they didn't have a story. That was my main focus: How do I thread these things? Out the gate, we needed to explain what a point god is; to give the audience a point of reference. From there, it was understanding who these people are, who influenced who, and stringing it along.

The main characters control the story arc, but secondary characters are really important, too. That’s who is going to bring you along with the story, validate it, and help the audience invest in it. That’s part of the research: finding out what to add to bring the story full circle.

For as much as Point Gods is about Mark Jackson, Rod Strickland, Rafer “Skip 2 My Lou” Alston, Kenny Anderson, Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, Kenny Smith—you also need the context. Cam’ron played basketball seriously with Stephon Marbury and God Shammgod; he added context to who they were as people. Fat Joe had a big hand in the 2000s NYC basketball landscape. These gems keep people engaged. They give the nuance that you need to make the story complete.

Pregame for the NBA All-Star Weekend by watching NYC Point Gods, which is now streaming on Paramout +.


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