From the use of Claymation sequences in interview settings that take their cue from “Do the Right Thing,” the documentary“A Kid from Coney Island” proves to be as surprising and affecting as the unorthodox career trajectory of its subject, basketball player Stephon Marbury.
Hailing from a household of NBA hopefuls, Marbury would go the distance, initially forming half of a dynamic duo for the Minnesota Timberwolves for several seasons with fellow bright light Kevin Garnett.
Nicknamed “Starbury,” he inspired Spike Lee’s “He Got Game,” but a series of subsequent trades took their toll — he was faulted for not being a team player and taken down by the press as having “too much New York in him,” leading to a personal meltdown.
At this juncture, those unfamiliar with Marbury’s story might expect a bleaker outcome, but he experienced a spiritual reawakening playing basketball in Beijing, where he’d finally earn the fan support and media respect he’d long been craving.
While sticking to the documentary template, co-directors Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah demonstrate some fresh moves of their own, including having rappers Fat Joe and Cam’ron weigh in along with TV journalist Stephen A. Smith, plus members of Marbury’s close-knit family.
Ultimately, Marbury’s rewarding rebound has as much to say about where you come from as where you’re headed.