NYC Point Gods: Swag, showmanship and charisma all on display in new documentary (2022)

He sees a little bit of God every time he’s on the sidelines.

That’s to say he sees a bit of himself.

That’s because God Shammgod is a New York City point guard.

Shammgod is a player development coach for the Dallas Mavericks, so he has a close view of how guards play daily.

“The whole swag, bravado,” Shammgod said in a recent conversation with The Athletic. “… The crazy thing now is every point guard in the NBA now plays like a New York City point guard. Every guard. Every guard.”

The influence of New York point guards is explored in NYC Point Gods, a documentary premiering on all Showtime streaming platforms at 9 p.m. ET July 29. It highlights the impact New York City floor generals have had on and off the court and the uniqueness of New York that brought so many to the forefront of basketball. Brooklyn star Kevin Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman’s Boardroom media network is behind the project.

A documentary that takes into account the statistical impact of point guards from the city alone would be eye-opening. A simple internet search would tell you. New York City’s own Nate “Tiny” Archibald led the NBA in scoring and assists in the same season. Brooklyn’s Mark Jackson ranks fifth all-time in assists.

Where the film succeeds is in showing how the unique environment that is New York City shaped the mentality and style of its point guards and how their swag (a word used repeatedly to describe them) not only shows up on the court but in hip-hop and fashion and transcends New York’s famed high school basketball programs and playgrounds.

It’s a look at how New York’s influence is felt across the world and why Shammgod of Harlem sees some New York in every NBA point guard.

(Video) NYC Point Gods (2022) | Official Trailer | Streaming July 29th on SHOWTIME

And what exactly is that?

“New York is all about flair, all about looking fly whether you’re on the court or off the court and always putting on a show whether you’re on the court or off the court,” Shammgod said. “I think that’s why we’ve had such of an effect on the world of basketball. Coming from New York you had to be tough because you had the street dealers thinking they were better than the basketball players.”

There are glimpses of that style in Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić on the court.

Former NBA standout Kenny Anderson hails from Queens and offers his perspective on the persona of the NYC playmaker.

“First of all, there’s a lot of swag,” Anderson told The Athletic. “You get that from Pearl Washington, he had the swag play. Then I look at Mark Jackson and his passing ability was awesome, and Kenny Smith’s dunking ability, Rod Strickland’s in-and-out game, everything was just awesome.”

Added Anderson: “Ballhandling and charisma: It’s the showmanship, it’s the physicalness. You could get little guys who could handle, but they’d be physical. It’s how we came up through the rankings as New York City ballers.”

Anderson said whenever he does return to New York, there’s a feeling about the city he still cannot describe. But there’s a confidence being from New York that he took with him to Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

The college helped New Yorkers to bring their brand of basketball to the world. Smith played at North Carolina, bringing a confidence that made him wonder why folks didn’t want to guard this guy named Michael Jordan, because he was certainly accepting the challenge. Strickland took his game to DePaul while others like Jackson (St. John’s) found their shine closer to home.

But there’s no debating what New York gave Anderson and his counterparts.

NYC Point Gods: Swag, showmanship and charisma all on display in new documentary (1)

(Chad Gittens / Courtesy of Showtime and Boardroom)

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“It gave me confidence in myself, swag, everything and hard work and dedication,” Anderson said. “And don’t be afraid of anything or nobody in the game of basketball.”

The moxie needed to survive New York’s legendary playgrounds is synonymous with their greatest point guards, along with having elite handles and how to finish in the paint.

Those lessons helped Nancy Lieberman emerge from Brooklyn to become one of the best players the women’s game has ever seen.

“So much of it is mental,” Lieberman said. “The ego of playing in New York City is you don’t want people oohing and ahhing against you because you just got beat. You want them oohing and ahhing for you, and that’s how you develop and keep building that swag.”

The toughness is not only mental. It’s about the physical toughness to play in the elements and go to the hoop to score because shooting a jumper on metal backboards wasn’t always ideal.

It’s also a reason a guard’s handle had to be tight. Everyone knows you want to get to the hoop, so how exactly are going to do that if you can’t shake defenders off the dribble?

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“You had to learn how to get baskets, and you had to be tough,” Lieberman said. “…They’re going to put you on the ground, and you can’t walk away with your tail between your legs.”

The best magicians with the dribble are like musical geniuses, coming up with new ways to remix the standard art of bouncing the basketball.

Shammgod’s NBA career was brief, but his imprint on the game has lasted so long that there are kids practicing “The Shammgod” move who do not realize Shammgod is a real person. It’s a move he showed off at Providence that combines footwork and handles to create space.

There’s getting the ball out ahead of you, a skip of the feet as the dribbler gets the ball out in front, only to pull it back.

“The first time I did it, everybody was like, ‘Oh shit, what did you do?’” Shammgod said. “And at that point, I’m still, OK, I guess it was cool.”

His dribbling, combined with a unique name (yes, God Shammgod is his real name), have helped make the move something guards emulate and helped him start his coaching career. And how many NBA assistant coaches have a shoe and clothing deal, as Shammgod does with Puma?


The flashy style not only benefitted those in the NBA or college, and the documentary shines some light on the streetballers and what would become the AND1 Mixtape Tour. The crowd reactions to the ballhandling skills became just as legendary as the players who would go mainstream, touring and making money off the game and skills that had been staples in their neighborhoods.

“When you coach or play at a professional level, you certainly have the fans and the people, professionals who come out and see you play,” Lieberman said. “There’s nothing like the connection with the fans in streetball. It’s insane. If they like you, if they believe in you, if you move them, they become family.”

That’s part of where the story of the Point God is intertwined with hip-hop. Shammgod’s best friend is Harlem rapper Cam’ron, who before rising to stardom in hip-hop with a mix of catchy lyrics and over-the-top fashion was one of the best high school players in New York.

It’s just one of many links to the game and rap in the documentary.

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The description of a New York point guard is much like that of the MC with unshakeable confidence. The playground matchups were like local freestyle battles, where players sought out the best they heard about to prove their dominance.

It was in this environment that their games were groomed with a mix of glitz and grit. While Anderson was on his way to one of the best high school careers in history, becoming a bigger star at Georgia Tech and the second pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, he did so to the music of LL Cool J, Run DMC and Rakim.

“Rap music wasn’t really big at the time,” Anderson said. “It was big in the hood and everything, the soul, but I don’t think they was making a lot of money for it, but it was just awesome. And at the time nobody really cared about the money. Just cared about the feeling that it gave you.”

Cam’ron and New York rapper Fat Joe make appearances in the film. It’s also a reminder that at the height of the baggy clothes era, many of us walked around dressed like we were going to play a game at the park.

Exactly why were we wearing headbands like hats with jerseys to watch games? Perhaps it was like Jay-Z rapped on “Public Service Announcement”: “Check out my swag, yo, I walk like a ball player” that put NYC hoops into our closets?

Lieberman is coaching in the BIG3 league and is a television analyst for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Her legendary career wouldn’t be the same without those games in New York that made guards great, something she says goes as far back as Bob Cousy.

‘There’s nothing greater than New York streetball,” Lieberman said. “There’s nothing greater. It just toughens you up. And I know we didn’t know this when we were playing, but it toughed us up in life.”

As Shammgod points out, if you don’t have a little bit of New York in you, it’s hard to succeed in the NBA. He summarizes what it means to be a Point God simply with traits that describe the greats.

“I would say tough,” he said. “I would say swagger, and I would say entertainment.”

That’s certainly on display in the NBA.

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(Top photo: Chad Gittens / Courtesy of Showtime and Boardroom)

FAQs

Where can I watch point of God documentary? ›

Watch NYC Point Gods Streaming Online | Hulu (Free Trial)

Who is the point God? ›

Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul has arguably one of the coolest monikers in NBA history: “Point God”. The nickname stems back from his early days in the league, where he would display his insane floor general abilities on the court for the Hornets. He's arguably one of the best point guards of all-time.

Who produced point gods? ›

POINT GODS is directed by Sam Eliad and executive produced by Coodie and Chike, the duo behind Netflix's smash hit Kanye West documentary jeen-yuhs.

What channel is point gods on? ›

NYC Point Gods (2021) | SHOWTIME.

How much to Add SHOWTIME to Hulu? ›

Prime membership needed. Get SHOWTIME as a Premium Add-on with your Hulu subscription. 7-Day Free Trial then only $10.99/month.

How much is Chris Paul Worth? ›

Paul has won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, two Olympic gold medals, and led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times.
...
Net Worth:$160 Million
Born:May 6, 1985
Gender:Male
Height:1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Country of Origin:United States of America
3 more rows
6 Aug 2022

How do you become a basketball god? ›

To become a basketball god, you need to dedicate your self to the game of basketball. Your basketball should be your best friend. You should start shooting hoops by age 3. You also should be a natural runner, such as being able to run a 6 minute mile, by age 8.

How old is Chris Paul? ›

Who is the Bulls point guard? ›

Chicago Bulls

Who is Kenny Smith's brother? ›

Is SHOWTIME free with Hulu? ›

Get SHOWTIME for just $0.99/month for two months. Choose your Hulu base plan starting at $6.99/month, then add SHOWTIME on Hulu to get this deal. Watch hit original series, big movies, comedy specials, documentaries, and more. Showtime on Hulu premium add-on $10.99/month after 1-week free trial ends.

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You can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Showtime and get unlimited access to the network's original series, movies, and more. You can access the content through Showtime's website or its mobile app.

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SUBSCRIBE NOW. Plans start at $4.99/month. Cancel anytime.

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Chris Paul has won various awards throughout his career, including NBA Rookie of the Year, two Olympic gold medals, and an NBA All-Star Game MVP Award.
...
Chris Paul Net Worth 2022 (Updated 2022)
NameChris Paul
SalaryApproximately $30.5 million per year.
EndorsementsNike, Panini, Spalding, State Farm, Walt Disney
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Who is richest NBA player? ›

According to Forbes, Michael Jordan is NBA's richest player with a humongous net worth of US$1.7 billion.

Who is Chris Paul's wife? ›

How many points should you average in high school basketball? ›

High school basketball: Every player to average 40 points per game or more.

Who is the best basketball player to live? ›

1. Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is widely known as the game's greatest player—and for good reason. "MJ" accomplished everything possible in the game, piling up on the stats and awards.

How do you get noticed in high school basketball? ›

Top 10 ways high school basketball players can get noticed by college coaches
  1. Don't be afraid of junior colleges.
  2. Look for realistic options. ...
  3. Get your coaches involved. ...
  4. Show you're a team player. ...
  5. Make a high-quality highlight video. ...
  6. Send out emails the right way. ...
  7. Get your name out there. ...
  8. Take the initiative. ...
18 Jun 2012

Why does Chris Paul wear 3? ›

Paul's father and older brother had the same initials as him (CP1 and CP2), so Paul basically had to choose No. 3.

Is Chris Paul still married? ›

Couple Has Known Each Other since Their Teens. 01:54 P.M. Jada Crawley has been the number one woman in the life of the 9-time NBA All-star player Chris Paul for years. Almost a decade into their marriage, the couple share two adorable kids.

How much does Paul George make? ›

How tall is vucevic? ›

How old is Tristan Thompson? ›

Why is Kenny called the jet? ›

Smith graduated in 1983. While still in high school, he earned the nickname "Jet" after a local sportswriter saw the cat-quick Smith in action in an in-season game against rival Christ the King High School and reported on it the next day in the paper.

Is Kenny The Jet Smith still married? ›

Born to a Jamaican mother and British father, Osborne married retired NBA player (and current TNT basketball analyst) Kenny Smith on 2 September 2006.
...
Gwendolyn Osborne.
Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith
Years active2002-present
SpouseKenny Smith (2006-2018)
Children3
Websitegwen-osborne.com
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How much does Kenny the jet make? ›

Kenny Smith Net Worth
Net Worth:$20 Million
Salary:$4 Million
Date of Birth:Mar 8, 1965 (57 years old)
Gender:Male
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.9 m)
2 more rows

Where can I find the story of God with Morgan Freeman? ›

Watch The Story of God with Morgan Freeman | Full episodes | Disney+

Who is God Netflix? ›

The series features actor Morgan Freeman who explores various cultures and religions, and their take on religion-related topics, particularly about their belief in a God or a higher power. Freeman previously portrayed God in the films Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty.

Who is the first God? ›

Brahma God

Does God exist Yes or no? ›

The atheistic conclusion is that the arguments and evidence both indicate there is insufficient reason to believe that any gods exist, and that personal subjective religious experiences say something about the human experience rather than the nature of reality itself; therefore, one has no reason to believe that a god ...

Who is God in the Bible? ›

God in Christianity is believed to be the eternal, supreme being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe in a monotheistic conception of God, which is both transcendent (wholly independent of, and removed from, the material universe) and immanent (involved in the material universe).

Who created God? ›

We ask, "If all things have a creator, then who created God?" Actually, only created things have a creator, so it's improper to lump God with his creation. God has revealed himself to us in the Bible as having always existed.

Who is the God of religion? ›

In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. God is usually conceived of as being omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent, as well as having an eternal and necessary existence.

What is the full form of God? ›

As per most of the beliefs, the meaning or full form of GOD is Generator, Operator, Destroyer. Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion. In Hinduism, Lord Brahma is described as the Generator, Lord Vishnu as the Operator, and Lord Shiva as the Destroyer.

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