The White Shadow

Season 1 Episode 3

The Offer

0
Aired Monday 8:00 PM Dec 11, 1978 on CBS
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  • Episode Spotlight: The Offer, Season 1, Episode 3, 3rd episode aired.

    8.5
    "What is it most of us want from life? For some, it's glory. For others, it's power, money, and recognition. But, what is it that makes Ken Reeves forsake the opportunities for money and glory open to most professional athletes? To coach basketball in an almost forgotten high school in a Los Angeles ghetto? I don't know if we found the answer, but, what I do know is that there are 12 young high school athletes who are glad he does. From all of luck, Kenny



    Excellent summary quote. And, it sums up one of the pivotal episodes of the series. Reeves faces an early crossroads in his life, wondering if he's made the right choice for himself. Being an ex-NBA player, he certainly had more lucrative options at his disposal, like better coaching jobs, maybe front office jobs, . And, Sally Adams, a bright attractive local sportscaster, is there to hopefully convince him.



    However, there's the job he has. And it involves much more than coaching the game of basketball. It involves young men who are limited in their opportunities through no fault of their own. It involves leading and guiding them in life's choices and hopefully influencing them in making sound decisions. And, it involves being there for them in cases where a person that would normally be relied upon is absent, like a father.



    It is in the latter case where Reeves allows himself to be blinded by the trappings of Miss Adams and the glamour of the broadcasting world. Gomez is arrested for shoplifting and is allowed a phone call. He tries to call Reeves, but Reeves blows him off for a date with Miss Adams. The next day, he walks into a locker room full of despondent young men minus Gomez, who had to be locked up. The resulting confrontation between Reeves and the team is definitely one of the most powerful moments in the series.



    This confrontation is enough to convince Reeves that he's made the right choice in his life. Sure, money and prestige are important, but more so is the opportunity to have an positive influence in young lives. I dare say most teachers and coaches say that's why they do what they do.



    I loved the moment in the locker room at the end after Gomez misses a potential game-winning shot, when Reeves privately tells him, "you better keep your nose clean, Gomez. You play again like you did tonight, next time they throw you in the can, I'll leave you there!" Very poignant and funny.



    A couple of moments in this episode would lead to continuity issues later:



    -Gomez is depicted as living with a single mother. By Season 2, he's acquired an abusive father and a younger sister.



    -Reeves tells Sally Adams that he was drafted by the Bulls with the 16th pick of the first round and spent 10 seasons in the Bulls' starting lineup. Reeves' fictional NBA career would go through several changes as the series went on.
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