Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Daniel Vosovic wanted to make a show about professional basketball, but got more than he expected — players changing their minds, meeting dead and dying basketball stars, and not letting go when their time was up. The show is so popular that even NBA legend LeBron James isn’t a fan.
“It makes me wonder what LeBron really thought,” Vosovic said.
Called “Squid Game,” the series follows two amateurs called Budabe and Bagger as they try to nab money and glory in the annual NBA International Squash League. Vosovic worked as a TV producer in London and was looking for a series.
Budabe is a tall American of Polish descent who wants to win for his father who was a pro basketball player, but has been struggling financially.
Bagger is Italian and an introvert, who wants to play for good lulz. The pair score a single stipend each week but must cough up money for travel, referees and tournament fees.
In an effort to catch athletes performing far from the spotlight, Budabe and Bagger are constantly told they are under-qualified or they don’t need to play.
Budabe, a 6-foot-7 player, skips practice and instead hangs out with the star players. He shows them how to use a net, rams their support rackers — usually water bottles — into the court and rolls a ball down the court. A basketball coach or a player’s agent usually tells them to change their techniques or techniques get out. In the end, Budabe makes a rare but crucial play.
Bagger shares in Budabe’s accomplishments on camera — until it’s his turn to play against LeBron James and company.
“It made me realize I can’t get too close to him — he’s playing the game he knows and loves,” Vosovic said.