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Dale Davis debuts "Playas Ball" in Houston

Chauncey, Rip, Ben, Sheed and Flip aren't the only Pistons in Houston this weeked -- Dale Davis is down there, too. Why? Well, as you may have heard, his production company, W.A.R. Entertainment, debuted their first feature film, "Playas Ball."

We're admittedly late in the game talking about this -- the Free Press did a nice write-up on Davis, his company and the movie over a week ago -- but it's better late than never. From the Freep:

W.A.R. stands for World Ain't Right. Those are more than letters to Davis. They speak his deeply held philosophy, a perspective gained from growing up "without the silver spoon" in his mouth, he said, and working toward a career in an exclusive club populated by mostly black men, like him.

While basketball is first and foremost in Davis' heart, W.A.R. follows as a close second.

In his journey through life, Davis said he has learned that there's still plenty of work to do to make the world a better place.

"It's about things just not being right in the world," he said. "It's the struggle, which is a war, a lot of the times, that's within. It applies to pretty much every situation that you can think of. I look at it as what I can do to make it better."

What he thought he could do was give urban artists, actors and writers a company committed to helping them achieve their dreams in the music and movie industries. And he wanted to spread positive, yet realistic messages, about urban life -- especially for blacks.

"Playas Ball" was actually completed in 2003 but was shelved for a couple of years while waiting for the right distributor to come along. It also garnered quite a bit of controversy -- at least among those in know -- due to its similarites to real-life. It's about a well-liked professional basketball player who's seemingly on top of the world only to be knocked down due to date rape allegations and a paternity suit. Sound like anyone you've heard of? Well, apparently filming wrapped about five months before Kobe Bryant was accused of rape.

Word spread that Davis was shopping a movie with an eerily similar storyline. He became the focus of some strange conspiracy theories. Some bloggers accused Davis, who was with Portland at the time, of planting the woman in Colorado with the dual purpose of disrupting the Lakers' budding dynasty and promoting his movie.

Davis chalked up the similarities to a "freak of nature."

"In actuality, it wasn't a Kobe Bryant story," he said "It was a story of a professional athlete -- he did sign a huge shoe endorsement contract, he did get accused of the rape situation -- and it showed some of the trials and tribulations that he went through (despite) being a squeaky-clean athlete."

But because of the sensitivity of the matter, Davis waited to release the movie. Now he's ready to show it to the world. And he hopes the fact that life imitated his art strengthens his message.

The film's red carpet premier was on Thursday in Houston, and the first public viewing was Friday night in Houston. There are plans for the movie to come to Detroit, but details or dates don't appear to have been released yet. If you're interested, though, check out the movie's web site for a trailer -- click on the "Film Production" link at the top.

THE PISTONS' SPIELBERG? [Detroit Free Press]
W.A.R. Entertainment