Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1 Review – nothing lasts forever

By Romey Norton
Published: August 17, 2022 (Last updated: December 5, 2023)


Untold tells the story of the company AND1 and how they make the unknown into icons and why it didn’t last. 

Netflix’s Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1 was released on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.

The next episode in the Untold documentary series is The Rise and Fall of AND1. This documentary has a rather compelling and competitive history and is a mixture of inspiring and heartbreaking. A story where if better, more thoughtful decisions had been made they could be potentially still going well today. 

AND1 was a company that wanted to be the number one basketball brand, and their main competitor was Nike. So, what makes the most money in basketball (if not all sports)? Shoes. This documentary starts out with the dramatic blow of how AND1 put all their eggs into one basket, getting one player to wear their new design footwear before going to public sales, hoping to get all the attention and admiration from the fans. In the middle of the game, the player breaks his ankle, while wearing those shoes. Press and marketing nightmare. This pretty much financially and socially ruins the company’s reputation.  

Now to try and salvage it, they must find something new to grasp onto. This is where the unique world of streetball comes into play. streetball is a fresh variation of Basketball — taking you away from the conventional game and the NBA, players are more poetic in their movements. It’s a mixture of hip hop, graffiti, and breakdancing all in one. They see the court as their canvas and the audience as their music. Streetball is not about winning or money. It’s usually played by underprivileged people who cannot afford to see a real NBA game, let alone have a chance at having a career in it.  

Like all honest and good things, it gets noticed. AND1 has found something unique. They put together a mix-tape tour, taking people around the world performing streetball, showcasing new and different talents, and giving people a sense of purpose and opportunity. It’s a wonderful thing — then they get greedy. Charging for tickets, selling merchandise, and where does all that money go? Not to the players. 

A tale as old as time of companies making millions and profits going into pockets rather than into the bread and butter who made the dream work. We have interviews with the developers of AND1 and their take on the company and career, as well as streetball players, and how they feel about the whole situation. 

Watching and learning about the world of streetball was a real highlight for a viewer like myself. I didn’t know much, if anything, about the sport before this documentary and I feel like I have learned a lot. Watching their impressive and innovative moves on the court is quite inspiring. 

They did so well in bringing the ordinary working man to the front of the line and even becoming the most watched show on ESPN, but when players and people feel exploited, that is the beginning of the end. This is the downfall. Even from watching them now, you can tell all they cared about was being the best and making money and it doesn’t matter who you use and how you get there. 

This documentary is just over an hour and well worth the watch. Another fantastic story in the Untold series, I highly recommend watching if you’re a fan of sports, a fan of documentaries and if you’re into watching and learning about scandals.

What do you think of Netflix’s Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix. 

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