In an era where the three-point shot has been the major attacking scheme for any player or team, slam dunk superstar Kadour Ziani has chosen to tell his story on how he became the best dunker in the world just by sear work and focus on his craft.
In “Dunk or Die” Ziani told us his story in order to inspire and speak his truth. Ziani grew up on the playgrounds of Saint-Dizier as he avoided a life of petty crime to travel around the world with only one goal- to dunk.
He became an ambassador for the dunk community, continuously working on his art, even now, after his career with Slam-Dunk collective “Slam Nation” has come to an end. In 48-years old, Ziani can still dunk with the best of them.
“Dunk or Die” brings together family photos, interviews, archives, and spectacular images of Slam Nation’s international tours to tell his inspiring story.
Directed from Nicolas de Virieu, the film take us to a journey, where Ziani along with Slam nation and his family narrates his own triumphant story.
Here is what Ziani told me during our conversation just before the All-Star game in Cleveland back in February.
Q:What was the motivation behind making a full-legth documentary for your career?
Kadour Ziani: “First, I wanted to talk to myself and then to learn myself trying to be better person. Then, try to use my story like a way to talk to the world”
Q: Why the title ‘Dunk or Die’?
Kadour Ziani: “The only certain event in life is death. That’s the only thing we are sure of. It’s only happened to those, who have lived. It’s not provocative, it’s reality. The life is exciting, it’s good. I was like walking a tightrope. For me, It was the best reality I needed to be focused and not daydreaming too much.’’
Q: As we watch in ‘’Dunk or Die’, you said that Michael Jordan was your greatest inspiration starting your career and then going around the world with Slam Nation. Is Michael Jordan remaining the best dunker you saw in action?
Kadour Ziani: “For me, the best dunker in the world is still Michael Jordan. He was a freak athlete, his body was like a greek ancient statue. For me, he was a symbol of aestheticism, he was like gliding in the air, he played with the perception of the dunk, his hang time, his form was beautiful, he was too much.”
Q: I presume you have being in the United States many times. Do you have any relationships with NBA stars you met during your career or after? Did someone from the NBA reach out to give you guidance on the All-Star Slam Dunk contest?
Kadour Ziani: “I’m gonna be in the All-Star Weekend in Cleveland because I want to give my expertise. I was also in Chicago and LA in the past two years. I love NBA, and I would like to push the players to participate because now it’s not a priority.”
Q:As we’re closing our conversation, I would like you to send a message to the audience. Also, where and when they can watch ‘Dunk or Die’
Kadour Ziani: The message is really clear I want to give hope with hoops. The more you jump, the more you understand that everything is possible. I’m the example of that. So if you understand that (everything is possible), there’s no excuse. You can dominate and master any craft by sear discipline and repetition.
You can watch ‘Dunk or Die’ on-demand and all major digital platforms in the United States and Canada.