Inspired by Kevin Durant’s youth basketball career, the first three episodes of the Apple TV+ original series are available now.
Happy Swagger day.
On Friday, Apple marked the premiere of original drama series Swagger from Kevin Durant, Thirty Five Ventures, Imagine Television Studios, CBS TV Studios, and co-creator/showrunner Reggie Rock Bythewood (Shots Fired, 30 for 30’s One Night in Vegas). The first three episodes of the show are available now worldwide on Apple TV+.
Drawing upon Durant’s years playing youth basketball in the Washington, DC area, the show stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton, Just Mercy), New Jersey high school basketball player Isaiah Hill, Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Annie), Tessa Ferrer (Grey’s Anatomy, Mr. Mercedes), Shinelle Azoroh (Don’t Let Go, DeKalb Elementary), and Tristan Mack Wilds (The Wire, 90210).
The first season of Swagger will consist of 10 episodes. Following the initial trio, the remaining seven episodes will premiere on Apple TV+ every Friday through Dec. 17.
Swagger explores how players, coaches, and communities animate the world of youth, prep, and AAU basketball, but the show explores much more than what happens on the court. Fueled by Durant’s experiences at Montrose Christian School, Oak Hill Academy, and traveling teams in DC and Maryland, the show is a snapshot of the pressures, opportunities, hopes — and ultimately wins and losses — that are bigger than the game.
Series lead Jackson portrays Ike, a youth basketball coach whose own playing days (when he was known as “Icon”) are behind him. His star player is Hill’s Jace Carson, a highly-touted 14-year-old prospect and son to Azoroh’s Jenna, who feels a sincere responsibility to help him chart his path to professional glory in the NBA. As much as Swagger tracks Jace’s growth as a player, the show also explores broader themes of family life, predatory law enforcement and incarceration culture, and corruption.
In addition to serving as Swagger’s showrunner, Bythewood is a director, writer, and executive producer for the series alongside Durant. Joining them as EPs are Imagine TV’s Brian Grazer, Thirty Five Ventures co-founder/CEO Rich Kleiman, and Samantha Corbin Miller.
Early reception of the series is strongly positive, with The Hollywood Reporter calling the show “richly realized” and “one of the best new series of the year.” Variety was similarly bullish, praising Jackson’s performance as Ike and Wallis as young baller Crystal. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, in awarding the Swagger three and a half stars out of four, called it an “instantly captivating and authentic dramatic ride.”
The first three episodes of Swagger are available for streaming now on Apple TV+, with new episodes coming every Friday. Apple TV+ is available on