The Ultimate Basketball Movie List

This list is always growing and is intended to include every movie or video that has basketball in it in any way. The movies are not listed in any order.

Teen Wolf

Michael J Fox
Micheal J. Fox plays as both himself and the Wolf. He’s the shortest player on the floor by about 5 inches, but it doesn’t stop him from driving the lane and throwing around the back passes like crazy. He unstoppable when he’s the Wolf, but he longs to play as himself. He decides to risk his teammates wrath by playing the finals as his Alex P. Keaton-like self. The most tense moment in the film occurs when Mike is nailed at the buzzer and goes nose to nose with the bully before sinking both free throws.

He Got Game

He Got Game
Spike Lee’s take on the high stakes world of college recruiting contains some of the best basketball seen in any recent movie. The deal is this: Denzel’s locked up in the joint, and can earn his freedom if he gets his phenom son, Jesus Shuttlesworth (nice name Spike), to go to the prison warden’s Alma Mater. I know, the plot is a bit of a stretch. The movie then shows all the moves people try to make on Jesus trying to make his talent pay off for themselves.

Various highlights: Ray Allen does a decent acting job. Rick Fox continues to try and establish himself as basketball’s master thespian. Denzel rocks a fro and displays a pretty decent game himself. However, having Ray Allen as the star presents one problem. When he played Denzel in one on one, I found it hard to buy into the hard-fought competitive game. I mean Denzel’s got some game, but I think we all realize Ray could beat him even if he was tied up like Garnett is in those Nike commercials. If Denzel really could give Ray a run for his money, chances are he’d be winding up his career in the NBA right now.

This movie features some good cameos (Walter McCarty puts in a briliant, quitely determined performance as one of Jesus’s teammates) and is overall a very good show. However, it has a universally disliked ending that kind of puts a damper on things. In spite of that, I recommend this movie to all ballers.

Blue Chips

blue-chips
As you might be able to tell by the title, Blue Chips deals with the many ups and downs of college basketball. Nick Nolte plays a formerly successful coach whose program has fallen on hard times. It chronicles his attempt to resurrect his team through some old-fashioned recruiting, and some new school shady business.

Blue Chips contains lots of basketball players playing major roles and some coaches in cameos. This movie was the first time Penny and Shaq played as teammates and the chemistry they displayed was rumored to be one of the reasons the Magic traded for Penny. I bet the Magic wish they could have kept their two former stars reading from a script, so they could have kept them together by writing best buddy roles for them. They might well have become the dynasty people thought they’d be, instead of the NCAA all-star team they were back then.

The basketball in Blue Chips is pretty good quality and has a great scene with Shaq playing in some basement court and blocking the bejesus out of everyone. It also contains one of Hero Hill executive Bryan’s favorite moments on film – Bobby Hurley playing for Indiana. Nick Nolte does a great impression of a coach blowing a gasket on more than one occasion. One interesting note, Shaq speaks better and with more feeling in this movie than he does in most interviews. Perhaps the interviews are just bad acting.

Celtic Pride

Celtic Pride
Note to all Celtic fans…this movie attacks us when we are down. Filling the stereotypical role of the early Celtic teams, everyone is white, no one can dunk, and I think they even use the picket fence once! However aside from that, the movie has merit. There are lots of cameos, and the scenes in the bar are hilarious. Watch for a huge cameo by the great one…Mr. Larry Bird.

Negatively, the actual basketball is weak, and Damon Wayans looks like he couldn’t be a star in the WNBA, but on the whole, a funny rental. As for those who crush the movie strictly because it is about the Celtics…Pitino is starting to hook things up in Beantown, so get on your knees now, because when the Green machine runs rampant, we Celtic fans will have taken names, and will be looking for some asses to kick.

The Air Up There

The Air Up There

I heard that in Footloose Kevin Bacon had a stand-in that did all his dancing for him. Unfortunately, Kevin does all all the ballin’ in this movie. Luckily, he has a “bad knee” that he can use to explain his ultra-slow game. This movie features the typical bullies versus underdogs storyline that all good family sports-movies do. There’s the fat guy, the girl, and the reluctant star player. It’s kind of interesting because they play on the African plains, so you can imagine the hijinks that ensue. A good movie to watch with the youngsters. For me, the most interesting part about this movie was the African guy who was the star player ended up playing division III ball in the States.

An Innocent Man

An Innocent Man
Not much ball in this movie. It is more about crooked cops and Tom Selleck getting punked every which way he turns. But after ending up in the joint, Selleck shows he has mediocre game. He busts j’s on all kinds of cats, winning smokes for all his friends. I guess anyone who can be Magnum PI, and Mr. Baseball, must have some game. I remember the movie being pretty good at one point in my life, but upon further review, it gets a Christian Laettner rating. It could have been and should have been good – but it wasn’t.

Eddie

eddie
I think this movie could very well be the reason why Whoopi Goldberg is now the permanent middle square on the New Hollywood Squares. Basic plot: Whoopi becomes coach of the Knicks – and does a slightly better job than Van Gundy. A lot of NBA players act in this movie playing, you guessed it, NBA players. Rick Fox is at it again, staking his claim to become the Olivier of basketball actors. Greg Ostertag plays the usual clumsy oaf he does for the Jazz every game, by he throws in a twist by using a goofy Lithuanian accent. This movie uses predictable, woman as coach jokes, and has a weak storyline. The basketball in the movie is nothing special, and neither is this movie. In fact the only reason I’ve seen this movie is because my man Mike had some free passes; I believe he over-paid.

American History X

American History X
This movie was excellent. It was filled with controversy, and the plot was great. Ed Norton was the man. The movie focused on the transition of a confused teenager (who becomes a skinhead after his dad dies in a black neighborhood and who ends up in jail and slowly realizes how stupid racism is. Make no mistake, this movie is great, and should be seen by everyone…. However, if we are rating on basketball, this movie is weak. The skinheads play the local African-americans for control of the court (forever), after the fat skinhead slob runs his mouth. Norton steps in to get his game on.

We at bcza.ch are not down with racism AT ALL, but the plot leads to a spirited game. Norton decides he is the reincarnation of Pistol Pete and whips around the back passes like mad and overall, the game is pretty funny looking. What makes the balling terrible, is Norton throwing down a huge two handed reverse (it reminded of the scene at the end of Boogie Nights, because this dunk was all done with smoke and mirrors).

The Mighty

The Mighty
This movie is the story of two very different kids who become best friends. One is a big hulking oaf that everyone makes fun of but is a misunderstood oaf with a big heart. The other is a small kid with leg braces that is a super genius. Basketball enters this movie in a couple of places. The kids are playing basketball in gym class when the two main characters first meet. The second instance occurs after they become good friends. The kids play ball with the small kid on the big kids shoulders. The premise is that the small kid finally gets to play sports like the other kids using the big kids legs. The highlight of the game is when the small kid throws down a two handed jam for game point. A family movie with a bit of basketball thrown in to help the plot.

White Men Can’t Jump

White Men Can't Jump
Being a white guy who thinks he can jump a bit, I often thought this movie could have had a different title. Something like “Woody Harrelson can’t jump” or perhaps “White men cannot get Puerto Rican girlfriends like Rosie Perez”. But anyway, about the movie. In my opinion, this movie has one of the best basketball oriented storylines of any movies on this list. It’s centered around playground ball in L.A. Woody¬†Harrelson plays a baller from the Midwest who was a college star and got involved in a gambling scandal. He goes west in hopes of making some big cash by suckering the hustlers on the ball courts. He gets hooked up with Wesley Snipes and they make quite the team, capitalizing on the fact that Woody looks like a sucky white boy. This is a funny movie with some pretty decent basketball. It has some crap moments, like the obligatory Woody dunk, but overall this is a fun movie to watch and I do recommend it.

Basketball Diaries

Basketball Diaries
How can a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Marky Mark not be good. Marky Mark has always been known to flap his gums about his game (saying he wanted to Dunk on the Beasties), and after this movie, I think they should take him up on it.

The plot involves a bunch of prep school hoodlums who actually have a good ball squad. They mangle kids while their friend steals all the gear from the opponents locker room. This leads to some brawls and what not. Anyways, they start messing around with the nice and some pills, while their game goes down the crapper. One funny scene though. They take downers instead of uppers and try to ball. Worth watching just for this scene. Well they get all wacked out on hard drugs and they start jonesing for it. One of them even ends up playing a solo on some guys skin flute to get some cash. Drug drugs drugs, which are good, which are bad. No one wants that! The balling is pretty weak, and the movie isn’t really any better. Rent it just because DiCaprio has sex with the two hot twins from Sweet valley High.

Hoosiers

Hoosiers
This movie is unbelievable! It goes down as my favorite ball movie of all time. The plot, simple. A big time coach gets fired from his college team for punching a player, comes to Hickory to teach and coach the team. Only 6 guys try out and they are like poison! The town star, Jimmy Chitwood, won’t play because his folks passed or something, so he wants to get an free ride to college because of his brains, not his jumpshot. Well the coach (all the while trying to get his love on with the “hot teacher”) installs a strict system of 5 passes before a shot and practices with no balls and what not. Well the locals from Hickory don’t like this. The want to see the fruit of their loins jacking long range one footed jumpers a la Larry Bird. Well after a few losses, the crowd freaks calls for the coaches head on a platter. However Jimmy Chitwood (aka the town hero) decides at the town meeting he wants to play but only for coach Cracker.

Well, the locals have to swallow their pride and the little team from Hickory starts going off. They run the picket fence, the weave, and everything. Plus there is a wicked fight where the team jerk finds out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop when he delivers a huge sucker on some guy who gets in coach’s face. Bottom line, make it to the State Championships and play against this huge school in the Indianapolis SuperDome or something. The other squad is all black guys with macking fros and tough old school Adidas (Hickory represents Chucks to the fullest). Well in the end, hickory wins the championship story, everyone loves coach, he gets his lovin’ and it is the feelgood story of the 50’s.
Side note, I went to this movie in theatre way back in the day, with the Grosvenor Wentworth legend Dave MacInnis…Nothing kinky, but he paid..so win win!

NBA Superstars Volume 1 (Video)

This ball video is incredible. It is highlights of all the best players from around 1989 put to some of the “rockin jams” of that period. Probably this video is worth watching because Akeem (before the H) busts his skills to Kool Moe Dee’s “How You Like Me Now”. These skills include watching him trying to dribble the length of the court with Bill Walton chasing him….

As for highlights, Bird goes off to “Small Town” by Mellancamp, and Barkley rips it to “I am the Warrior” (check out the black eye he has in this, previously seen on Shane Mack’s wicked caricature shirt). The video also has highlights from the league’s small men like Fat Lever, Michael Adams and Mark Price, plus a cameo of Reggie Theus when he still had a Jheri curl fro, and before he was telling Vince D’Amato and Julie how to run the two man game on hangtime. The section done to Herbie Hancock’s “Rocket” has soon of the best spin moves from the 80’s! It also has a section on Dominiqe where he rips the rim on just about every Jack Sikma looking cat in the NBA. I wonder why they didn’t put in the clip of him getting SPINA Bifida from trying the windmill in the All Star game. Only down fall (for me at least) was that Jordan’s section was slown down to make it look like he was flying.
This is my favorite video, and my only question is how come everyone of Magic’s no-look passes uses Rambis as the decoy. When the bigman runs the floor, give him the rock, no matter how dry his layup/Mike Hawkes fingertip jam will be.

NBA Superstars Volume 1 (Video)

This is a first for this page, having both of us review the same thing. However, Superstars 1 is a jewel and I had to put in my two cents.

Barkley’s “Warrior” segment pretty much blew my mind. There’s a clip where he jumps up to block a shot and catches the ball with one hand, brings it down and starts the break the other way. This cemented my faith as a Barkley fan regardless of all the stupid shit he’s said and done. The Dr. J segment is also kickass. The Doctor had a style all his own, and his windmill jam on Michael Cooper is one of my all-time favorite dunks. Dominique also throws down some monster dunks on this tape. I think people forget how amazing ‘Nique could be at the top of his game.

The conclusion to be deduced from these two reviews is simple – this video is amazing. It is a great look at the NBA during one of the best periods in its history. If you like basketball at all and you haven’t seen this video, see it now.

Escape From L.A.

This is a sequel of sorts to the classic Escape From New York. Kurt Russell plays Snake Pliskin a rugged badass that everyone thought was long dead.

The basketball sequence in this movie is pretty forgettable. Snake is captured by the bad folks and has to do some ballin’ to earn his freedom. He has to score 10 points, alternating baskets on a full court in like 10 seconds. Kurt displays his two-handed, two-foot sissy kick jumper a couple of times and finishes the contest by draining a court-length, one-handed fling for the win. Kurt’s game is pretty weak, and in real life I think it would take him longer than 10 seconds to get those points.

Above the Rim

Ok, first off this movie starred Tupac, so if you saw Poetic Justice, you know the quality of the acting is not gonna be award winning. Well, the basic premise of this movie is a good kid from the ghetto with “college type game” starts hanging with Tupac (Birdy) and runs into trouble all over the place.

Birdy’s brother (the loner) comes to town and works security at the high school where this kid plays. This leads to some crazy flashback scene where his best friend died trying to see who could jump higher up on the backboard on a rooftop court and his boy plummets to his death. He also macks on this kid’s mom, so of course this is a touchy situation. Well once he starts running with Birdy’s posse, his game goes to shit, and he is blowing his chance to make it to college. During this crap, he sees the LoneStar playing a game of one on none with no ball…nutty double fudge.

This LoneStar was freakin the ghost of his dead homey (forget pouring out liquor).
Well he finally breaks free, hooks up with his high school team in the streetball championship and their squad battles Birdy for the title. Well, after a segment of huge (but terrible looking jams) the finals come and Birdy’s squad starts hammering the HS squad. This is when the loner steps into the game, and starts busting ugly fifteen footers like mad (while wearing skin tight jeans and a long sleeve waffle shirt). They win at the buzzer, and the kid gets his shot (last clip is him winning a game for Georgetown on the worst shot ever, I mean the three stiffs he shoots around, not over, look like the chumps that lose to the squad from Hang Time). The ball is kinda weak, like a cross between white men can’t jump and a flick that actually tries to make it look cool. They have crazy playground moves, and if you love the bounce oop, you will be in heaven. After seeing it once, I had enough, but if that is your style, get this movie and get stoked.

Space Jam

I’m not a fan of animated movies usually but the Looney Tunes are pretty comical. This movie has so many great cameos it is worth watching just to see who pops up next. Bird, Bill Murray and Jordan playing golf, LJ, Shawn Bradley (I don’t know how he made the cut, other than the fact he looks like an albino, slimfast-ed Frankenstein..this list goes on and on, like a high school science teacher.

The story is simple, Jordan is snatched by the Looney Tunes to help save the day against some aliens in a huge basketball game. The rest of the stars are brought down to fill out the squad. After some rigorous practice, and picking up a Jimmy Walker female bunny with mad skills like Jad Cnogorac, the squad is ready to bust. The ball is funny, as they are playing against cartoons, but for a laugh it is ok.

An interesting side note, during the filming, Bird (who only lets you film him for four hours then he’s gone like tequila at Marco’s mexican party’s) was getting bitter at the length of time Jordan was taking and wanted a drink. He busted into a cooler, when some lowly stage hand informed him that that was Jordan’s cooler and entry was denied.

Bird, because he is the MF man, grabbed the cooler (when you are the man, you don’t go in the backdoor, unless you are Doobie on Sam Bhalla), told her to EADS, and gave the crew MJ’s precious drinks. He’s lucky he didn’t take his starring role in the movie….Sorry, I forgot not everyone loves Bird like I do.

One On One

This is your serious PBS, or lately, TBS Sunday afternoon movie. The focus of this movie is this little point guard that is basically a hybrid of Damon Bailey and Bobby Hurley from the seventies (rocking a tough Patridge Family style head of hair). This kid has skills and loves the razzle dazzle. His coach, who is basically biting Bob Knight’s style, however does not. Even though this kid brings the pain in practice, the coach thinks he is too small and too much of a hot dog. He tries to get the kid to quit and give up his scholarship by killing him in practice and not playing him.

This guy takes some heat (elbow macaroni, and that kind of deal). He doesn’t want to give in, and says he is gonna stay the 4 years no matter what and he even decides to indulge in an older lady (his tutor). Knowing that he is kickin it with the females, he starts to enjoy the scene, and his ball stress drops.

The best part of this movie is the serious use of old school kicks. Chuck Taylors, and some nice vintage Adidas. This kid ordered a side order of game in real life. On the Tonight Show he actually played Magic in 1 on 1, and after putting two in Magic’s mouth, Magic actually had to play and use his weak backdown style to score three quick ones to win.

Forget Paris

Ok, first off, I must confess, I didn’t watch all of this movie because it sucked, but it had crazy cameos. Hell Curt Rambis was in this movie. The nightmare (which is this plot) starts with the fact that the lead is a basketball referee that has to choose between the love of his life and his woman. Anyone seeing the problem here…Billy Crystal couldn’t get laid (if he weren’t famous) if he was carpet. What women would care if he had to referee all the time and couldn’t spend romantic evenings with her? They would just be happy to hook onto his gravy train, and would hope he didn’t walk in on the milkman making his special delivery.

So after much emotional distress, and visits to the big screen by Dan Marleje, Sir Charles, David Robinson and numerous others…actually I don’t know how it ends because it was 21 Bunkstreet and I turned it off.
If you liked When Harry met Sally, and movies like that…you are probably female and won’t be on this site.

Houseguest

What’s that, you don’t remember the ballin in this flick? Well think hard, there was some serious hooping in this box-office disaster.

First off, I don’t know why people keep casting Sinbad in these made-for-video movies, but Phil Hartman must have had a speedball or two before reading this script and agreeing. Basic premise, Sinbad pretends to be a long time friend of Hartman’s from the old school and overtime helps Phil realize he is neglecting his family and driving them apart. Sinbad comes in, rocking the orange fade, and the long earing, and earns the love of the family before….of course his cover is blown. They family is so touched by what he did, that they stay great friends.

Now the balling. Terrible, and short. Sinbad plays ball with a young kid and after the game, he throws his pit stained shirt in the kids face. Probably the only reason I reviewed this movie is because that young punk (Damien) is an associate of the Hero Hill office in Pittsburgh. We have invested in his career, which has led to roles in other movies like Dogma and the new Michael Douglas film. According to Damien, and as seen on TV, Sinbad has no game, and stinks.

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams is a classic film. It’s a documentary about two kids growing up in Chicago’s housing projects and it covers mainly their high school years and their efforts to earn basketball scholarships.

The two ballers William Gates and Arthur Agee go to two different schools in the Chi-town area. William goes to an exclusive prep-school on a scholarship, while Arthur goes the public-school route. The ball shown is really good and quite intense which is to be expected because you’re watching real-life games. The ball highlights include a young Arthur playing some one on one with Chicago legend Isiah Thomas, and William at the Nike ABCD camp hangin’ with future fab fivers Chris Webber and Juwan Howard (with the high top fade).

This is not only a great basketball movie, it’s also a great movie in general. The events that occur in these kids lives drag you in to the story and keep your attention cause they’re really happening. William and Arthur are two likeable kids who are trying their hardest to make their way to college. Despite some struggles, William has some knee problems and Arthur has some academic problems, they both end up starting for their respective schools. They both also end up going to college. William goes to Marquette, while Arthur makes his way to South Carolina State.

Any serious Basketball fan should make a point to see this movie if you haven’t already.

Rebound

Rebound is the story of New York legend Earl “The Goat” Manigault. Earl is portrayed by Don Cheadle and also his brother Colin Cheadle who plays the young Goat. The Goat grows up in Harlem in the shadow of the famous Rucker ball courts and grows from an aspiring youngster trying to jam while wearing ankle weights, to a schoolboy star setting scoring records.

As the Goat’s legend grows, so does the influence of the various Harlem Hustlers on the Goat’s life. They bring him to their hangouts and introduce him to booze and Dr. Eric Benton from ER (Eriq La Salle who plays Diego) hooks him up with one of his hotties. The Goat keeps pressing his luck and eventually gets expelled the day before the Big showdown between his team and Lew Alcindor’s squad in the city finals. He was expelled because the track coach caught him puffing la-la with his boys and then ratted him out when he couldn’t blackmail the Goat into joining the track squad as the high-jump ace. Goat gets his act together and gets a scholarship to a small Florida school. He drops out though when his friend Mr. Rucker dies and his new coach turns out to be a royal prick.

The ballin’ in this flick was pretty good. The best stuff was from the playground games. There’s a great game near the beginning where the local hustlers play for big dinero in pants and loafers. Joe Smith plays Connie Hawkins and jams on everyone. There’s a scene where The Goat grabs a quarter off the top of a backboard to win a bet. I know that there’s lots of people with big hops, but Goat was a shade over 6 feet, and that’s a Vince Carter on Ben Johnson Roids kind of hop. The inside games are a little lacking however, getting a little Fresh Prince-esque at times. Don Cheadle is a good actor though, so we’ll cut him some slack. The big Rucker tournament is classic too, with the Goat being the only high school player to play the pro division. Kevin Garnett makes an appearance as a young Wilt the Stilt. This was a very solid basketball movie.

Baseketball

OK, now the game in this movie is weaker than Montross and Pervis Ellison playing 1 on 1 from outside the key (Pervis I was there when you bricked the breakaway lay-up after your only career steal). The movie is however, hilarious. The movie starts cuz one of the South Park creaters catches Reggie Jackson’s third homerun in a World Series game and vows to become a sports star. Unfortunately, he is fat, and lazy so he is 30 and still acts like he is in high school. Well after a party, that they get exiled from, they start shooting the ole ball, and realize if they didn’t have to move, they would be wicked at basketball (even though their jumpers are like Acie Earl’s, and you know how ugly his form was). Well Preppy Longstockings, and his friend challenge them to a game, and in an effort to look cool, they make up baseketball. It slowly catches on, and becomes a sport for all common guys, and they start a league and shit. After that, the typical scenario takes place, team gets in trouble, one player becomes stoked on greed and playboy playmates of the year, other guy falls in love..blah blah blah… they win it all.

Now on a comic value, surprisingly this movie is as funny as Andrew Cooke trying to break a press with his crossover machine gun move. I was in tears. I was out of my gourd, but it was still hilarious (or maybe that is why). Cameo of Kareem in a glass case was too funny, and anyone who has seem Orgazmo, will love the role played by Choda boy (“Squeek”). The humor is off color, but is sweet (ie. taking a kid with liver disease to a bar to complete his last wish of hanging out with the guys on the team, and pounding tequila shots into him like they were water). Jenny McCarthy and Yasmine Bleeth are in the movie for eye candy, and it is worth renting.

Senseless

This movie almost didn’t get reviewed, because in like five minutes, everyone will be bringing up how I look like David Spade. The premise of this movie is simple… Marlon Wayans (yes, the guy from the 1800-ATT Kung Fu add), is given a potion that enhances his senses. The only draw back is if one is enhanced, one loses control. So if he can smell like mad, he may go blind. Well the movie was ill and Spade and Wayans had the chemistry of Dr. Faught (glass eye and all).

The basketball in this movie???? You forgot about it didn’t you. Marlon is at the Knicks game and loses his sight. He starts bad mouthing Ewing about being a monkee with big lips…only to realize that he is right in front of Ewing. Ewing gets bitter, and there ya go.

Renting this movie is like picking up at the palace. It seems like it could be a great idea, until you get it home and see the truth.

The Wood

The Wood takes place in Inglewood California starring Omar Epps and some other people. It flashes between Epps and his 2 buddies preparing for a wedding in the present time and back in time to their youth. It has some great flashbacks of back in the day, with Jheri Curls and Adidas Track Suits, but aside from that the basketball scenes are very little.

To catch the scenes all you have to do is watch the first 15-20 minutes. It mostly consists of background players in a schoolyard standing around with basketballs in their hands, and the odd dribble or shot. In the forefront, the young Epps and his 2 buddies are holding a basketball. His 2 friends ask Epps if he’s a player and he says no, he plays baseball. The best part is right after when one of his buddies says he should be playing basketball and refers to Kurtis Blow. That was a scene stealer. So overall, the basketball scenes have slightly more action than what Rony Seikaly saw back in the day, but the movie overall wasn’t bad and the Kurtis Blow reference does help….

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