Basketball provides immense entertainment. The action is fast and furious, as players charge up and down the court from end to end, and you don’t need to be able to understand the rules of the game inside out to enjoy it. You can really develop a passion for the sport, and, feeling inspired by your favorite team, you might even start playing basketball and learning from the stars of the NBA.
Following basketball is also a great conversation starter because you can talk about the game of the night before with work colleagues or family. You might even check the NAB Championship odds
and lay down a bet together, or make a competition out of it and see who can predict the finals winner.
Basketball is an incredibly cool sport. So cool, in fact, that several movie makers have felt it would make a great subject for a movie. Below is a look at some of the best movies about basketball or which feature basketball in them.
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Perhaps one of the most iconic basketball movies ever stars Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as a pair of hustlers who go around the city playing basketball for money. Opponents pick Harrelson to be Snipes’s teammate, assuming he’s a lousy basketball player, but receive a shock when he’s actually quite good and they end up losing the bet. Rosie Perez plays Harrelson’s girlfriend and the third wheel to the hustling duo in this comedy.
The movie was thought to have grossed more than $90 million worldwide. Twenty-five years later, the film has now been remade. It stars Sinqua Walls, Jack Harlow and Lance Reddick, and is set to come out later in May, straight to TV channel Hula. Having viewed the trailer, however, some reviewers don’t hold high hopes for the movie, stating that the central characters lack the charisma and chemistry of Snipes and Harrelson in the original.
Coach Carter (2005)
“Coach Carter,” starring Samuel Jackson, was a box office success. When the film came out, it debuted as the top weekend movie with $23.6 million and pushed down “Meet the Fockers,” which had been number one for three weekends, down to the second spot.
In the movie, Jackson plays a high-school basketball coach who closes down the program to focus on his players’ academic education. The movie is based on the story of true-life basketball coach Ken Carter, who locked the 1999 Richmond High School team out of playing until the players improved their grades. The coach changes an unmotivated team with some well-intentioned but strict values and scathingly sarcastic temperament.
This inspirational gem of a movie stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a basketball coach who pulls no punches as he instils the fundamentals of the game into the Hickory team. The film is every bit the classic underdog movie as the team works hard, displays unity and harnesses the support of its small rural town to will itself to victory against a tough, much more highly regarded opponent. The film laid out the blueprint for the motivational speech of being winners if you play hard, regardless of how events play out on the scoreboard.
No one could have predicted the success of “Hoosiers.” Even Gene Hackman himself thought the film would severely damage his career, if not end it. Instead, it raked in $28 million at the box office and received two Oscar nominations (Dennis Hopper for Best Supporting Actor, and Jerry Goldsmith for Best Original Score). The feelgood nature of the movie made it a real hit.
Space Jam (1996)
“Space Jam” is one of those basketball movies that has etched itself into the hearts and minds of basketball fans for the rest of their days. The film pairs up Michael Jordan, who was in his absolute prime at the time of the movie, with various Looney Tunes characters, who hire Jordan to help them defeat alien monsters who have stolen powers from other stars of the NBA.
The film combines live action and animation and features other household names from the NBA such as Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing. Non-NBA stars include Bill Murray and Wayne Knight.
The 2021 sequel to the original, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which stars LeBron James, has been a hit despite not pleasing reviewers. TV channel HBO Max screened the sequel on the same day it came out in movie theaters, and it did so at no extra charge. That didn’t stop fans flocking to watch it on the big screen, however.
Basketball has provided inspiration for many more movies. If you’re a fan of basketball and haven’t seen the movies above, why not give them a try? Other basketball movies you may wish to check out include “Blue Chip” (1994), “Love and Basketball” (2000) and “Hustle” (2022).