Throughout the history of cinema, many film have been made about basketball, from masterpieces to B-movies.
After Space Jam 2 release in USA and UK on July 2021, we recommend you the best 10 movies dedicated to basketball ever been realized.
This is not a ranking, but a list of 10 not-to-be-missed movies: real events adaptations or entirely fictional stories with a common point: basketball.
Best basketball movies
1. Glory Road
Inspired by a true story of Texas Western Miners‘ Coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas), who led the first all-black starting lineup team to the 1966 NCAA national basketball championship title. Coach Haskins has a lot going against him: first, Texas Western has a poor basketball program, and second, he cannot recruit good white players to the team. Coach Haskins goes to Northern cities to recruit talented black players from the streets to play for his team. The black players must adjust to his coaching, and not play street basketball. Coach Haskins doesn’t see color when he evaluates the skill of all of his players, and chooses who plays in the game. With courage and determination, Coach Haskins changed basketball history, when his underdog team beats the powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats.
2. Coach Carter
Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract with him.
Funny, exciting, adrenaline, moving. The true story of the Richmond Oilers coached by Ken Carter.
3. The Carter Effect
In his latest documentary, Sean Menard gives viewers an unprecedented look at Vince Carter: the six-foot-six, eight-time NBA All-Star from Daytona Beach who made waves in the Canadian basketball scene when he joined the Raptors in 1998.
Produced by LeBron James, through interviews with athletes and showbiz personalities, such as Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady and Drake, let’s find out the deep impact Vinsanity had on NBA.
Based on the book Basketball Journey, it’s the true story of the Indiana Milan High School team that made the state finals in 1954. It chronicles the attempts of a coach with a spotty past, and the town’s basketball-loving drunk to lead their high school team to victory.
5. Space Jam
Michael Jordan, momentarily retired from basketball, is projected in Looney Tunes world to save Bugs Bunny and his friends from a band of galactic monsters. How can he? Challenging them to a basketball game.
6. He Got Game
“A Spike Lee Joint”, words that guarantee the quality of the movie.
Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) is in prison serving time for killing his wife in a violent family feud. He is released on parole, but with one condition: he must persuade his son, genius basketball player Jesus (Ray Allen) to sign with the governor’s alma mater university, Big State. And Jake only has a week to do it.
7. The Way Back
Jack Cunningham was a high school basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.
Perhaps one of the crudest movies, offering a real insight into basketball and everyday life, without the filters of pietism.
“We’re talking about practice, not a game”: these words sound familiar? Have you read Not A Game by Kent Babb yet?
Iverson is the ultimate legacy of NBA legend Allen Iverson, who rose from a childhood of crushing poverty in Hampton, Virginia, to become an 11-time NBA All-Star and universally recognized icon of his sport. Told largely in Iverson’s own words, the film charts the career highs and lows of one of the most distinctive and accomplished figures the sport of basketball has ever seen.
9. White Men Can’t Jump
Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) is a white basketball hustler who banks on black players underestimating his skills on the court. When he pulls one over on Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes), his victim sees a lucrative opportunity, and they become partners in the con game, plying their trade across the courts of Los Angeles.
This comedy inspired many players: Pat Connaughton showed up at the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest dressed up as the characters.
10. Uncle Drew
An anti-ageist comedy about a man’s dream to win the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem.
A roundup of stars, from Kyrie Irving to Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Shaq , Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie.
Bonus: Blue Chips
Nick Nolte, Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway: Blue Chips bet on these three superstars to tell the story of a college basketball coach forced to break the rules in order to get the players he needs to stay competitive.