With the NBA conference finals in full swing, my mind has turned to basketball movies. Strangely, there just aren’t that many good basketball movies. It seems that baseball and football movies get all the love.
In any case, here are my five favorite basketball movies.
5. Space Jam
Yes, it’s a goofy movie with Michael Jordan and a bunch of Looney Toons characters, but it knows this and doesn’t take itself at all seriously. The result is a movie that’s actually fun (and funny).
4. Blue Chips
A look at the greed and cheating that supposedly runs rampant in college basketball. While an entertaining movie, it tries too hard to makes its points at times, and comes across as cliche.
3. White Men Can’t Jump
The first twenty minutes of this Wesley Snipes/Woody Harrelson buddy picture are among the funniest ever filmed. While the rest of the movie doesn’t maintain the same high level, it’s still a very funny movie. It’s also the only movie I can think of that accurately explores the atmosphere of street basketball.
2. Glory Road
Based upon the true story of Coach Don Haskins, “Glory Road” tells the tale of the first all-black starting lineup college basketball team to win the national championship. While much artistic license was taken in the script, the movie stays true to the spirit of the challenges the team faced in a racially divided America.
Inspired by the Milan (Indiana) Indians’ state title of 1954. “Hoosiers” is David versus Goliath on the basketball court. A successful college basketball coach with a shady past (played brilliantly by Gene Hackman) takes a job as coach at a small high school in Indiana, leading them to greatness.