With so many corny and over-directed basketball films out there, and with the recent news about a possible He Got Game sequel, we figured it was time to put together another rundown of all the best hoop flicks (we dropped an original list way back in 2010). No criteria needed here, just good action and solid storylines… stuff that’ll make you come back again and again.
You also won’t find any documentaries here — so while Hoop Dreams is revolutionary, amazing and timeless, it won’t be found on this list. Here are the 20 best films you need to see as a basketball/movie fan.
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20. THE SIXTH MAN
SUMMARY: The final spot on this list could’ve been held down by a number of different movies. Fast Break. O. Pistol. Maybe even Eddie. But since I barely remember anything about any of those flicks, I have to give it to The Sixth Man. Say what you want about this one, but at least it was sort of memorable.
BEST SCENE: Umm… I’ll go with anything besides the basketball action.
19. CELTIC PRIDE
SUMMARY: A couple of Boston fans kidnap Utah’s best player on the even of the NBA Finals. Lewis Scott is an arrogant gunner, just the type of cat that Boston fans hate. Two of the Celtics’ biggest fans decide to get trashed with him on a night out and end up kidnapping the dude. Not a great movie, but it does have its moments.
BEST SCENE: Anyone have one? Nothing from this movie stands out at all.
18. THE BASKETBALL DIARIES
SUMMARY: Despite the flick’s title, the movie has very little to do with basketball. It’s a coming-of-age tale about a troubled kid living in a tough situation, a kid who’s “different” than everyone else. (Where have we heard that one before?) Jim Carroll is played convincingly by Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie has that going for it at least. After a long fall due to the streets, Jim eventually retrieves some semblance of balance in his life.
BEST SCENE: It’s not a fun scene to watch, but seeing Jim go back to his mother looking for some money is pretty heart-breaking. Check it out in the trailer below.
SUMMARY: This comedy might be the funniest movie on this list. Starring names like Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson and Andre 3 Stacks, this is the story of a struggling ABA team that has to find ways to stay relevant. While it doesn’t stack up to Ferrell classics like Old School and Talladega Nights, it gets the job done if you’re looking for some laughs.
BEST SCENE: When Jackie gets pissed about a guy bringing food and concessions from home and takes his anger out on the fan’s meal… or the hippie who hits a full-court shot. Hilarious.