The beginning of every New Year is typically dominated by the NFL on the sports calendar, but March is coming, and that means basketball. The March Madness lines aren’t released until the official bracket is out, but it’s never too early to start thinking about basketball.
If you just can’t get basketball off of your mind, then perhaps you can spend some time watching a movie or movies about basketball. There have been some terrific films over the last few decades that focus on basketball in some form or fashion.
Trying to put together a list of the best basketball movies of all time is not easy to do, and you are surely going to get some debate. It’s still worth trying, though, and here is a list of the top seven basketball movies ever made.
7. Coach Carter
Coach Carter stars Samuel L. Jackson as he is a high school basketball coach that tries to teach an inner city basketball team about life and basketball. His players have to deal with drugs, violence, and a lack of home support throughout the film, but Coach Carter is right there to help him navigate through all of the issues.
In the end, the players are able to come together to reach their full potential, and the players go on to have successful lives. This movie also has an ending that you wouldn’t expect, and that helps make it a great film.
6. White Men Can’t Jump
Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson star in White Men Can’t Jump, which is a story about a pair of hustlers on the playground. Harrelson and Snipes are foes when the movie first begins, but they have a common bond in hustling opponents for money.
When Snipes and Harrelson team up to form a terrific duo, they are able to take on the best players on the playground. This movie has some terrific basketball scenes throughout, and the outfits worn by the co-stars help add to the greatness.
5. Space Jam
Space Jam is basically a children’s movie, but you are going to find that adults enjoy it just as much as kids. This movie stars Michael Jordan as well as the Looney Tunes cast, and it’s just a perfect movie for the whole family.
The plot of Space Jam makes absolutely no sense and is very unrealistic, but there are still some great basketball scenes throughout the movie. It was so popular that a sequel was made, but it wasn’t even close to as good as the original film.
4. He Got Game
He Got Game is a Spike Lee joint that stars both Ray Allen and Denzel Washington. Jesus Shuttlesworth (Allen) is the top high school basketball recruit in the country, and this movie shows all of the negative sides of NCAA recruiting.
Washington is the dad to Shuttlesworth in this movie, and he is granted parole from prison in an attempt to convince his son to attend Big State University. The ending 1 on 1 battle is tremendous, but this is a movie that has remained relevant.
3. Love & Basketball
Love & Basketball is a bit different from some of the other movies on this list as there is a love story that is woven into the mix. The love story is not only about two high school friends, but it’s also a love story about basketball.
Love & Basketball is a movie that follows the life of two of the best high school basketball players in the country and shows their path to college. If you are in the mood for a bit of romance about basketball and real life, then this is the movie for you.
Hoosiers might not be one of the best basketball movies ever made in terms of acting or production, but it certainly tells one of the best stories. Hoosiers is based on a true story that took place in Indiana, and there isn’t another state in the country that is as crazy about basketball as the Hoosier State.
This movie tells the story of a small high school team that makes it all the way to the state championship against a huge school. This is the perfect underdog story and it’s a story that gets repeated often.
1. Hoop Dreams
The best basketball movie ever made is actually one that doesn’t have a ton of popularity or notoriety. That just means that too many people are missing out on watching Hoop Dreams because it is easily the best basketball movie ever made.
This documentary follows two inner-city Chicago basketball players on their journey through high school and the competitive recruiting process that takes place in the public league. You are also going to see plenty of tough moments mixed in, as it shows just how hard things are for the youth in Chicago.
Camera crews spent years filming for this one, and the final cut is an absolute masterpiece.