LRM ranks the ten best basketball movies of all time!

LRM ranks the ten best basketball movies of all time!

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets ends tonight at 8:30 a.m. EST on ABC. The Miami Heat became just the second team to advance to the NBA Finals as the number eight seed led by Jimmy Butler’s incredible playoff performance. The Denver Nuggets are led by Nikola Djokic and are in the NBA Finals for the first time in NBA history. Either way, this NBA Finals ending will be a storybook ending for the NBA. From real life to the movies, basketball stories range from heartwarming tales of triumph to gritty dramas exploring the darker side of the game. Once a staple in Hollywood for making money, basketball movies entertain and inspire fans for decades. We’ve ranked the ten best basketball movies, based on their impact, storytelling, and overall entertainment value.

Space Jam (1996)

Topping our list of basketball movies is none other than “Space Jam.” Combining live-action and animation, “Space Jam” became an instant hit, bringing together the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, and iconic Looney Tunes characters. This family film celebrates the joy of sport while delivering a unique and entertaining story. This movie was so successful that a remake was made starring Lebron James but couldn’t live up to the popularity of the original.

Hoosiers (1986)

Considered the best by older basketball fans, “Hoosiers” tops our list for its outstanding storytelling and powerful performances. Set in small town Indiana, the film captures the essence of the underdog spirit, highlighting the journey of a high school basketball team led by a determined coach played by Gene Hackman.

Coach Carter (2005)

“Coach Carter” is an inspirational drama based on the true story of a high school basketball coach, played by Samuel L. Jackson, that focuses on discipline, education, and personal growth. The film tackles important social issues and showcases the transformative power of basketball. The film does a great job of balancing real basketball and a great story.

Hoop Dreams (1994)

As a documentary, “Hoop Dreams” offers an authentic and raw look into the lives of two Chicago high school basketball players chasing their dreams. This critically acclaimed film explores the challenges faced by inner city youth and the complexities of the American education system.

Love and Basketball (2000)

Blending love and sport, “Love & Basketball” presents a heartfelt story of two childhood friends and their intertwined basketball careers. With strong performances from Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, the film captures the passion for play and relationships.

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Not to be confused with the recent version. The original film has become a pop culture classic starring the perfect pair of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, “White Men Can’t Jump” is a hilarious and entertaining basketball comedy. The film covered everything from race, friendship and hustling on the courts, delivering memorable lines and thrilling streetball action.

Road to Glory (2006)

Based on the true story of the 1966 Texas Western College basketball team, “Glory Road” follows their journey to becoming the first team to pitch five African-American players in the NCAA championship game. The film celebrates diversity, perseverance and the impact of breaking down barriers.

Blue Chips (1994)

“Blue Chips” takes a gritty approach, delving into the dark side of college basketball recruiting. Starring Nick Nolte as a head coach facing ethical dilemmas, the film examines the pressures and temptations within sport, shedding light on the corruption that can arise. What made this movie even better was including real NBA players Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway. Back then, they were true teammates on the Orlando Magic, which made the movie that bit more special.

He Had a Game (1998)

Directed by Spike Lee, “He Got Game” features Denzel Washington as a prisoner on temporary release to convince his basketball prodigy son, played by Ray Allen, to attend a specific college. The film explores the complexities of family, fame and the influence of sport. This movie introduced us to one of the greatest names of all time, Jesus Shuttlesworth. This film is so successful that their jerseys with Shuttlesworth sewn on the back.

Above the Edge (1994)

This urban basketball drama features the struggles and dreams of a promising high school basketball star played by Tupac Shakur. “Above the Rim” delves into the challenges of downtown, highlighting the impact of choices and the redeeming power of play.

Basketball movies have the ability to entertain, inspire and evoke a range of emotions. Even if you’re not in this year’s NBA Finals game, you can be entertained by these top ten films that have left their mark on the genre, offering gripping stories and memorable performances.

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