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Style - Kicks and Gear / Sep 4, 2013 / 2:15 pm

The 20 Best Basketball Movies Of All Time

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.

17. SEMI-PRO
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.

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  • DimeMatt

    Great Job Sean..This is awesome. So many classics on this list. Love when in one on one he tells his coach to shove his scholarship lol

  • UncheckedAggression

    The quote is, “I’m gonna get my OTHER gun…”

  • YungBaller0

    I was about to say how did above the rim not make it lol

  • Boogie

    nice list. On my personal list «White men can’t jump» is on top followed by «He got game». Btw as far as I know Snipes was able to dunk back then. Even Woody once said in an interview that he was able to dunk a tennis ball on a 10 feet rim and Wesley obviously was way more athletic.

  • Lottatime

    I like authenticity so it’s hard to enjoy something that some hollywood hack came up with as his idea of what sports are about. Note to film makers – if they didn’t have collapsable rims in the era you are “honoring” then maybe you shouldn’t have them in your movie. It’s would be like having a 1998 Honda Civic sitting on the street outside the gym. And would someone please teach Cheadle to dribble with his left hand. Yea, yea, it’s just a movie.

  • Patrick Flynn

    Good list but you got the ending of He Got Game wrong. Jesus didn’t send Jake back to jail. Warden let Jake out for 1 week to get Jesus to sign with Big State, and promised to shorten his sentence if he came through. Jake lost the bet so Jesus didn’t have to sign with Big State, Jake went back to jail because his week out was up. Jesus signed with Big State anyway, but the warden welshed on the deal to reduce Jake’s sentence, claimed Jake was out because he escaped, and put him in solitary. Jesus tried to get Jake out, but the white man screwed him over.

  • Tony Milazzo

    where the fuck is Airbud

  • Sendoggrrrrrrrrffff

    c’mon man…where is “the fish that saved pittsburgh” or teen wolf???

  • Zoomilk

    “Hoop Dreams” is better than all of these, but it’s a documentary, so I understand it not being on this list.

  • Swtiris Papaioannou

    Glory road’s best scene to me was the fight in the locker room so much drama and the motivation after by don haskins…and making this scene following the flashback all the players had from the match it was awesome!!!

  • C. Rido

    coach carter gets no love huh