5. Above the Rim (1994)
Starring: Duane Martin, Leon, Tupac Shakur, Marlon Wayans, Bernie Mac
Director: Jeff Pollack
The basketball action was way to scripted although good and the story of inner-city youth using sports to escape the ghetto…kinda old. However, Tupac’s portrayal as the local kingpin is too real and the soundtrack is easily the best on the list.Plus you, you know you were trying to bring Kyle Watson’s game to the park back in the day after watching this flick.
Memorable Quotes: Birdie – “I’m the one! Shit has changed! It’s a new day, bro. If you can’t clean up your act,I suggest you raise the f*ck up and get the hell out of Dodge… or get caught up.”
The rest of the best after the jump
4. Through The Fire (2005)
Starring: Sebastian Telfair
Director: Jonathan Hock
Easily the basketball movie with the most action on the list. Sebastian Telfair was an absolute nightmare in high school as an opponent and created enough buzz to be the shortest straight from high school player selected 13th overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 2004 NBA draft.
Memorable Quote: Sebastian Telfair – “Most people wake up every morning to go to work. I wake up every morning so I can go to school so I can play basketball. ”
3. He Got Game (1998)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Milla Jovovich, Rosario Dawson, John Turturro
Director: Spike Lee
A basketball movie, made by a basketball super fan. Spike Lee delivers a straight up classic! Ray Allen holds his own in his debut as and Denzel Washington as his father is great as usual. The dynamics of the father-son relationship, and the moral dilemma of choosing between material gain and the ‘right’ thing to do. This movie is by far the most watchable basketball film to non-basketball fans also.
Memorable Quote: Jesus Shuttlesworth – “God ain’t shit!”
2.White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez
Director: Ron Shelton
Maybe Woody Harrelson can’t dunk but, Billy Hoyle sure can. The one movie on this list that instantly makes me want to play ball after watching it for money of course! Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson are a near perfect comedy team and the basketball is real enough to know that Woody and Wesley can ball in real life. Plus Rosie Perez was really doin’ it in 1992!
Memorable Quote: Sidney Deane – “You see Billy it’s like this, you either smoke or you get smoked. And you got smoked.”
1. Hoop Dreams (1994)
Starring: William Gates, Arthur Agee
Director: Steve James
The first basketball documentary ever. Plus, the first basketball movie that let aspiring ballers understand, it takes more than talent to play in the NBA or Division I basketball. On a grander sacle, this movie changed the rules of how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hands out Academy Awards for Documentary work.
Memorable Quote: William Gates – “It became more of a job than a sport to play.”