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Viewing Guide | Top 5 Basketball Movies

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


We’re without sports for the foreseeable future. That stinks, but obviously there are some things in life that we can’t control and certainly the health of people across the globe is crucially important. 

You’re not watching sports right now (at least not live) and you can’t hang out with your friends. How about movies about sports? That’s just as good as watching a game, right?!

(You’re shaking your head, I know.)

These aren’t the five best basketball movies of all-time based on any polling. This is just like, my opinion, man.

Here we go. 

5. Coach Carter, 2005 

This is a true story about coach Ken Carter (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and how he helped show a pretty good basketball team that being good off the court is even more important. 

The movie was released in 2005 when I was 15 years old, so it was one of those movies that just kind of stuck with me. Plus, Ashanti is in the movie. 

"Coach Carter" is available on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Prime for $3.99.

4. Love and Basketball, 2000 

A true love story. This movie follows Quincy and Monica through the ups and downs of their relationship, and basketball, as you could guess from the title, is in the center of all of it.

For you youngsters out there, I know this movie is 20 years old which could be older than you, but I can assure you that this movie is worth a watch, especially if you’re ordering it on your parents’ credit card!

Favorite quote:

“Girls can’t play no basketball.”

“I ball better than you.”

It’s also incredible how good movie trailers are now compared to 20 years ago.

"Love and Basketball" is available on YouTube, Google Play and Amazon Prime for $3.99.

3. White Men Can’t Jump, 1992 

This is an absolute classic. The storyline of two hustling hoopers. Quick background: Nobody thinks Billy (Woody Harrelson) is any good at basketball because he’s white. Turns out, he indeed is very good and some people lose money because of it!

Wesley Snipes and Rosie Perez are also awesome in this movie. 

This movie probably gets a bit of a boost because I was a big fan of the show "Cheers" as a kid. My grandma had it playing constantly and Harrelson was the not-so-smart but super likable bartender.

In 2017, there were some talks that there might be a remake of this movie and I hope it’s not true.

"White Men Can’t Jump" is available on YouTube, Google Play and Amazon Prime for $3.99.

2. Space Jam, 1996

Is "Space Jam" a great movie? The answer is probably no. But the fact that we get to see Michael Jordan as the star of a movie gives it some bonus points.

The premise of the movie is to explain where Jordan went for two years when he retired from the NBA. In real life, he was playing baseball. In this movie, however, he’s saving the Looney Tunes against the Monstars, who are working for Danny DeVito, which might just be the role DeVito was born to play.

Muggsy Bogues, Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley and Patrick Ewing are also in the film.

I actually went to this film when I was six and instantly fell asleep. Years have given me more wisdom and more of an attention span.

"Space Jam 2" starring a guy named LeBron James is set to be released in the summer of 2021.

"Space Jam" is available on Netflix if you have an account, or on YouTube, Google Play or Amazon Prime for $3.99.

1. He Got Game, 1998

Denzel Washington. Ray Allen. John Turturro. What else could you ask for?!

Jake Shuttlesworth (Washington) is serving time in a correctional facility, but if he can get his son, Jesus (Allen), to attend Big State University (not a real college), he’ll get an early release from prison.

This is an adult movie, FYI.

Ray Allen plays the exact opposite role of what you’d think he’d play. It’s crazy to think he was only 22 years old when this movie came out.

The best quote of the movie comes from Turturro’s character, Coach Billy Sunday. He’s a coach at Tech and really wants the younger Shuttlesworth at his school.

“Dear Lord, deliver Jesus to us.”

Good movie for when the kids are in bed. 

"He Got Game" is available on Hulu if you have an account, or YouTube, Google Play or Amazon Prime for $3.99.

What are your favorite hoops movies? Let us know in the comments below.


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