The dark cloud surrounding the NBA lockout is growing larger with every passing day that a deal between the players and owners is not agreed upon. Fans of the sport may have to soon settle into a reality void of professional basketball, where are favorite hardwood stars are scattered throughout the world like pieces on a Risk board.
One way of escaping such a reality might be getting your main fix from the collegiate scene, with the occasional grainy highlight of Kobe Bryant scoring 97 points in an obscure (at least to most NBA diehards) Chinese league. However, if college athletics aren’t your thing, there may be another way to ease through your withdrawals. In order to aid basketball fans in the coping process, I have composed a list of 10 of the greatest basketball movies ever to grace the big screen.
Let the healing begin.
10. The Sixth Man (1997)
On a more serious note, this might be my favorite movie featuring any one of the dozen Wayans Brothers (minus Blank Man).
On an even more serious note, I actually enjoyed this movie. It is guilty pleasure number one that made it onto my list. Any sports movie that can end with one of the main characters walking off the court to go play for the basketball team in Heaven touches me in ways The Notebook never could.
9. Space Jam (1996)
This is my second guilty pleasure selection, but I am fully prepared to defend its merits. I’ll begin by admitting that I was right in the target demographic when Space Jam first came out, and my judgment might be a little lost in the fog of nostalgia.
However, here is my defense. Space Jam featured the most talented basketball player ever to walk the planet, paired with iconic cartoon characters than spanned multiple generations.
It may be the most accessible, albeit superficial, version of Jordan that fans have ever seen. He lives life with a chip on his shoulder and an unrivaled competitive nature that often manifests itself into a public persona most find off putting. In this movie he was the loveable hero that many fans want him to be.
8. Glory Road (2006)
Based on the true story of Texas Western Coach Don Haskins, and his decision to be the first collegiate coach to feature an all black starting line-up, the movie delivers a strong message in the triumphs that take place both on and off the court. Think “Remember the Titans,” if it were to cross over to the hardwood.
7. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
There is something special about watching Woody Harrelson, who actually has a pretty natural stroke, and Mr. Snipes wipe the floor with their opponents in comically ugly clothing.
The end of this movie still breaks my heart. Damn you Billy. Damn you.
6. Finding Forrester (2000)
Connery and Brown have great chemistry, and I’m a sucker for the duel focus on writing and athletics that propels the movie forward.
It is a flick that is both tense and honest in its delivery, and although basketball may not be the heart of the film, it does involve an impressive display of free throw shooting. I would like to see Rajon Rondo hit five free throws in a row, let alone 50.