Best Basketball Movies of All Time (Part III)

June 3, 2020

If you’re a fan of basketball, you must see these movies.

Semi-Pro

A homage to all things the 70s—its sexism, colors, and hair – Semi-Pro completed Will Ferrell’s streak playing fictitious sports icons with a hardwood throwback. Here he is Jackie Moon, a one-hit-wonder that turned his fortune into playing, coaching, and owning ABA team the Flint Tropics. 

With an NBA merger looming and the Tropics on the outs, he gets a former Celtic (Woody Harrelson) to get his team back into contention. That the team’s objective is to finish in fourth place is all you need to understand about a comedy that has Andre 3000 introducing the world to the Alley-oop and Ferrell going toe to toe with a grizzly bear to keep fans in the seats.

One On One

One on One hasn’t aged very well as it is about player abuse and sexual harassment. That said, the film features a couple of good performances from Robby Benson, playing point guard Henry Steele, and Annette O’Toole, who tutors Henry and predictably falls for his shy, spacey personality. 

He’s a different person on the court, showboating and the central storyline comes from his head coach saying he will eliminate his scholarship. Henry rides the pine for most of the year but gives a “red-hot poker” final line after keeping an undefeated season.

Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat”

At the start of Rebound, a reporter asks Kareem Abdul-Jabar which player was the best he’d ever seen. His answer is Earl “The Goat” Manigault the subject of this HBO biopic with Don Cheadle, who channels the rise, fall, and redemption of the Harlem playground great. An elite guard and jumper, Manigault blows an opportunity at college and spirals into drug addiction, wasting the ability that a neighborhood sanitation worker (Forrest Whitaker) sees in him. His comeback as a community leader is shortchanged in the film but remains an important part of his legacy throughout New York.