The Best Movies About Basketball
The massive popularity of basketball means that millions of us are always looking for new ways to enjoy the sport by watching it or reading about it. Thankfully, there are lots of movies about basketball that you can enjoy while learning more about the game and the people who play it.
Coach Carter – 2005
This is a film based on the true story of Ken Carter, who was the basketball coach at Richmond High School. He is played by Samuel L. Jackson in this version of his story. Carter is best known for suspending the players in his team for their poor academic performance, despite being undefeated. The movie looks into the build-up to this decision and the effect that it had.
It was released at the start of 2005 and grossed over $67 million in US box office receipts. Critics gave Coach Carter generally positive reviews, with many of them enjoying the way that Jackson brings the main character to life.
The film starts with Carter taking over a badly-behaved team and forcing them to sign contracts confirming that they will improve their academic results while staying out of trouble, or else be dropped from the team.
After a series of problems and confrontations, the players learn how to pull together while improving their performances as students and as basketball players as well. They don’t win the big game that is shown at the end of the film but it is the other lessons that have learned along the way that matters most of all.
Anyone who loves a good story and also enjoys stories about inspirational NBA coaches should watch it. Click here to read more about famous NBA coaches.
Glory Road – 2006
Another basketball movie that is based on a true story, Glory Road looks at the 1966 NCAA University Division Basketball Championship. What made this tournament so important was that it was the year when the Texas Western College team was made up solely of black players.
Don Haskins is the coach who brought this team together, and he is played by Josh Lucas. He starts out in the job by looking to bring in the best players regardless of their race, with a team made up of both black and white players. He finally realizes that the team needs to have more black players in it, which leads to better performances but they then start to receive threats and racial abuse that shakes the players.
Critics gave it mixed reviews, but it went on to gross close to $43 million in box offices. The book it is based on was coach Haskin’s autobiography, which was a bestseller in the US in 2005. He has pointed out since then that he simply wanted to play his best players, rather than make some sort of political statement with his selections.
The Way Back – 2020
This movie follows Ben Affleck, who plays Jack Cunningham. An alcoholic construction worker who has recently separated from him wife, he is asked to stand in as a temporary high school basketball coach.
Jack was a star for the team in the past, but the current players have lost interest in the sport and the school has been struggling to put a good team together. The team starts off badly but he slowly gets to know the player better and creates a playing strategy that suits them.
It takes some time for Jack to win the respect of the players and form a bond with them, with his need to drink falling as the team begins to perform well.
The Way Back made close to $15 million around the world, with the Covid-19 pandemic badly affecting it. However, it was praised by critics, with Affleck’s performance particularly singled out for positive mentions.