With March Madness in full swing and brackets (and hearts) being broken as each game passes, we take a look at some memorable hoops movies.
Forget the movie. It has something to do with singer Jackie Moon leading his team, the Flint Michigan Tropics, to glory during that debaucherous decade of excessiveness known as the 1970s. But really, you should just concentrate on his hair. And how truly awesome it is.
Above the Rim
Back in the early '90s, Above the Rim was a hit box office b-ball film about the hardships between playing for a team, and dealing with the realities of growing up in the inner city. Co-starring as a charismatic street thug was rapper/actor/artist Tupac Shakur.
Long before heading for a showdown in The Departed, newbies Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg played buddies who played games on the court and off, dabbling in sports, drugs, rock and roll, and major addictions.
Blue Chips was probably the first time any of us got to hear Shaquille O'Neal curse. OK, so there's the story of Nick Nolte's college basketball coach having to break the rules to get his players in line. Written by Ron Shelton (White Men Can't Jump, Bull Durham) Blue Chips is worth checking out, if for anything, the sake of nostalgia.
This nifty little twist on Shakespeare's Othello is set in a high school and centers on a basketball player named Odin, played by Mekhi Phifer. Co-starring Julia Stiles and Andrew Keegan (what ever happened to him?!), O will have you wondering what other classic Shakespeare plays could be adapted for the hardwood.
More Than A Game
A self-portrait of Lebron James and his four high school teammates as they navigate the highs and lows of high school basketball and chart Lebron's rise to fame. The documentary takes us back to a time when the majority of people actually liked King James.
Easily one of the best basketball documentaries ever made and no, that's not an overstatement. Hoop Dreams chronicles the lives of two African American boys who struggle to become college players on their road to going professional. Nominated for an Academy Award and winner of 16 critics choice and guild awards, Hoop Dreams is not to be missed.
In one of the most memorable marriages of name brands, Michael Jordan (with Wayne Knight and Bill Murray) agree to help Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes gang play a basketball game against a group of aliens who've stolen the skills of NBA stars Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bouges. Guess who wins.
Love and Basketball
A romantic drama starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan, Love and Basketball tells the story of two basketball players whose love-hate relationship keeps bringing them back to each other. It all builds to a final showdown with Epps and Lathan in a high-stakes one-on-one game - if Epps wins, he marries his fiancee, if he loses, he marries Lathan.
Josh Lucas stars in this real-life account set during the turbulent 1960s that tracks the progress of the first team of all black starting athletes to win the NCAA title.
In the same year he starred in Star Wars: Episode III and the xXx sequel, Samuel L. Jackson also starred in this critically acclaimed biopic/drama about a high school basketball coach who benches his entire team for breaking an academic contract with him. Outside of his usual R-rated schtick, Coach ranks as one of Jackson's best performances as a dramatic actor.
White Men Can't Jump
If you grew up in the '90s, chances are you're very familiar with the easy-to-quote White Men Can't Jump. Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes star as a pair of basketball hustlers who team up to make money together while Rosie Perez learns all the words that begin with the letter "Q," in preparation for her stint on Jeopardy! Harrelson and Snipes would re-team for Money Train.
He Got Game
Directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington and NBA star Ray Allen, He Got Game technically lost money at the box office, pulling in $21 million against a reported $25 million budget. But the movie has found a cult audience and thanks to strong performances by Washington and Allen, it has stood the test of time.
Known to many - and for good reason - as the best basketball movie ever produced (some rank it as the best sports movie ever), Hoosiers is an amazing motion picture about the little Indiana team that could and did, and the incredible coach played by Gene Hackman who helped make it all possible.
Did we miss any of your hoops classics? Let us know in the comments below!