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The Greatest Basketball Movies Ever Made

Here are Kevin Nesgoda's favorite basketball movies.

Edited by Tiffany Villigan

Jordan is livid Space Jam did not make #1 on my list
Jordan is livid Space Jam did not make #1 on my list
Streeter Lecka

Behind the scenes there is an ongoing discussion that you are never privy to because it's an internal Google Hangout involving your favorite/the greatest NBA basketball blog staff on the planet. There are a lot of interesting discussions that happen behind the scenes. We relentlessly make fun of each other; talk hoops, wrestling, our lives; we share stories (such as ones that start with "Chris Wilcox and I once..." sorry we cannot finish that story and keep this blog); talk about beer, wine, people getting tazed outside of German bars; etc.

Then the conversation switched to basketball films and the ones we enjoy the most. All the classics came up right off the bat but then quickly fell into the mush of grey matter in our skulls we call brains. It quickly became who could name the most obscure basketball films.

Here are some honorable mentions: The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979), Fast Break (1979), Like Mike (2002), Passing Glory (1999), Crossover (2006), Kung Fu Dunk (2008) and numerous others that we could go over, but I want to try to keep this column under 10,000 words.

Here are my favorite ten basketball movies, in order.

Honorable Mention: Airplane (1980) - because of Kareem Abdul-Jabar and teaching the African tribe how to play basketball. I know it wasn't a straight basketball movie, thus the honorable mention for some awesome basketball scenes and moments.

Honorable Mention: Eddie (1996) - It starred Whoopi Goldberg, but more importantly, it had Gary Payton.

10. Blue Chips (1994)

The first basketball movie that really got into the dark side of recruiting. Nick Nolte seemed to be playing an extension of himself in this film. The movie included Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, with cameos from Bob Cousy, Marques Johnson, Dick Vitale, Bobby Knight, Rick Pitino, Allan Houston, Adonis Jordan, Jim Boeheim, Jerry Tarkanian, Calbert Cheaney, Bobby Hurley, Keith Smart, Rick Fox, George Lynch, Larry Bird and Mount Vernon, WA, native Jim Caviezel.

9. Celtic Pride (1996)

Damon Wayans, Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern... how could you go wrong!? If you haven't seen this one, you really should. It's an extremely under-rated comedy film.

8. Coach Carter (2005)

The one movie that Samuel L. Jackson didn't die in! This basketball film has everything you could possibly want: underdog inner city youth, Channing Tatum, a tough-nosed, take no shit coach and the parents who hate him. Yes, it follows the typical sports movie formula, but it was a solid basketball movie from start to finish.

7. Above The Rim (1994)

This was a gritty film from 1994. Above the Rim had a really dark theme, violence, drugs and some sick, sick hoops. The film had Leon (Cool Runnings), Duane Martin, Bernie Mac and Tupac Shakur.

6. Semi-Pro (2008)

Will Ferrell played Jackie Moon in this comedy. There is no middle ground on this one: you either loved it or you completely despised it and wish it had never been made. I'm in the former camp and don't think I laughed so hard during a basketball movie ever.

5. Space Jam (1996)

This might have been the favorite basketball movie of every kid from my generation. You had Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing and for some reason, Shawn Bradley.

4. He Got Game (1998)

Jesus Shuttlesworth is the best prep athlete basketball prospect, and the father he hates is trying to get out of jail early. The catch is that his father has to get Jesus to go to Big State. Some have this on the top of their list for greatest basketball movie of all time and I can't blame them. It's a fantastic movie and it turned out that Ray Allen could act a little bit.

3. White Men Can't Jump (1992)

This is a movie that I can't turn off whenever it's on or have to stop on when I'm channel flipping. There is so much to love about this movie. It's pretty. It's so pretty. When I played street ball in LA I always went by the name Billy Hoyle because it was a hell of a lot more fun than saying Kevin Nesgoda.

2. Hoosiers (1986)

There probably isn't a more quintessential basketball movie ever made. Gene Hackman was Norman Dale, the hard-ass coach taking over a small town Indiana high school basketball team. The movie was well acted, shot, had an awesome story (that just about every sports team movie follows) and Jimmy Chitwood, the best pure shooter to ever grace the silver screen.

1. Teen Wolf (1985)

This is probably one of my favorite movies ever. My wife knows my irrational love for this movie and I haven't been able to get her to watch it with me once. Unfortunately, I'm relegated to watching it in the middle of the night. How can you say no to Michael J. Fox as a werewolf playing basketball? The final scene against the Dragons is worth it. Plus you have a dude named Stiles and a chick named Boof!

That's my top ten. What's yours? Who's coming over this weekend to watch Teen Wolf? Wife is out of town!