Top Eight… Basketball Scenes From Movies Not About Basketball

With the NBA finals in the US between Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder in full swing, let’s look at the basketball movie scenes that didn’t bounce off the rim.

Come on, basketball is pretty dull. It makes baseball look like the last ten minutes of The Last Of The Mohicans. Or something equally as exciting. At this moment, it’s impossible to think of anything more exciting than the last ten minutes of The Last Of The Mohicans. Anyway, basketball is flipping boring. Five guys run up to one end of the court and dump a ball in a hole, then the other five guys do the exact same in the opposite direction. That goes on for about seven hours. Jack Nicholson grins, Spike Lee waves his arms about and David Beckham ogles some cheerleaders. Then everybody goes home. That’s why none of the great basketball scenes below are from movies about basketball. Fiction is far more exciting. And before you moan about White Men Can’t Jump not making this list (it’s fair to say it’s not really about basketball either, it’s more about Rosie Perez being annoying), I have two words for you. Money. And Train.

8. Cocktail (1988)

Not only is Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) ace at making drinks while dancing to the Hippy Hippy Shake, but he shoots a mean B-ball outside of the school too. Here he takes Bryan Brown’s money by dunking a succession of free throws. His buddy has the last laugh though, stealing the girl he’s been bragging about. Coughlin’s Law number 75: never act like a jerk when taking somebody’s money.

7. Teen Wolf (1985)

When you Google ‘teen wolf’, you get a bunch of links about some TV show. Nothing about Michael J Fox, Stiles, Chubby and the rest of the gang. Which is shame, cos a whole generation of kids are missing out on one of the best games of high school basketball ever. What does it matter it’s contested by 43-year-old men?

6. Alien: Resurrection (1997)

The real reason Prometheus hasn’t exactly hit it off with the fanboys? It didn’t have a cloned Sigourney Weaver playing basketball. Walking away from the basket, without looking, slamming a dunk… in your face, LeBron James.

5. Big (1988)

This basketball scene is so great it doesn’t even need basketballs. When Josh Baskin’s friend Billy is told by the coach during gym class to put the basketballs back in the store room, he doesn’t bank on a grown man sneaking up behind him. Some tears and the best song of the 80s later, however, and what could have been creepy becomes a tearjerker. Thanks Hanks.

4. The Expendables (2010)

Never, ever play basketball with The Stath. Yup, Jason Statham is that kid who will take his ball home with him if the game isn’t going his way. Either that or stick a knife bigger than Crocodile Dundee’s into it.

3. Deadly Friend (1986)

If you haven’t seen the mother of the Fratellis from The Goonies have her head knocked off by Spalding’s most famous product, you haven’t seen Deadly Friend. Warning: this scene contains a woman having her head knocked off by a basketball.

2. The Cable Guy (1996)

If you thought Jim Carrey’s finest moment was sticking his head out the car window in Ace Ventura or sailing his way to freedom in The Truman Show, think again. It’s actually his indulgence in a bit of ‘prison rules’ on the court with Matthew Broderick and Jack Black.

1. Along Came Polly (2004)

Every time I see Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of these yearly serious Oscar-nominated roles of his, I just think, what a waste. Because he really knows how to bring the funny. Whether it’s falling off a stack of mattresses under a lorry or bringing the rain in the funniest game of basketball committed to film, Hoffman is one of comedy’s greats. Just a pity he doesn’t do it more often.



3 Responses to “Top Eight… Basketball Scenes From Movies Not About Basketball”

  1. I agree, basketball isn’t exciting to watch, to be honest I find the names of the teams more amusing, and then repeating the names in an american accent.

  2. I know your list is growing (since the blog title mentions “Top 8” scenes, yet the URL says “Top 5”!)

    Here’s one more for you – hopefully will help you make it to a “Top 10”.

    John Travolta trying out for the basketball squad at Rydell High in ‘Grease’.

  3. @Simon Sanders… haha, brilliant clip. Zuko… still manages to be cool even though it looks like he should have left high school 16 years earlier

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