If you are a fan of basketball, some of the best basketball movies are on Netflix. The thing about basketball is that it is not only exciting but also inspiring to watch, and that is why there are plenty of basketball movies that show us the inspiring part of basketball.
Some of these movies also show us a different side of basketball we have never seen before. As such, those who want to see basketball in a different light should watch the best basketball movies on Netflix.
Best basketball movies on Netflix
Basketball movies and films show us a different side to the sport, and that is what makes them so fun and interesting to watch. Luckily for you, we have a good list of the best basketball movies that you can stream on Netflix.
1. High Flying Bird (2019)
High Flying Bird is arguably the best basketball movie that was originally produced by Netflix. And the most impressive part about this movie is that it was shot using iPhones instead of the conventional cameras we often see.
This movie follows a story where black athletes are actually more powerful than their white owners, and that isn’t something you often see because most black athletes don’t have anything to hold against team owners, who are often white.
It revolves around a sports agent as he navigates the world of greedy team owners and the Players’ Association’s representatives in an attempt to find a way to amicably end the NBA lockout.
2. Last Chance U: Basketball (2021)
If you have been following high school basketball or sports, in general, you would know that most athletes are scouted from the first day they started playing in high school. And in most cases, they are offered scholarships as early as their junior years.
Last Chance U: Basketball isn’t actually a movie but is a series. It tells the real story of a basketball coach in East Los Angeles trying to help high school players earn the college scholarships that they have long been dreaming of.
3. Amateur (2018)
The thing about Amateur is that it actually is a bit too close to real life because of how it tells the story of a phenomenal college athlete trying to navigate his way through the somewhat dirty behind-the-scenes world of amateur basketball.
Amateur follows the journey of an African-American basketball teenager, who learned the hard way that there are sports scandals happening under everyone’s noses, especially when it comes to college basketball. As you probably already know, the NCAA is pretty strict regarding its rules on its athletes, and that is why these under-the-table transactions happen.
4. Coach Carter (2005)
Arguably the most popular and most well-known basketball movie that you can watch on Netflix is Coach Carter, which is a film that a lot of people growing up during the 90s and 2000s have seen because it is that good.
And unlike some of the other feel-good and funny basketball movies, Coach Carter is an inspiring story about the real life of a high school basketball coach.
Coach Carter, in this story, came back to his old high school to find out that the basketball team there was hardly even contending, as there was no structure in place. On top of that, the players each had their own personal issues.
As Carter tries to correct the problems in the system, he also had to lock the entire basketball team down when he found out that their grades were getting affected. In a way, it’s not just about being a coach but being a life mentor as well.
5. The Last Dance (2020)
The Last Dance isn’t a movie but is actually a docuseries that spans ten parts. Each part of the series tells a different story about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, as it explores the beginning of MJ’s greatness and the background of the most important members of the 1997-98 Bulls team.
So, the reason why this is one of the greatest basketball-related content to watch on Netflix is due to the fact that it carries a lot of significance in the basketball world, especially because it involves Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest of all time. And there are plenty of different things revealed in this ten-part docuseries that many people didn’t know before.
6. Space Jam (1996)
Speaking of Michael Jordan, we go back to 1996 to one of the most popular basketball movies of all time, not only because it involves the most iconic player in history but also because it features the Looney Tunes, some of the most popular characters in fiction.
In Space Jam, a retired Michael Jordan was forced to join the Looney Tunes, who challenged a group of aliens to a basketball game that would decide the fate of every member of the Looney Tunes. Of course, Jordan’s help was needed after the aliens stole the talents of some of the best basketball players in the world and became the Monstars.
7. Basketball or Nothing (2019)
One of the best basketball content on Netflix is Basketball or Nothing because of how it allows you to have a sneak peek into the lives of some of the younger players who basically rely on basketball to try to escape life. In a sense, it really is basketball or nothing.
In Basketball or Nothing, we look at the different communities plagued by drugs and alcohol and how some of the younger people in those areas turn to basketball to serve as a distraction. Of course, you get to see the perspectives of the different athletes involved in this documentary as they try to win the state championship to defy all odds.
8. Giants of Africa (2016)
Giants of Africa is not a story about mythical giants living in the continent of Africa. Instead, it is a documentary that focuses on one of the most influential figures in the NBA because of how he has helped bridge Africa to America through basketball.
Revolving around general manager Masai Ujiri, who constructed the Toronto Raptors team that won the 2019 NBA championship (of course, this was made before 2019), Giants of Africa takes a look at how he was able to bring in some talented players from Africa and how he was able to make basketball something that the tall and athletic players of that continent can work hard on if they want to find a way out of the hardships of life.
9. Wolves (2016)
Wolves is another sports drama film that allows you to see a different side of the life of a basketball player. That’s because it tells the story about how one’s family can both help and hinder the growth and success of any athlete.
In this movie, we follow the path of a standout high school basketball player, who seems to already be a shoo-in for a college scholarship. However, the problem here is that his family may be the one obstacle on his path, especially because of his alcoholic and gambling-addicted father.
10. Semi-Pro (2008)
Arguably the funniest basketball-related movie of all time, Semi-Pro is simply ridiculous and hilarious in all of the best ways possible. Of course, it isn’t all about comedy because there are some instances when it can be pretty serious about basketball. Still, it puts a good spin on the sport of basketball and how a small-market team in the ABA was barely scraping by.
Semi-Pro is about a team owner and player who seeks to push his team to fourth place in the league so that they can become one of the teams that would make it to the NBA in the NBA-ABA merger. That said, it’s a hilarious and funny way of promoting mediocrity in an otherwise competitive sport such as basketball.
11. My MVP Valentine (2002)
From the west, we now go to the east because we now have a great Taiwanese series about basketball and romance rolled into one. While this might not be the time of series that a lot of people would want to watch, My MVP Valentine is sure to tickle your heart if you give it a chance.
My MVP valentine is about a high school basketball star who paralyzes the sister of his rival just before they battle it out in a championship game. However, because he felt guilty about what happened, he decides to leave behind his life as a basketball player to take care of the girl he hurt. Of course, they fall in love with the process.
12. The Carter Effect (2017)
Vince Carter is one of the greatest athletes in the history of basketball because of how he revolutionized the art of dunking in games. Of course, The Carter Effect is a documentary about how Carter was able to change the entire country of Canada’s perception regarding basketball, which wasn’t the most popular sport in the nation before his rival.
This documentary explores how Vince Carter was able to make basketball as popular as it is in Canada after he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors during the late 90s. The way he inspired younger people in the nation led to the growth of basketball in Canada. That is why Canada currently has the second-highest number of active players in the NBA.
13. Juwanna Man (2002)
If you really want a ridiculous basketball movie that tries to put a comedic spin on the sport, Juwanna Man should be at the top of your list. And while this movie might not be in line with the more open-minded way of thinking in today’s society, it might still be good enough to give you some laughs.
Juwanna Man is about a basketball player that was kicked out of his league due to some reason. Because he still wanted to compete as a professional, he dressed up as a woman and joined the women’s league instead. It’s pure farce but in a good way because of how it does have its hilarious moments.
14. #Rucker50 (2016)
Those who grew up in New York or who follow basketball well enough will be familiar with Rucker Park, which is by far the most popular outdoor basketball park in the entire world. And Rucker Park was the stomping grounds for some of the best basketball players we have in the world today.
#Rucker50 explores the history and culture surrounding Rucker Park and how the Rucker Tournament contributed to the game of basketball and influenced some of the younger players looking to make a living out of the sport.
15. Untold: Malice at the Palace (2021)
One of the biggest brawls in the history of the NBA is the Malice in the Palace, which happened during a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons in Detroit. You are probably aware of what happened here, but not a lot of you know what truly happened, especially if you take a look at it from the point of view of the players involved.
Untold: Malice at the Palace explores the different perspectives and accounts of the players and personnel involved in the infamous Malice at the Palace brawl in Detroit. It makes you see how human these basketball players can be and how everything wasn’t entirely their fault.
16. Q Ball (2019)
Q Ball is produced by basketball superstar Kevin Durant himself, as it takes a look at basketball in an entirely different way through the perspective of prison inmates, who find freedom in playing the game they love.
The reason why Q Ball gives you a different perspective in life is due to the fact that you are watching this movie while learning about what prison inmates have to go through on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t stop them from finding freedom in the game of basketball, which is one of the few things they are allowed to play in prison.
17. Marvel & ESPN Films Present 1 of 1: Genesis (2014)
Two of the things that you don’t often see collaborating with one another are Marvel and ESPN. But, if you take into account the fact that Marvel and ESPN are both under the same parent company, you would understand why this collaboration works.
Marvel & ESPN Films Present 1 of 1: Genesis is all about finding a connection between some of the best athletes in the world and their possible superhero counterparts in the world of Marvel. It makes sense if you think about how athletes are seemingly capable of doing superhuman feats.
18. One in a Billion (2016)
We know that India is home to billions of people. But what you didn’t know is that basketball was never the biggest sport in that country. In fact, there aren’t a lot of Indian players in the NBA, even until now.
One in a Billion explores the life of Satnam Singh Bhumara, who worked hard to become the first Indian-born player to be drafted into the NBA. It doesn’t make sense that such a huge country doesn’t have a player in the NBA, but you might get your answers in this amazing documentary.
19. Iverson (2014)
Allen Iverson is one of the most popular basketball players of all time because of his brand of basketball and his personality. He revolutionized the attitude side of the sport while also showcasing a lot of heart in the process of becoming the greatest little man in the history of the game.
Iverson, the documentary, explores Allen Iverson’s life before, during, and after his days in the NBA. It’s a good film to watch if you are a fan of basketball and of what Iverson has done to revolutionize the game.
20. Tony Parker: The Final Shot (2021)
We go from one basketball great to another, as Tony Parker: The Final Shot explores the story of the four-time champion Tony Parker himself, who is one of the greatest players in San Antonio Spurs history.
Tony Parker may not have been the most popular and flashiest player in the history of the NBA, but this documentary gives us a deeper look into the life of one of the greatest winners in the history of the sport. It’s a good film to watch regardless of whether or not you are a Spurs fan.
21. The Paybook: Doc Rivers (2020)
The Playbook is a series that is all about the brilliant minds in different sports, as coaches show you the way they approach their craft and how they are able to come up with the different strategies they use for winning.
Episode 1 of The Playbook revolves around Doc Rivers, the current Philadelphia 76ers head coach and the man responsible for bringing the Boston Celtics their 17th championship win. Watching this episode is a good way for you to peek into the mind of one of the best coaches in the world.
22. Kuroko’s Basketball (2012)
Kuroko’s Basketball is the first of the two anime series we have on this list. Of course, because this is anime, you have to temper your expectations about how realistic this show is. But it does give you a good sneak peek into how the Japanese take basketball quite seriously as well.
This series revolves around a high school basketball superstar named Kuroko, who was the sixth man of a dominant middle school team. Now that he is playing in a totally different team, he now seeks to compete against his former teammates, who were once called the “Generation of Miracles.”
23. Meeting the Giant (2014)
Meeting the Giant is another Asian movie about basketball. And the reason why this is one of the best basketball content that you can see on Netflix is that it gives you a different perspective regarding what basketball players go through in Asia.
The movie focuses on foreign import issues in Singapore, as we see different Chinese basketball players managing their way through their life as professionals. And you will love this movie because it doesn’t use special effects.
24. Kung Fu Dunk (2008)
Kung Fu Dunk is a pretty interesting film if you are into basketball and how it can crossover with different sports or even martial arts. It isn’t the best movie, but it should be entertaining enough to watch.
The story revolves around a Kung Fu prodigy who can predict his opponents’ moves. When he catches the eye of a shady businessman, the prodigy eventually becomes a star basketball player that is taken advantage of because of his unique abilities as a martial artist.
25. Ahiru No Sora (2019)
Ahiru No Sora is the second and final anime series we have on this list. It is not as unrealistic as Kuroko’s Basketball but still has some of the usual tropes that you see in anime. But the story here is a lot more different.
This anime follows the story of Sora, who might be short but still loves the game regardless of his small stature. Barely five feet tall, Sora seeks to revive his high school’s basketball team while also helping his teammates find their love for the sport of basketball once again.