8 Best Basketball Shows Like ‘The Crossover’ Every Baller Needs to Watch
Disney+ recently added a new original show to the platform called The Crossover. It is a family drama revolving around a couple of high school kids trying to make it as basketball players while balancing their personal lives and classic teenage problems.
The show isn’t half as bad as the poor IMDb rating suggests. It has its ups and downs, but overall, it’s a cool, lightweight family drama revolving around teenage basketball. If you’ve watched The Crossover and want more basketball-related shows, I’ve got you covered.
Here are the eight best shows like The Crossover that every baller – or basketball fan – needs to watch. Heck, even if you’re not a fan of the sport, I’m sure these shows will get you pumped! The list is ranked solely based on the show’s IMDb score.
8. Swagger (2021-)
IMDb score: 7.2/10
What it’s about: Swagger is a relatively new AppleTV+ show revolving around a young teenage hooper named Jace Carson. Carson is a young, talented, driven individual who goes through hardships and basketball playing experience on the AAU circuit as he’s trying to make his way into the NBA. NBA superstar Kevin Durant heavily inspires the story.
Why it’s like The Crossover: While Swagger is somewhat based on a real-life story, unlike The Crossover, both shows share a similar vibe. Young ballers are trying to make a name for themselves and go through all the hardships that every teenager goes through while focusing on working hard instead of relying on talent.
7. Coach Carter (2005)
IMDb score: 7.3/10
What it’s about: Ken Carter is a well-known basketball coach who, in 1999, accepted the job as the coach of California’s Richmond High School. The team was pretty bad, but soon after Coach Carter arrived, they showed impressive progress and results. That is due to Carter’s strict regimen and methods.
However, as they begin to gain confidence, Carter notices that too many of his players have started doing poorly in classes, which is a complete breach of the written contracts he made them sign. Despite their success on the court, he decides to lock up the gym and bench the entire team until their grades improve.
A huge outrage ensues from the team and the school, but Carter doesn’t give up on his demands. Soon, the boys will learn just how much impact Coach Carter had on their lives well after they finish high school.
Why it’s like The Crossover: Coach Carter is the only movie included on this list, but I just had to include it, as it’s above and beyond my favorite basketball-related film. Samuel L. Jackson is as awesome as ever, and the movie’s message also resonated profoundly with me.
I always go back to Coach Carter and recommend everyone to watch it – basketball fan or not.
6. Big Shot (2021-2022)
IMDb score: 7.5/10
What it’s about: Marvyn Korn is a good but highly temperamental college coach. His fiery attitude gets him fired from his job, and now, he has to accept a job at an elite all-girls private high school, coaching their basketball team.
Naturally, his strict, temperamental way of coaching doesn’t bode well for the team, and Korn must try to find a way to coach the team successfully while struggling to keep himself in check. By the end of this comedy sports drama, Marvyn will realize he learned just as much from the girls – if not more – than they have learned from him.
Why it’s like The Crossover: The Crossover and Big Shot are both Disney+ original shows revolving around basketball. Big Shot kind of has a more comedic approach and revolves around the coach (portrayed by the legendary John Stamos) more than it does on the players. Still, both shows touch upon more than just basketball, like values, morals, attitude, etc.
5. One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
IMDb score: 7.8/10
What it’s about: Nathan and Lucas Scott are step-brothers living in a small town called Tree Hill in North Carolina. Their rivalry starts on the basketball court but extends to their everyday lives and pulls in almost everyone they know. Will the brothers remain enemies or eventually become friends? Only One Tree Hill has the answers for you.
Why it’s like The Crossover: I can’t believe a day came where One Tree Hill would find a way on a list or an article of mine, but if we’re talking about basketball-related TV shows, it has to stand as one of the best – or, at least, most popular – shows of all time.
Back in the 2000s, everyone was either Team Lucas or Team Nathan, and One Tree Hill was all the buzz, despite the corny love stories intertwined throughout the show. If you want to know what all the fuss was about, give One Tree Hill a chance. It has some great underlying messages and points worth your time, like friendship, family values, and brotherhood.
4. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
IMDb score: 7.9/10
What it’s about: This is a story all about how a young, poor streetwise kid’s life got turned upside down when his mom got scared and sent him from West Philadelphia to live with his uncle and auntie in a town called Bel-Air.
From his poor upbringing to living in a Bel-Air mansion, Will struggled to find his footing while maintaining his interests in basketball and doing all kinds of mischief.
Why it’s like The Crossover: While The Crossover is more basketball-oriented, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air starred Will Smith as a young guy with a big passion for basketball – although it wasn’t the show’s focal point.
The focal point was the familial relationships between Will and his family – which we see a lot of in The Crossover as well. Also, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is one of the best sitcoms ever created, so it’s worth your time to check out.
3. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (2022-)
IMDb score: 8.3/10
What it’s about: Follows the professional lives and personal relationships of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, now known as the Showtime Lakers, who were one of the most incredible NBA teams ever assembled.
Dive what made these guys so great, including players like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former players like Jerry West, and other vital members of the team like Jerry Buss, the LA Lakers voice, Chick Hearn, and much more.
Why it’s like The Crossover: While The Crossover focuses on teenage basketball players trying to create a legacy for themselves, how about a show about an actual legacy – one of the greatest Dynasties in basketball history?
Winning Time focuses on the basketball side of things, but just like The Crossover, we get to see a lot about the players’ personal lives and mutual relationships.
2. Slam Dunk (1993-1996)
IMDb score: 8.7/10
What it’s about: Sakuragi Hanamichi was a basketball newbie – or a rookie who joined the Shohoku High School basketball team just to impress a girl he liked. However, he quickly discovered he had a unique talent for the sport and became the team’s number one weapon.
Why it’s like The Crossover: Who says this list has to be live-action shows only? Slam Dunk, originally titled Slam Dunk: Suramu Danku, is a Japanese anime about a high school basketball player like The Crossover.
It’s one of my favorite anime series of all time and one of the best basketball-related shows ever, hands down. Hence, the incredible IMDb score and a plethora of spin-offs afterward.
1. The Last Dance (2020)
IMDb score: 9.1/10
What it’s about: Follows the career of Michael Jordan and the rise of the 1990s Chicago Bulls, who won three NBA titles in a row, only to have their best player retire, then return a couple of years later – and win another three.
Why it’s like The Crossover: Last but not least, The Last Dance isn’t quite like The Crossover – apart from talking about basketball – because The Last Dance is the only documentary on this list. It’s not just one of the best basketball-related shows of all time; in my humble opinion, it’s one of the greatest documentary series ever.
MJ was a different breed, that’s for sure. The only “problem” I have with The Last Dance, as a Croatian, is that Toni Kukoč wasn’t featured in the documentary as much as he deserved, as he was a much more integral part of the second bulls three-peat than the documentary would suggest. But overall, it’s an absolute must-watch!