We are only a few days away from the start of our Basketball season! And to help kick things off I will be counting down the top 10 basketball movies over the next 10 days. This list is solely my opinion and I respect the fact that other fans of these movies may have a different order. Nevertheless these are still great movies about Basketball!
Blue Chips is a classic basketball movie for players and coaches. The movie follows the fictional legendary coach Pete Bell (played by Nick Nolte) as he tries to maintain his successful Western University Dolphins basketball program. Over the last three years his program has turned from elite to mediocre, as recruits that used to come to Western because of tradition are now being paid off to commit to other schools. In an attempt to right the ship Coach Bell turns to the wealthy alumni to help him buy a new recruiting class. He ends up getting the three best freshman in the country in Butch McRae (played by Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway), Neon (played by Shaquille O’Neal) and Ricky Roe (played by Matt Nover who is playing in Spain). After dealing with these blue-chip recruits and their demands for money and other compensations, Coach Bell starts to question his decision.
This really isn’t a great movie. The characters are flat and the story is intriguing but it goes no where. The reason this makes the list at number 7 is due to how they shot this movie and for all the real basketball stars involved. In the final game against Bobby Knights Indiana, the director had the two teams play in two full games against each other with a live crowd and just used footage from the games for his film. The movie also features Penny, Shaq, Bobby Hurley, Allan Houston and Rick Fox all playing basketball on film. What really makes this a classic basketball movie is the long list of cameos by legends of the game:
Blue Chips serves as a passable movie that tries to address the issue of under the table recruiting as well as the concept of the “pay for play” idea. But what makes this movie stand out is its time capsule nature for the game of basketball and all the legends and stars of the game that were used in the film.
Blue Chips Trailer