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10 Best Movies Starring NBA Players | ScreenRant

Seeing as they both operate in similar spaces, film and professional sports have had an interesting track record. While the transition between both doesn't always work, many of the biggest movie stars of today started off as professional athletes, such as The Rock, John Cena, and Terry Crews.

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One of the most popular sports leagues around the world, many NBA players have also found success on the silver screen, be that through thought-provoking dramas or iconic comedies. With Space Jam: A New Legacy about to fill movie theater seats, there are more than a few notable movies starring NBA players.

Based on the viral Pepsi ads, starring Kyrie Irving as the eponymous character, Uncle Drew told the story of a legendary player getting his old team back together again to face off against a new basketball talent, played by Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon.

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Starring other NBA icons such as Shaquille O'Neal and Reggie Miller as his teammates, Uncle Drew is a fun, breezy treat for basketball fans. While the story isn't much to write home about, the infectious fun of seeing these players gently poking fun at each other makes this well worth a watch for NBA players.

9 Like Mike

This 2002 family comedy stars Lil Bow Wow as an orphaned child, who becomes an NBA sensation when a magic pair of Michael Jordan's basketball shoes gives him superstar talents. As he leads his hometown team on their hunt for the playoffs, he starts to develop a relationship with the team's superstar.

With a heartwarming premise and many appearances by famous NBA players, such as Dirk Nowitzki and Allen Iverson, Like Mike is a sweet family comedy that has stood the test of time for NBA fans.

8 Trainwreck

Amy Schumer's hit 2015 movie, Trainwreck, told the story of a single woman who fell in love with Aaron, a sports doctor played by Bill Hader. The film contains many supporting performances from various well-known personalities, including LeBron James in his on-screen debut.

One of the most acclaimed comedies of the year, LeBron's performance was often singled out as one of the best aspects of the film. Showing a real talent for comedy, LeBron proved that acting was another activity that he could put his talents to.

7 He Got Game

Spike Lee's drama He Got Game follows an incarcerated father as he tries to convince his basketball-phenom son to join the prison warden's alma mater in order to get a reduced sentence. As the pressure builds on him to commit to a college, he must choose between fame and his father.

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Starring Denzel Washington and NBA Hall of Famer Ray Allen as the main father-son duo, Lee's drama is an intimate and affecting drama, with strong performances from both of its stars.

6 Space Jam

In this beloved 1996 live-action/animated family film, Michael Jordan is abducted into the world of the Looney Tunes and is forced to lead the Tune Squad to victory against the Monstars to save an amusement park. Meanwhile, the sports world falls into disarray due to the talent and skills of 5 major NBA players just disappearing.

While some have argued that the film hasn't aged well over the years, the film's inventive premise and the fun turns from its NBA superstars ensure that this stays harmless family fun that will inspire some nostalgia in basketball fans.

5 Blue Chips

Directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist), this 1994 film tells the story of a college basketball coach trying his best to turn his program around into a winning program. Slowly, he starts to realize that he has to bend some rules to succeed.

Starring Magic teammates Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway, Blue Chips embeds its true story with gravitas and emotional resonance. While initially passed off by critics, Blue Chips has slowly become seen as underrated due in part to the performances by the cast.

4 The Perfect Score

Starring pre-Avengers Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, this thriller is about a group of teenagers who plan to steal the answers to the SAT, ensuring that they get into their dream colleges. One of these teenagers is a basketball player trying to get into his dream school, played by NBA player Darius Miles.

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The film contains some fun performances from its leads that show glimpses of the charisma later projects would expound upon. Though Darius Miles isn't as well-remembered as much as other NBA players, this is one of the stronger acting performances given by an NBA player.

3 Conan the Destroyer

In the sequel to Conan the Barbarian, Conan leads a group of warriors to protect a powerful princess from various foes, at the request of a powerful witch. One of these foes is Bombaata, portrayed by NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain.

While the film has been criticized for its cheesiness and campy tone, the film is enjoyable if only for having Chamberlain's sole film role. Chamberlain is obviously having fun in the role and adds a sense of menace to his character.

2 The Female Brain

Whitney Cummings' directorial debut, The Female Brain, tells the story of a neurosurgeon whose explorations into the differences between the male and female brain dictate how she perceives life and love.

While some critics argued that the film felt familiar and formulaic, others appreciated Cummings' emerging talent shown both in front and behind the camera, as well as the supporting performances, including one from Clippers legend Blake Griffin. While Griffin has shown a knack for comedy and performing since then, this was his first real showcase.

1 Uncut Gems

The newest outing from the Safdie Brothers follows a man whose gambling addiction leads him down a never-ending path of destruction. While the film juggles many different plots, one of the main stories involves a gem that Kevin Garnett wants, as he believes it will be his good luck charm for the Celtics' 2012 playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

One of the best films of the past decade, Uncut Gems is a masterfully tense thriller, filled with great performances, including one from Garnett. Garnett's notably natural sense of line delivery helps imbue the film with a sense of realism.

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