Posted: 12:18 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
For a really good basketball movie, though in some ways it seems dated now, it’s hard to beat Inside Moves. It’s a movie with a lot of heart, which it has to be since it starts, almost cold, with a guy trying to kill himself by jumping out of a hotel window. The movie is about the friendships he makes, including one with a talented but handicapped ballplayer, and the theme is defining just who is a cripple. It’s a sweet movie, though perhaps a bit dated at this point.
We’d also quibble with He Got Game as the best basketball movie ever. It was really good, but Spike Lee’s movies all tend to run together, especially when it comes to dialogue and plot gimmicks, not to mention cheap laughs. Lee’s great strength as a moviemaker is gorgeous cinematography and a keen sense of how to use sound, and not just music either. But he’s a mediocre writer who would do well to let someone else handle the scripts.
We’d rank it behind Blue Chips, Hoosiers, and White Men Can’t Jump, at least.
As for books, how can you have a list of basketball books without Bill Russell? He’s the most provocative person to ever play the game and absolutely one of the smartest. The story in Second Wind of his father knocking out a mule is worth the price of the book by itself. That’s his best book, but Red and Me is pretty damn good too.