DID YOU READ

The Five Best Basketball Films

The Five Best Basketball Films  (photo)

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The Year of the Yao airs on IFC at 12:45 p.m. ET today. It documents the signing of the first Chinese player to the NBA — the 7′ 6″ Yao Ming to the Houston Rockets. Produced in part by the NBA, the movie follows Yao from his shaky beginning to his unstoppable rise to a basketball powerhouse.

The airing of The Year of the Yao got us thinking about sports films, specifically, basketball movies. Obviously there are a great deal of excellent basketball documents, such as the must-see Hoop Dreams and More Than A Game featuring a young LeBron James. We are more interested in fictional or fictionalized portrayals of basketball: the underdog, the inspiring coach, the tough players, the competition, the swoosh. All the stuff that teenage dreams are made.

Our Top Five Best Basketball Films

5. Teen Wolf. While perhaps not technically a movie about basketball, the basketball game is the only part of the movie that most people remember, so it counts.

4. The Basketball Diaries. Who knew heroin and basketball could work together to make an memorable story of teen angst. That’s what we call teamwork. Leonardo Dicaprio stars in Jim Carroll’s biographical

3. He Got Game. Spike Lee’s 1998 drama shows how the love of the game can have wide-reaching impact. Denzel Washington stars as a convicted killer released from prison by the Governor of New York, so he can convince his basketball star son to play for the governor’s alma mater. That’s some school pride.

2. Coach Carter. Based on a true story, Samuel L. Jackson stars as a tough love coach determined to whip a team of misfits into state champions. If you’re a fan of the excellent television show, Friday Night Lights, you’ll see similarities between Coach Taylor and Coach Carter.

1. Hoosiers. Is there another movie that so perfectly captures the rise of the underdog, the tough love of a good coach, and the power of teamwork? No, there is not. Starring Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, the determined coach with a quick temper and a spotty past, the movie follows the unlikely rise of the Hickory, Indiana high school basketball team. Dennis Hopper garnered an Oscar nod for his role as the basketball-loving town drunk.

The Year of the Yao airs on IFC at 12:45 p.m. ET

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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