Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What’s the best basketball movie to watch in order to pretend that Ohio State is in the Final Four?
Jami’s Take: ‘Space Jam’
With Monday’s heartbreaking end to an incredible season for Ohio State women’s basketball, some of us might be looking for distractions to head into this weekend.
If you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to basketball season, but you’re also not quite ready to watch non-Buckeye teams play, don’t worry. Matt and I are here with our picks for the best basketball movies to watch as you nurse your broken heart through the offseason.
My love for Chicago and the 90s runs deep, and while I had a momentary lapse in judgment where I thought, “Nah, I’m gonna go with ‘High School Musical,’” let’s be honest, it was always going to be Space Jam for me. You might say we’ve got a real jam goin’ down.
This movie’s got everything — Looney Tunes, basketball, an unforgettable soundtrack, and most importantly, the greatest to ever play the game: Lola Bunny Michael Jordan. Yes, that’s right, the GOAT himself (sorry Clevelanders, but I’m not on board with Lebron as the greatest, and we will not be watching the silly sequel/remake/whatever it was that I chose to erase from my memory).
But also, Lola Bunny. Let’s not forget that some of the greatest women’s basketball rep came from Lola Bunny tearing it up in this film. How many of us ‘90s girls idolized Lola Bunny for her tenacity and grit on the court? She played much like the Ohio State women’s basketball team this season, if we’re being honest.
Not only does “Space Jam” provide what is essentially the SparkNotes of a Michael Jordan biopic (even nodding to his stint in professional baseball), it is a look at the glory of 90s basketball. Instead of watching Jordan go on a Championship run with the Chicago Bulls, you get to watch him team up with the Tune Squad to face the evil Monstars in order to save the Looney Tunes from becoming amusement park attractions.
It’s also the perfect film for a dance party. One of my arguments during my momentary lapse in judgment was that “High School Musical” involved basketball and dance. But so does Space Jam if you really think about it. Because if you can hear that banger of a theme song by Quad City DJ’s and you don’t immediately start a dance party, you’re probably a Monstar.
The beauty of “Space Jam” lies in the fact that it is both of a specific time and timeless. It is like opening a time capsule to get a glimpse at 90s childhoods, but whether or not you grew up in the 90s, you’ll find something to love. The humor anchors this movie, and it’s the classic Looney Tunes humor we all know and love. Like all great family films, this is a movie for kids that adults will enjoy, with laughs aplenty for all ages.
It also gets bonus points for a Bill Murray cameo. Because the only thing Chicagoans love more than pizza is Bill Murray.
I won’t spoil anything on the rare chance “Space Jam” won’t be a rewatch for you, but in addition to being packed with nail-biting basketball, you can safely count on it to not crush your soul, on account of it being a kids’ movie. That’s the kind of repair work my heart needs after Monday’s game.
It’s also the perfect hype film, which is important because this team is poised to come back even stronger next season, and we need to be proud and stay hyped for them. “Space Jam” is the perfect film to watch on repeat to help us dance our way through the offseason so we’re already pumped when they return next winter.
And if you need something longer than a movie—for instance, a basketball TV show — “One Tree Hill” ran for nine seasons and you can binge it in all its melodramatic glory on Hulu.
Matt’s Take: ‘BASEketball’
I’m going to start this recommendation off with a disclaimer: I haven’t watched is movie in at least 20 years, so I am going to venture a guess that — like many late ‘90s/early aughts raunchy comedies — it didn’t exactly age like a fine wine. However, when thinking about watching a basketball(-ish) themed movie needed to delude ourselves into thinking that the Buckeyes made the Final Four (a much more difficult task for the men’s team than the women’s), why not go with a movie built around a premise so absurd that it makes Ohio State in the men’s Final Four seem plausible?
If you are unfamiliar with this 1998 cult classic, it stars “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, though (much to my surprise), they did not write or direct it. Instead, it comes from writer/director David Zucker who had actually invented the game in the 1980s and had previously filmed a (much different) unsuccessful pilot based on the premise starring Chris Rock.
However, the idea beyond the film is that as the rampant egos and commercialization of professional sports continued to get out of hand, two lazy friends invented their own sport — a combination of baseball and basketball — that become the biggest sport in the world. The game has an absolutely absurd set of rules that involve elaborate psych-outs and can lead to games taking days at a time.
Ultimately, the sport’s creators and best players are consumed by the same temptations of greed and selfishness that plagued everything that came before them. So, while the plot actually has some decently deep commentary about the state of sports in modern culture, that’s not why you watch “BASEketball.”
You watch this absolutely idiotic movie, because — like “South Park” — it is full of the type of creative, off-color jokes that you won’t find anywhere else; from Parker drinking fat liposuctioned out of Marlon Brando’s ass to Stone lactating into the face of an opponent. When you combine that type of sophomoric hijinks with the fact that two of the greatest living sportscasters — Bob Costas and Al Michaels — get in on the action, it is tough to beat.
In my opinion, Bob and Al get some of the best lines of the movie, including the two that I continue to quote 25 years after seeing the movie for the first time. But they aren’t the only big stars to appear in the film. While Jenny McCarthy and Yasmine Bleeth co-star, the ridiculous movie somehow landed cameos by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dale Earnhardt, Reggie Jackson, Jim Lampley, Kenny Mayne, Tim McCarver, Dan Patrick, Victoria Silvstedt, Robert Stack, and more.
Is “BASEketball” any good? Honestly, I have no idea anymore. But it is idiotic and I have really fond memories of my teenage self really loving it a quarter of a century ago. So, if the Buckeyes won’t be playing in the Final Four this weekend, you might as well watch something that will completely distract you from any real-life sports and might even put Bob Costas and Al Michaels in a much different light.
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed
Jami: ‘Space Jam’