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Basketball Movie Awards

December 1, 2003 Columns No Comments

The Inaugural Basketball Movie Awards

by Nicholas Lozito

Some call me a pathetic man with too much time on his hands. I call myself a basketball movie junkie. Either way, it has become my mission to own every halfway decent basketball movie available on VHS or DVD.

I’m off to a solid start, with “Blue Chips,” “He Got Game” and “Hoop Dreams” lined up in alphabetical order on the bottom shelf of the entertainment center – keep in mind, I started this collection about three weeks ago. While I own only three basketball movies, I have seen quite a few through hundreds of Blockbuster visits and thousands of hours of TNT, TBS and USA viewing.

And now, as the sole member of the Academy of Basketball Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, I bring you the inaugural Basketball Movie Awards!

Tonight’s host will be Matt Nover – better known as the white guy in “Blue Chips” who never played in the NBA. Wasn’t Christian Laettner available for that role? Anybody?

Nover: How are you doing tonight? (Audience applause) I see Vivica A. Fox is on hand. I thought you were great in Juwanna Mann, Vivica. Too bad the rest of America didn’t feel that way. Half way through the movie my date asked, “Juwanna get the hell out of here?”

And Ray Allen is on hand tonight. Ray, if you were as stiff on the basketball court as you are in front of the camera they’d have to call you Greg Ostertag. I’m surprise Spike Lee didn’t just cast himself for the role like he does in every other freaking movie.

Now, to the awards:

Best Acting By An NBA Player

(Note: Due to the movie’s overall absurdity, Michael Jordan’s role as himself in “Space Jam” has been disqualified. The guy was playing against 12-foot aliens for Christ’s sake.)

The Nominees:
Shaquille O’Neill in “Blue Chips”
Rick Fox in “He Got Game”
Karl Malone in “Like Mike

And The Winner is… Rick Fox

Fox: Everyone has always told me I’m a cocky bastard, so I thought I’d put my talents to use. I’d like to thank my wife, Vanessa, for being extremely hot, Shaquille and Kobe for providing me with an NBA career and Spike Lee for letting a 30-year-old man play a college basketball player.

Worst Acting By An NBA Player

The Nominees:
Ray Allen in “He Got Game”
Larry Bird in “Blue Chips”
Shaquille O’Neill in “Kazaam

And the winner is… Ray Allen

Allen: I’d like to thank Spike for making my lines no longer than a sentence. Bye.

Most Unrealistic Basketball Scene

The Nominees:
Lil’ Bow Wow dunking in “Like Mike”
Woody Harrelson dunking in “White Men Can’t Jump
Michael J. Fox not only dunking, but getting his waist to rim level in “Teen Wolf
Wesley Snipes not getting about 20 traveling calls throughout “White Men Can’t Jump”
A freaking dog playing high school basketball in “Air Bud

And the winner is… Wesley Snipes (not in attendance)

Nover: That guy put the ball behind his back twice on a drive to the basket without taking a dribble.

Greatest Scene In A Basketball Movie

The Nominees:
Arthur Agee taking Marshall High to the state championships in “Hoop Dreams”
Jake Shuttlesworth putting the ball in his son’s court at the end of “He Got Game”
Woody Harrelson dispelling the myth in “White Men Can’t Jump”

And the winner is… Arthur Agee

Agee: If anybody cares, I went on to play college ball at Arkansas State and professionally in the USBL and IBA.

Nover: Here are some other awards that were handed out before the show:

Best Line In A Basketball Movie

The winner:

William Gates’ final line at the end of “Hoop Dreams”

“Four years ago that’s all I used to dream about was playing in the NBA. I don’t really dream about it like that anymore. Even though I love playing basketball I want to do other things with my life, too. If I had to stop playing basketball right now I think I’d still be happy. That’s why when people say, ‘When you get to the NBA are you gonna forget about me and stuff?’ I should say, well, if I don’t get to the NBA are you gonna forget about me?”

Worst Line In A Basketball Movie

The winner:

Jesus Shuttlesworth’s (Ray Allen) dialog with his younger sister when his father (Denzel Washington) comes back home after getting out of jail

Shuttlesworth: Mary, what did I tell you about letting strangers in the house?

Mary Shuttlesworth: He’s not a stranger; he’s our father.

Jesus: I don’t have a father!

Nover: Halfway decent acting on Allen’s part could have turned this into a very powerful scene. And here are some other of the Academy’s choices for the best and worst in basketball cinema.

Greatest Basketball Movies
5. Blue Chips
4. He Got Game
3. White Men Can’t Jump
2. Finding Forrester
1. Hoop Dreams

Worst Basketball Movies

(Note: I haven’t seen “Slam Dunk Ernest,” “Eddie” or “Forget Paris“)

5. Celtic Pride
4. Air Bud
3. The Sixth Man
2. BASEketball
1. Juwanna Mann

Most Overrated Basketball Movie


Most Underrated Basketball Movie

Like Mike

Nover: Thanks for joining is tonight. And whoever’s paying me for this gig, I want my money in cash, placed inside a duffel bag which will be waiting for me on my front porch. Oh, and pops wants a tractor. Thank you and good night.


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