With the NFL season in full swing and all the tumult surrounding the World Series, it would be perfectly understandable if you let the opening of the pro basketball season pass you by. But open it did, with the Celtics and Lakers both winning their openers. The as-yet unArtested Rockets get started tonight against the Grizzlies, and to commemorate this auspicious occasion, here's a list of the five worst basketball movies of all time.
5. Space Jam (1996)
The unstoppable force of Michael Jordan's marketing juggernaut meets the immovable object of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes brand. The resulting collision is a perfect storm of soulless merchandising and product placement. And who better to provide the soundtrack to a kids' movie than a pedophile?
4. Air Bud (1997)
Made during Disney's late-90s sports movie saturation period, the story of a dog that can shoot baskets is certainly no more or less ludicrous than the concept of a mule kicking field goals or Emilio Estevez as a hockey coach. More surprising is the fact that to date, it has spawned seven sequels. Six of which wisely went straight to DVD.
And he's clearly traveling in this clip.
3. The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979)
Whenever anyone asks you if the 70s were really that bad a time to grow up, you don't even have to bring up Watergate, disco, recessions, or the hostage crisis. Just nod grimly and hand them a copy of this astrology-themed atrocity. Believe me, the addition of Italian hip-hop here is an improvement.
2. Juwanna Man (2002)
I can see the pitch meeting for this.
Writer: "I want to remake Tootsie but I don't want to get sued."
Producer: "Set it in the NBA, that way not as many white people will see it."
Producer: "Oh, and be sure to make it as insulting as possible to female basketball players, homosexuals, and the Los Angeles Clippers."
Writer: "You got it."
1. Celtic Pride (1996)
Remember when Boston sucked? When they were bemoaning The Curse of the Bambino, still awaiting their first Super Bowl victory, and hadn't won an NBA title in ten years? They were almost lovably pathetic back in 1996, when this stupendously unfunny (and co-written by Judd Apatow) movie hit theaters. Now, of course, Boston fans are almost as insufferable as their New York counterparts, but we can always look back on these halcyon days with fondness.
-- Pete Vonder-Haar