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NBA Movies That Were Slam Dunks for Players in Hollywood Glovertech


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With the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) 2023 All-Star Game coming up this All-Star Weekend, we figured now was a great time to review some of the best NBA movies that players have starred in. Over the years, NBA players have moved beyond their primary profession and into the realm of acting. From comedies to thrillers, many NBA stars have had successful runs in Hollywood blockbusters.

NBA movies featuring Michael JordanSpace Jam

Arguably one of the most famous former NBA players-turned-actors is Michael Jordan. The six-time champion made his feature film debut in 1996’s hit movie Space Jam, which also starred Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters. The plot followed Jordan‘s toon squad as they faced off against a team of aliens in a basketball game to determine Earth’s fate. The movie was a huge success and is still remembered fondly by its many fans — even getting an ESPN ‘30 For 30’ parody video.

NBA films featuring LeBron JamesSpace Jam: A New Legacy & Trainwreck

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More recently, LeBron James starred in 2018’s blockbuster hit Space Jam: A New Legacy. This sequel to the 1996 classic followed James‘ character as he teamed up with beloved cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to defeat an evil virtual world ruler. Like its predecessor, the movie was highly successful at the box office although received positive reviews from fans for its heartwarming storyline and high production value.

In 2015’s Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck, LeBron James can be seen again playing a version of himself, a successful basketball player and fan favorite of the NBA. He is, in fact, so beloved that his fans have coined the term “LeBromance” for those who share their love for him. LeBron appears in numerous scenes throughout the movie and even has an emotional monologue about success. As the only professional athlete to have a major role in the film, he brings both humor and heart to his memorable performance. His character also serves as an inspiring figure for Schumer’s character, providing her with wisdom and guidance after she suffers from a difficult breakup. Throughout the film, he demonstrates his comedic timing as well as his dramatic side while delivering important messages about achieving success through hard work and dedication. Apart from being an excellent actor, LeBron also had a hand in producing Trainwreck; he was one of its executive producers alongside Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel. This commitment to the project further highlights how passionate LeBron is about movies featuring NBA players or themes, thus cementing his place as one of Hollywood’s most powerful crossover stars.

NBA movies featuring Kyrie IrvingUncle Drew

Kyrie Irving stars as the titular character in the 2018 movie Uncle Drew. He portrays a basketball legend who has long since been forgotten, living far from the court he once dominated, and spending his days fishing. His performance is memorable, as he embodies an aging basketball veteran who still has some of his athletic moves intact. The story follows him as he gathers up a ragtag team of old-timers and takes them to compete in a major streetball tournament. Kyrie Irving also served as an executive producer on the project, taking part in all creative decisions regarding Uncle Drew‘s development, and was even involved in helping cast other members of the team consisting of other legendary NBA stars such as Shaquille O’Neal and Reggie Miller.

NBA films featuring Kevin GarnettUncut Gems

Kevin Garnett starred in the A24 film Uncut Gems, written and directed by Adam Sandler. The movie was released in December 2019 and was a critical success, with many praising the performances of its all-star cast, including Kevin Garnett as himself.

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Garnett‘s performance in Uncut Gems was widely lauded for his charisma and ability to bring humor to an intense situation. He portrayed a version of himself that many fans were familiar with — a former NBA Champion yet still confident and captivating on screen. His character injected moments of levity throughout the movie that helped break up some of its more intense scenes. What’s more, Garnett‘s presence adds even greater credibility to the authenticity of Uncut Gems‘ portrayal of NBA culture — from its characters’ language to their extravagant lifestyles — since he brings years worth of experience from playing professionally in the league. Thanks to his performance, audiences get a unique perspective into what it takes to be part of one of the most exclusive sports clubs in the world and why NBA movies can be such captivating cinematic experiences.

Though they are basketball legends first and foremost, it is clear that these former NBA players can add film stars to their resumes as well. With more realistic depictions of athletes onscreen than ever before, it will be exciting to see what these court heroes do next on the silver screen!

Let us know on Twitter who your favorite NBA star is and what NBA movie is your fave!

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