The 8 Best Basketball Movies on Netflix Today (plus a few series’)

Straight up, here’s the most up-to-date list of all of the best basketball movies on Netflix. Like, literally, this list is more accurate than Netflix’s own list, which includes several titles that were removed months ago.

I have applied a rough ranking here, as a true fan of both film and hoops. I try to offer a little extra credit if the movie actually manages to incorporate basketball as a meaningful element of the plot.

If you’re looking for documentaries specifically, I’ve got a different post, specifically dedicated to the best basketball documentaries on Netflix.

If you also happen to subscribe to the Disney + bundle, it opens up a ton of options for streaming basketball content. I have a current and complete list of basketball movies on Disney+, as well as hulu. And I have a full list of every 30-for-30 doc about basketball, which you can watch on ESPN+.

And if you’re just interested in great basketball movies in general, here are some of my all time favorite basketball movies.

But let’s get to it. Here are the best basketball movies on Netflix, updated in September, 2023.

The Best Basketball Movies on Netflix in 2023

Hustle (2022)

Hustle is one of the best Netflix originals on the subject of basketball.

Adam Sandler plays Stanley Sugerman, a scout for the 76ers who happens upon what he thinks may well be the discovery of his career.

Bo Cruz, played by real-life NBA star Huancho Hernangomez, is a gifted young street baller in Madrid. Sugerman commits to preparing the kid for the NBA draft, straining his career and relationships along the way.

Solid performances all around and some entertaining and believable hoops choreography make this one of my personal favorites. The cameos alone here are worth the proverbial cost of admission. Not just one of the best basketball movies on Netflix, but one of my favorite basketball movies of all time.

Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game (2017)

This is the feature film addendum to the anime series, adapted from the popular manga series. That’s a mouthful.

I do recommend starting with the anime series. The movie is partly a culmination of a plot that was built over three seasons in the series.

But the movie is super entertaining too.

High Flying Bird (2019)

High Flying Bird is one the best basketball movies on Netflix in 2023.

The main draw here is what seems to be a reasonably accurate dramatization of some of the inner workings of the NBA machine.

The plot goes something like this…

A New York sports agent has a plan to rescue his division from the brink during the 2011 NBA lockout. But it goes a little beyond that. He’s also kinda got a plan to fix professional basketball as a whole.

And while there’s very little actual basketball being played here, High Flying Bird is fascinating for its insight. It examines the hidden inequities in a world where great sacrifices are made, simply to participate. And the underlying theme is the use of athletics as leverage in creating social change.

A book on the topic called ‘The Revolt of the Black Athlete’, plays a central role. For every NBA superstar, pulling in massive endorsement deals, there are thousands who have made equal or greater sacrifices where fortune was not on their side. If this serves as a model for our modern capitalist structures, why not use the wide exposure of athletics as a means of addressing it.

The interviews with the players are particularly interesting. The film cuts in on-on-one discussions with some of the NBA’s younger talent about succeeding in the league beyond draft day.

Amateur (2018)

A young kid with and plenty of talent and a numbers-related learning disability gets recruited to an elite basketball prep school and faces the requisite collection of obstacles.

There’s some obvious allusion to the toll that athletics can take on the body and mind. This is an unavoidable theme in modern sports content of all kinds. Where in the past it was perfectly acceptable to focus on the triumph and glory, it has become increasingly important to acknowledge the reality of professional sports as an industry, and a cut throat and often deeply exploitative one at that.

Originally a Kickstarter project, this film got picked up and released as a Netflix Original. Production quality, acting and music are all pretty decent. And this film shares with High Flying Bird it’s focus on taking advantage of the modern media game to put some of the power back in the hands of the player.

Bill Russell: Legend (2023)

The more you really dig into basketball and the history of the NBA, the more you appreciate Bill Russell. This 2023 doc covers the incredible details of his legacy. I’m a sucker for basketball history, so this one is right up my alley.

The first black superstar in the NBA, Russell set the table for the lends that came after: Wilt, Kareem, LeBron. He was also the first black coach in the league at a time when being black in the NBA was a despicably rough go.

11 championships in a 13 year career. But it wasn’t just raw talent that helped him gnaw away at racial barriers, it was a courageousness, a powerful strategic mind and a remarkable sense of what is truly right.

The documentary is a long one, pushing up over the 3-hour mark. But it’s worth the investment for a firm understanding of what Bill did for both basketball and civil rights.

Stylistically, this is a little closer to a Ken Burns doc than The Last Dance. It’s a little slower, meandering through impassioned interviews and supporting knowledge. You’ll want a genuine interest in basketball and basketball lore to really get hooked in here.

One in a Billion (2016)

Satnam Singh Bhamara went 52nd to the Dallas Mavericks in 2015, making him the first Indian-born player drafted in the NBA from a country of over 1 Billion people.

This film follows Satnam from the rural town where he grew up, through his development in Delhi, to an elite sports academy in Florida, straight up to night of the 2015 draft in New York.

This is a fascinating portrait of a player in development. We see Satnam grow from a physically gifted teenager into a trained and conditioned professional athlete with the help of a crew of dedicated coaches and trainers.

The film also touches on the motivations of the NBA in India as the Indian economy grows and comes into its own. India is a massive developing market with very little exposure to the sport

While Satnam was drafted, he never did get the chance to play a game in the NBA. He was in the league for a bit, played some G-League and Summer League, but eventually fell back to FIBA. He received a 2-year ban from FIBA though in 2019, apparently failing a doping test. He is currently a professional wrestler with the AEW.

Brotherly Love (2015)

Brotherly Love is one of the best basketball movies available on Netflix in 2023.

Set in the famous Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, the story revolves around Sergio Taylor, the number one high school basketball player in the nation. Sergio navigates the challenges and pressures that come with hood fame.

The film weaves together music, sports, and a diverse array of characters. “Brotherly Love” aims to bridge the generational gap, shedding light on the inner struggles and aspirations of young individuals in their pursuit of love, dreams, and a brighter future.

Cable Guy (1996)

The classic Jim Carrey flick is currently available on Netflix.

What can I say about Cable Guy that hasn’t already been said. Is this truly a basketball movie? Absolutely not. However, it does feature a classic scene where Jim Carrey forces himself into a pickup game with Mathew Broderick.

It’s not a great movie, per se. It’s about what you’d expect from Carrey at that time in his life. It’s a disturbing and weird and at-times hilarious movie. But it’s not a great movie by any means.

Still, even if you just skip ahead to the pickup game, it’s kinda worth a watch. Certainly not the best basketball movie on netflix, but hey…

Basketball Series’ on Netflix

Not movies, but there are several series’ on Netflix today that are about or invloving basketball in some form, and they are all quite bingeable.

The Last Dance

A 10-episode series on the rise of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. This is one of the most popular basketball documentaries in recent history. It’s long, but it is extremely bingeable. The episodes just fly by.

Kuroko’s Basketball

If you’re into anime and basketball, Kuroko’s basketball is a lock. Clear your weekend. Give it a couple of episodes. If you’re not at least a little bit hooked, fine, it’s not for you. But it’s worth a shot on the off chance you’re even half as entertained as I am.

Because this show is awesome!

Take everything you know about Japanese hero drama; an assembled team of underdogs with unique and powerful skills assembles to do battle. Except here the arena is a High School basketball court.

It all revolves around Kurokoichi, the unassuming master facilitator. Nobody notices him until it’s too late.

This show does a great job on at least touching on legitimate basketball concepts in a way I haven’t seen anywhere else. You can pickup a lot of terminology and concepts in three seasons that you’d never get, even from years of NBA commentary.

Jump Like a Witch

What the heck, this goofy Korean reality show from 2022 features several female Korean celebrities who know nothing about basketball competing against a team of middle school children. It is very odd. If you were in the right mental state, this may well be extremely entertaining.


6 episodes from 2020 of a Netflix original series that follow a group of obsessive sneakerheads. Alright, not explicitly about basketball, but sneaker cultures is ver basketball-adjacent, so I gotta mention it, right?


I’m a big fan of Hustle. It’s just an interesting movie and it definitely includes basketball as a key element. High Flying Bid is also fascinating and provides a very interesting look into an aspect of basketball that I was mostly completely unaware of. Amateur is pretty interesting as well.

But where Netflix is really holding it down is with the basketball documentaries. I’ve mentioned a few here, but you might want to dive into the full stack on my post dedicated specifically to basketball documentaries on Netflix.