Spalding basketball in court

There is nothing like a good story to inspire you, especially in the world of basketball. Whether you are looking to get yourself out on the court again or simply want to learn about the game before you start wagering on the next NBA matches, you can be sure to find something thrilling to watch on Netflix this month. The streaming service is simply brimming with options.

Who doesn’t love watching a struggling athlete turn into a star? Or to see individual players becoming a real team. That’s exactly what good sports movies and documentaries can offer. They inspire us to pursue our dream, be it on or off the court, and are simply great entertainment – they can even help you gain traction as a sports bettor.

Before you begin

So, before you hit ‘play,’ it’s worth considering what you want to get out of the movie, aside from the entertainment, of course. Are you curious to get a better understanding of how the NBA works so you can use that knowledge the next time you wager on matches on sites like Or do you simply want to study what skills a good player possesses? Whatever it is, these five movies and documentaries will teach you a thing or two about the basket.

1. The Last Dance

The Last Dance is a must for all NBA fans, especially if you are a fan of the 1990s Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. It offers an intimate portrait of the legendary player with real footage, a truly fascinating glimpse into the Bulls’ empire. In many ways, this is true journalistic entertainment in every aspect possible. The fancy blend of archival footage, the expensive soundtrack, the in-depth interviews combined with 90s nostalgia makes this 10-part miniseries documentary “all that” and more.

It also gives you the sort of inside needed better to understand the world of basketball – a useful skill if you are considering wagering on NBA games.

2. High Flying Bird

High Flying Bird is all about empowerment. Following a sports agent and a young basketball player, this smartphone-shot movie kicks off after an NBA dispute between the players and the owners has brought everything to a standstill. To solve the crisis, they must fight against the corporate owners and think out of the box. It is both timely and innovative and deals with important topics in the basketball industry such as class, race, and power.

The reviews for High Flying Bird have been high-flying, to say the least, unsurprisingly. A big part of that is owed to the script, which can be described as extraordinary, poetic, and idiomatic. It could not have been easy for the cast to turn the artful script into a convincing human speech. But they did, big time. And thus, it’s a perfect marriage between contemporary politics and clever pop culture.

3. Basketball or Nothing

This docu-series is about the Chinle High basketball team in Arizona’s Navajo Natio and their quest to bring pride and opportunity to their isolated community by winning the championship. While this might not be about big leagues like the NBA, it offers a more small-scale yet compelling portrait of the players and their lives and everyday challenges – and then, of course, a lot of great basketball.

What makes Basketball or Nothing so intriguing is how the subjects’ backstories are painted on the backdrop of the Navajo Nation reservation. The title is a nod to the harsh reality that without the popular sport, there would be near to nothing for these teens to do in and around Chinle, where drug use, drinking, and suicide rates are disproportionately high among teens and young adults. Basketball is a possible rocket off the reservation and into college, a career, and a more secure lifestyle than many have known in their own childhoods.

4. Tony Parker: The Final Shot

The Tony Parker documentary takes a close look at one of France’s major basketball icons. We find out what led him to pursue a career as a basketball player and witness his determination and hard work that ultimately led him to become the first French NBA star. A great watch for those who love a success story that doesn’t shy away from the factual either.

At the same time, Parker’s story does not have the deep drama of Michael Jordan’s retirement and return or the engagement of Tiger Woods’ emotional rise and fall. But it is still a very compelling story of a star whose impact is said to have been underappreciated. When he came to NBA, he was described as a skinny kid, who it was hard to expect anything from. But he quickly proved himself and went on to play 18 seasons in the league, all but the last one as a starter.

5. Amateur

Amateur is your classic sports drama about a young upcoming basketball start struggling to cope with his personal life as he pursues his big dream. When the 14-year-old player is recruited for an elite NCAA prep school, which starts a new chapter in the main character’s life, he finds it hard to fit into his new team and is questioning his choices.

This is an engaging story from start to finish, but it could have been more. It does not quite reach those nights as other sports dramas do. You do feel a genuine concern for the main character. This is because there isn’t any solid moment where you question his ability to hold under pressure. There is no real danger. And there is no real flip side either, where you feel that he has reached his goal. The opening highlights his gifted skills as a basketball player. He is very good. But then, there is no room for that tension that must have been there.

However, the theme surrounding the main character’s life does capture you; it’s about who he can trust and what he is willing to do to get where he wants to go. There is a struggle between trusting his charming coach and taking guidance from his disruptive father.