‘Love and Basketball’ is NOT a sports movie

I love sports movies. I always have, always will. Part of that has to do with loving sports so freakin’ much. So anytime I get a recommendation for a sports movie, I will usually watch it.

But Love and Basketball is NOT a sports movie.

I hate sappy, love story movies though. Romantic comedy? Fine. I think everyone can handle those. Anything super lovey dovey (aka the Notebook) though is going to make me want to punch someone or fall asleep.

Just your average game of strip bball.

So in high school when my friends and acquaintances began to give the movie Love and Basketball a lot of hype, I was hesitant.

I mean it had the word “love” in the title. But they insisted it was one of the greatest sports movies, especially for basketball. I nodded my head and went on with life. I had no interest in watching a basketball movie at that point.

I was burnt out from basketball and didn’t want to have anything to do with the sport. Naturally a sports movie revolving around basketball was not on my hot list of movies to watch.

Last night, my roommate commented on all the great movies that were on TV. I asked which ones and she replied, “Well Love and Basketball and Twilight.” To avoid watching Twilight at all cost, I told her I had never watched Love and Basketball. Appalled, she told me it was one of her favorites.

And this is how I was roped into watching one of the “greatest” sports movies ever.

I’m not blaming my roommate at all. I am blaming: one, society for telling me that this is a sports movie; and two, my own interest in trying to pick up basketball again.

Warning: If you have not watched Love and Basketball and you’d like to enjoy it on your own time, please stop reading my post.

A Non-Sports Movie: The Red Flags

I knew it was going to be bad when I received a comment that “every girl apparently loves that movie”. Ummm what about guys? They like basketball too, right? This should have been the first red flag that this is NOT a sports movie.

At the beginning of the movie, you see some court action. Monica (star female) has a hot temper on the court, knows nothing about how to be a “girl”, and has a dream to be the first woman in the NBA. The guy, whose name I have already forgotten, is awesome at basketball, has a former NBA player Dad, and can get any girl he wants.

They are neighbors…and best friends. How cliche?!

Does this look like basketball to you? Nope! Looks like pre-"let-me-take-your-clothes-off" scene.

When the movie starts to focus more on some spring formal and the extremmly awkward sex scene than on their recruitment to USC to shoot some hoops, I know I am in trouble. The movie spent less than 30 seconds showing their excitement to get into the school, yet I had to watch about 10 minutes of them making out on the lawn and then awkwardly pull each others’ clothes off (don’t worry, I was watching it on TV so no body parts were revealed). This was the second red flag.

At this point I should have changed the channel. But no, I see that we skip ahead to when they are at their freshman year of college and playing hoops for USC. In my head I’m thinking this is when we’ll see some real hoops action and intense game play.

Yeah….not so much.

I see Monica struggling to keep up with the team, while her cuddle buddy/neighbor/basketball player becomes a USC basketball star. Soon, that boy-whose-name-I-can’t-remember starts to have issues on the home front. And against his father’s wish, he decides to go pro. Daddy and mommy drama equals third red flag.

More red flags? Maybe when Monica and boy-whose-name-I…wait! It’s Quincy. His name is Quincy. When Monica and Quincy start having trust issues (that obviously started with Quincy’s dad sleeping around), I should have known their relationship would dominate over the actual basketball in the movie.


With Quincy moving to the NBA, I’m sure to see some basketball action in this movie. Yes. He misses a shot, and after the steal to run it back and score, he lands awkwardly and tears his ACL. Well that’s just great. The one moment when I’m starting to see some action and there he goes to the ground like a wet paper plane.

"Yo Pops! I'm gonna go pro." "Yo son! I'm a man whore."

But this movie isn’t called Heartbreak and Torn ACL, so I know it can’t be over yet. I will see some basketball!

Even when we flip to Monica’s playtime overseas, we see her walking from the locker room to the court and then cut out to her and an ex teammate bonding over Sangria. WTF?! Not one clip of that basketball game, and now I’m craving a glass of Sangria! Fan-flippin-tastic!

I think what put me over the edge was the one-on-one game at the very end. Monica is playing for Quincy’s heart and some slow, mood setting, R&B music is playing in the back ground. In no way, shape, or form would this type of music be found in the most dramatic sports scene of a sports movie!

Besides, I think it’s going to take a little more than some one-on-one for Quincy to give Tyra up.

Love and Basketball — What this movie is really about

I have obviously proven that this movie is not about basketball, but here are some other options of what this movie is really about.

1. How to deal with family issues.

After Quincy and his dad had a falling out, they were able to bond over basketball and becoming more than just another star. Well sorta. Actually, I’m not sure they ever really bonded. I was texting.

Monica also had that fight with her mother that was obviously the pivitol moment in the movie, where they begin to understand each other. Then her mother convinced her to not give up her dreams. Her dreams as in basketball? Oh no. Her dreams as in marrying Quincy.

Quincy deserves better than Tyra!

2. One-on-one is the only basketball game that matters.

These were the only games you got to see any form of basketball action.

3. When you play strip bball, all fouls are allowed.


I even Wikipedia’d this stuff. They call it a romantic drama film.

Sports movie? Please.

About the Author

Amanda Lawson

A Wisconsinite stuck in Iowa, Amanda began her journey as a new baseball and Twins fan by sharing her experience on Midwest Sports Fans with the Beginning Baseball column. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaRLawson to stay up-to-date on the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, and other sports information. Besides her work on MSF, Amanda also contributes her Packer knowledge at PocketDoppler and co-hosts every Thursday night on CheeseheadRadio.