OOWith the acclaimed documentary ‘The Last Dance‘ chronicling Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls officially drawing to a close, sports fans will be left itching for further content to get their teeth into.
While some may be long-time basketball fans, others may have discovered a new-found appreciation for the sport and thus, want to learn more about the storied history of basketball and its stars.
Last week, we brought you five basketball documentaries to watch following ‘The Last Dance’ and today we’ve got five more, only this time you can catch them all on YouTube.
The Dream Team
In today’s world, they would be aptly described as ‘the Avengers of sports teams’ because that is exactly what the Dream Team was during the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
This 2012 NBAtv-produced documentary gives fans some fantastic behind-the-scenes insight into the most famous team in sports that included 11 future NBA Hall of Fame inductees.
Whilst some of the storylines are covered in ‘The Last Dance‘ given Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s involvement, there are plenty of other plotlines that carries the story.
A must watch for those interesting in seeing how this team transcended the sport of Basketball in bringing it to a truly global audience.
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals
While many point to Michael Jordan as the savour of basketball in the 1980s, it was, in fact, the introduction of two marquee players in the early eighties that brought a struggling sport into a new era and ultimately saved it.
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Larry Bird first met on a basketball court in the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship final in 1979 before embarking on a legendary NBA-rivalry that spanned their entire careers.
This 2010 HBO documentary tells the story of two players bound for life following a career that ran parallel to one another. Magic and Bird were similar in style but opposite in personality and their rivalry often split the USA for a number of reasons.
An incredible insight into both players as well as their backgrounds and personalities and how that ultimately turned a rivalry that began as hatred into a lifelong friendship.
Drafted in 1972, Julius Erving would go on to leave a legacy as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game, commonly known as ‘Dr J’, this NBAtv documentary tells the story of a career that transcended basketball.
The 2013 film follows Erving throughout his ABA and NBA career, as well as his [sometimes heartbreaking] personal life.
There were stories about how his nickname came to be as well as the tale of the downfall of the ABA and how Erving was able to keep it alive before the NBA merger in 1976.
Known for being one of the best dunkers of all time, the film gives an insight into the rise of the dunk contest as well as Philadelphia 76ers with whom he won an NBA Championship in 1984.
For fans of a younger generation, this is a must-see so they know there was a Michael Jordan before Michael Jordan.
The 84 Draft
This NBAtv presentation tells the tale of arguably the most iconic NBA draft class of all time from 1984 which featured no less than four Hall of Famers in the first 16 picks and five overall.
It’s the draft that welcomed superstars like Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and of course Michael Jordan to the league with each players journey in the NBA wonderfully documented.
Where this documentary succeeds the most though is telling the story of some of the other figures from that draft, the likes of current Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle and in particular the last pick, Dan Trant.
Trant would go to the Boston Celtics before being cut and moving to Ireland where he became a cult-hero. Sadly Trant would pass away during the 9/11 terror attacks in New York in 2001.
This documentary is a brilliant look at a draft class that changed the sport forever.
The Hermit Kingdom
VICE’s visit to North Korea alongside Denis Rodman and three members of the famed Harlem Globetrotters, The Hermit Kingdom is a basketball documentary with a difference.
The produces use the “sporting exchange” idea to allow them access to one of the most restricted country’s in the world with the group visiting various sights in North Korea before partaking in a game in front of the leader Kim Jong-un.
The footage of the game itself and the three globetrotters playing alongside the North Korean selection is surprisingly impressive while Rodman and Jong-un in deep conversation throughout is a wonderfully bizarre addition.
The way in which basketball is used as diplomatic leverage between America and North Korea is fascinating while the back drop of the country’s nuclear missile testing has the documentary constantly teetering on a tightrope of hostility.
A basketball documentary with a difference.