Top Basketball Documentaries & Series to Watch Now

Top Basketball Documentaries & Series to Watch Now

If you want to form a deeper connection with the game you love, we’ve collected a list of some of the best basketball documentaries of all time available to watch or stream right now. Check them out here.

Top Basketball Documentaries to Watch

Watching live games and following your favorite team is one thing, but with a sport like basketball – which touches the lives of so many different communities – you can dig far deeper into the themes behind it.

The stories of the greats like LeBron James to Julius Erving are fascinating in themselves, but basketball also brings conversations around what it means to be in a team, to overcome adversity and a reflection of wider issues within society. Over the years a range of sports movies have sprung up addressing these ideas and more, many of which are listed below.

1. ‘Hoop Dreams’ (1994)

The critically acclaimed documentary film Hoop Dreams follows the lives of William Gates and Arthur Agee, two African American high school basketball players from tough neighborhoods in Chicago who dream of becoming professional NBA players. Shot over five years, we see the boys grow from age 14 to 19, and the movie becomes a heartbreakingly open story about life in America, and the challenges of poverty, crime and racism. 

Watch Hoop Dreams full documentary on Peacock with DIRECTV

2. ‘The Last Dance’ (2020)

The Last Dance, a critically acclaimed documentary series, offers an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the career of basketball icon Michael Jordan as he led the Chicago Bulls on a quest for a record-breaking sixth NBA championship.

Through exclusive interviews and archival footage, Jordan, Rodman and others weave a captivating narrative that explores not only the unparalleled athletic prowess of Jordan but also the dynamics of teamwork, tragedy and the relentless pursuit of greatness in the world of professional basketball.

Watch The Last Dance on Netflix with DIRECTV

3. ‘Women of Troy’ (2020)

The HBO Sports documentary tells the story of the USC Trojans, led by Cheryl Miller, and how the team changed women’s basketball, the NCAA forever. The 1980s team became of the of greatest dynasties in the history of women’s college basketball, and Women of Troy, directed by Alison Ellwood, is an inspiring and timely portrayal of these athletes who defied discrimination – eventually influencing the birth of the WNBA.

Watch Women of Troy on Max with DIRECTV

4. ‘Shut Up and Dribble’ (2018)

Shut Up and Dribble is not just a documentary series about basketball, it is about the power of sports to inspire change. Also produced by LeBron James, the SHOWTIME series focuses on the intersection of sports and politics and takes an important look at how Black basketball players in particular have used their platforms to fight for social justice throughout the modern history of the NBA.

Watch Shut Up and Dribble on DIRECTV

5. ‘The Doctor’ (2013)

For fans wanting to dig deeper into the story of a legendary player, The Doctor showcases the life of Dr J, or Julius Erving, known for the popularization of the slam dunk. Dr J revolutionized the game with his innovative style on the court and his charismatic personality, and the film takes us back to his early days in the ABA to his time as an NBA star with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Including interviews from Erving himself and fellow basketball legends, The Doctor is an insightful look into the life and career of one of the world’s most influential players. 

Watch The Doctor with NBA League Pass/NBA TV

6. ‘Shaq’ (2022)

shaq basketball documentary

This four-part documentary explores the life of one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time, Shaquille O’Neal. Through exclusive interviews and footage of Shaq, audiences learn how a tough, fatherless upbringing shaped a historically dominant NBA figure, and how his dedication basketball continues to take a toll on his body today.

Watch Shaq on DIRECTV

Where to Watch Basketball Documentaries on DIRECTV

Immerse yourself in the world of sports with DIRECTV. We have a range of packages that can give you access to over 30 regional sports networks, international soccer and college sports, with a number of add-ons.

For basketball fans, try our NBA League Pass for 24/7 access to games and coverage on demand. And until March 11, 2024, you can get NBA League Pass for just $49.99 for the rest of the season! It doesn’t get much better than that. 

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