‘Above the Rim’ Turns 21 Today, Here’s Why It’s The Realest Basketball Film Of All Time

The Urban Daily

Tupac Shakur In 'Gridlock'd' Source: Archive Photos / Getty

On this day back in 1994, the now cult classic basketball movie Above the Rim was released. The movie starred hip-hop superstar Tupac Shakur as the local drug lord/goon named Birdie. Above the Rim was a basketball movie, but Tupac’s character, Birdie pretty much stole the show. He showed that he was conniving, ruthless and willing to do anything to win, including having someone killed in broad daylight. He could be nice and warm one minute and willing to kill the next. It almost felt as if Tupac wasn’t acting, but really playing a version of himself.

Duane Martin (who was really an NBA level player) was casted as Kyle Lee Watson, a super talented but self-centered, hot-tempered high school baller who falls under Birdie’s influence. Leon played Tommy Shepherd, a troubled local basketball legend with a few dark secrets, who returns to the neighborhood…

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