A new wave of basketball movies is aimed at expert-level fandom

Toward the top of Ben Affleck’s sneaker procedural Air, the bigwigs of Nike’s basketball division sit around a conference room table debating the merits of players in the 1984 NBA draft. They have a $250,000 budget to split between three prospects, which means they’ll inevitably be outbid by the giants at Converse and Adidas for the right to sponsor the draft’s top picks. So they look further down the draft board: The fifth pick, Charles Barkley, is mired in “clubhouse issues,” and “nobody is going to want to see him on TV”; the 16th pick, John Stockton, played his college ball at Gonzaga, and “no one even knows where that is”; Melvin Turpin, drafted
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