In 1993, professional basketball player Michael Jordan announces his retirement from the sport to follow his late father’s career as a baseball player. However, it becomes evident that he is not as skilled in baseball as he was in basketball. Jordan is assigned a publicist, the bumbling Stan Podolak, to make his new career less bumpy. Elsewhere, in outer space, an intergalactic amusement park called Moron Mountain faces dwindling popularity, so its owner, Mr. Swackhammer, sends his diminutive minions, the Nerdlucks, to capture the Looney Tunes as new entertainment. The Looney Tunes live in an animated world hidden in the centre of the Earth, but are unable to listen to the Nerdlucks’ threats and challenge them to a game of basketball to try to win back their freedom.
Sidney Deane and a group of streetballers in Venice, California are playing a pickup basketball game. When one of the players on the other team gets hurt, Sidney urges his opponents to pick Billy Hoyle, a white bystander, to take the injured man's place, figuring he cannot play well because of his race. Billy proves to be much better than Sidney expected, leading his team to beat Sidney's, and he then beats Sidney for money in a one-on-one rematch.
Sixteen-year-old Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) plays basketball with his friends in New York. A recluse, William Forrester (Sean Connery), lives on the top floor of the building across from the court. The kids regularly notice him watching them. One of the boys dares Jamal to sneak into the apartment and retrieve an item. Jamal takes a letter opener only to be surprised by Forrester and inadvertently leaves his backpack behind. Forrester later drops Jamal's backpack onto the street. Jamal goes home to find that Forrester wrote notes in his journals. Jamal returns to Forrester's apartment and asks him to read more of his writing. Forrester tells him to begin with 5,000 words on why Jamal should "stay the fuck out of my home", which he completes and leaves on the doorstep the following day.
Coach Ken Carter takes over the head coaching job for the basketball team at his old high school Richmond, having played on the team himself and earning records. Carter quickly sees that the athletes are rude and disrespectful, and are in need of discipline. He hands the players individual contracts, instructing them to attend all of their classes, wear dress shirts and ties on game days, refer to everyone (players and coach alike) as "sir", and maintain a minimum 2.3 (C+) grade point average, among other requirements. Carter also asks the school staff for progress reports on the players' grades and attendance. He teaches them to play a disciplined brand of basketball.
Calvin Cambridge is a teenage orphan whose two best friends, Murph and Reg Stevens, are also orphans. At night they have to sell chocolate for a greedy orphanage director, Stan Bittleman, (Crispin Glover) after each home game of the Los Angeles Knights.
Newly appointed men's basketball coach Don Haskins (Lucas) from Texas Western College in El Paso, lacking necessary financial resources, makes an effort to recruit the best players regardless of race to form a team that can compete for a national championship. Some of the young men he brings in possess skill, but are raw in talent when it comes to organized teamwork focusing on defense and ball distribution. In the end, his Texas Western Miners team comprises seven black and five white athletes; a balance that raises eyebrows among university personnel. Haskins puts his players through a rigorous training program, threatening to cut anyone who doesn't work as hard as he demands, while trying to integrate his players into a single team with a common goal.
The movie begins with Kate (Brittany Snow) discussing her mother Lori's (Jenny McCarthy) series of bad relationships which always causes the family to move to a new town. She and her mother move to a suburb of Portland, Oregon and Kate gets a job as a waitress. While at work, she sees popular local boy John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) on dates with three different girls: Carrie (Arielle Kebbel), a chronic overachiever; Heather (Ashanti), who is head cheerleader; and Beth (Sophia Bush) a promiscuous vegan activist. Kate learns from a co-worker that he dates girls from different cliques at his school so that they never interact and convinces the girls he dates to keep their relationships secret.
In 1976, Jackie Moon is a singer who has used the profits from his one hit single "Love Me Sexy" to buy a basketball team in the American Basketball Association, the Flint Tropics, becoming the owner, head Coach, and starting power forward. The ABA Commissioner announces a plan to merge the league with the National Basketball Association, but only four teams will move to the more established league. The Tropics, the worst team in the league, are in danger of dissolving. In response, Jackie argues that the teams with the four best records overall should be merged into the NBA. The Commissioner reluctantly accepts Jackie's offer.
At a restaurant in New York City, Andy (Joe Mantegna) prepares to introduce his friends to his fiancée, Liz (Cynthia Stevenson). As the couple waits for the rest of the party to arrive, Andy begins telling Liz the strange story of how his friends Mickey (Billy Crystal) and Ellen (Debra Winger) came to know each other and fall in love. As each of Andy's friends arrive, more of the story is unfolded to Liz.
Seventeen-year-old high school student Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) is sick of being average and wishes he were special. His father, Harold (James Hampton), runs a local hardware store. Scott plays basketball for his high school's team, the Beavers, with a not-so-good win-loss record. The girl of his dreams, Pamela Wells (Lorie Griffin), is dating Mick McAllister (Mark Arnold), a jerk from an opposing high school team, the Dragons. After another of the team's losses, Scott begins to notice strange changes to his body. While at a party, Scott keeps undergoing changes and eventually he returns home, locks himself in the bathroom, and undergoes a complete change and becomes a werewolf, while his father demands that he open the door. He tries to refuse, only to finally give in and find his father has also transformed. Harold never told his son about the condition because "sometimes it skips a generation" and he was hoping it would not happen to Scott. Needing someone else to share his secret, Scott confides his best friend, Stiles Stilinski (Jerry Levine), who accepts Scott's werewolf status. However, Scott inadvertently reveals his transformation to the public at one of his basketball games. After shortly stunning the crowd with The Wolf, Scott goes on to amaze them with his newfound basketball skills.
The New York Knicks are also-rans in the NBA, their roster filled with players who either lack talent or are too distracted by off-the-court issues. Nonetheless, limousine driver and rabid fan Edwina "Eddie" Franklin (Whoopi Goldberg) attends every Knicks game in the nosebleed section of Madison Square Garden.
In 1951, Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges) are high-school seniors and friends in a small, declining Texas town. Duane is dating Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd), the prettiest (and wealthiest) girl in town. Sonny decides to break up with girlfriend Charlene Duggs (Sharon Ullrick).
In 1951 Norman Dale arrives in the rural southwest Indiana town of Hickory to become a high school teacher and head basketball coach. He was hired by Cletus Summers, the principal and a longtime friend of Dale's. Dale had lost a previous collegiate coaching position after striking one of his players so the job is something of a last chance for him.
Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) have wanted to be professional basketball stars since they were kids. Monica wanted to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, and wear Magic Johnson's number: 32, and Quincy wanted to be like his father and play for the Clippers. However, Monica has to work hard to establish herself, while Quincy was born with natural star potential. As the two struggle to reach their goals of playing professionally, they must also deal with their emotions for each other.