At the end both Neon and Butch McRae, played respectively by Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee 'Penny' Hardaway leave school early to play pro ball. In real life both O'Neal and Hardaway left school early and played pro ball; ironically together early in their careers.
For the filming of Pete's team versus Bobby Knight's, the filmmakers had the teams play two games, from which they took bits and pieces to assemble what is seen in the film. Unlike the screen version, Knight's team prevailed in both games, as he had instructed his players to treat the games as real and play as hard as they could. Knight also refused to wear makeup while on camera.
Nick Nolte was considered to star alongside Jeff Bridges 6 years before in Tequila Sunrise which also had JT Walsh as the bad guy like in this film. But they both dropped out and it went to Mel Gibson and Kurt Russell. Both Nolte and Bridges were considered for Kurt Russell's roles in the Thing and Escape From New York.