Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll's epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction. As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad, Jim's life centers around the basketball court and the court becomes a metaphor for the world in his mind. A best friend who is dying of leukemia, a coach ("Swifty") who takes unacceptable liberties with the boys on his team, teenage sexual angst, and an unhealthy appetite for heroin -- all of these begin to encroach on young Jim's dream of becoming a basketball star. Soon, the dark streets of New York become a refuge from his mother's mounting concern for her son. He can't go home and his only escape from the reality of the streets is heroin for which he steals, robs and prostitutes himself. Only with the help of Reggie, an older neighborhood friend with whom Jim "picked up a game" now and then, is he able to begin the long journey back to sanity.
Mark Fleetwood <email@example.com>
The true story of the death of innocence and the birth of an artist
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Motion Picture Rating
Rated R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence,sexuality and language
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Did You Know?
Studio executives originally wanted the film to be set in Seattle, Washington. Director Scott Kalvert
had read The Basketball Diaries when he was fifteen years old, and compared it to Catcher in the Rye. "Nobody really wanted to make the movie," Kalvert claimed. "Some wanted the locale changed to Seattle, because Seattle was cool. Someone wanted to change it so Jim wasn't the one involved in drugs, and I had a specific take on it." See more
When Jim, Pedro and Mickey steal the car to sell to Mickey's brother, Jim is smoking a cigarette which he takes a drag of then throws out the window. When Pedro nearly crashes the car he is smoking it again. See more
I saw this girl next to me who wasn't beautiful until she smiled.
People Who Died
Written by Jim Carroll
, Terrell Winn
, Brian Linsley
, Wayne Woods
(as Steve Linsley)
Performed by The Jim Carroll Band
Courtesy of Earl McGrath Music See more