It's no surprise that Semi-Pro didn't bring the crowds like Will Ferrell's Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory. It's darker, curse-laden and lacks the daffy innocence of Ferrell's other sports movies. Still, it's often hilarious and full of knowing winks to basketball fans.
Ferrell owns, coaches and stars for the fictional Flint Tropics, in the final days of the ABA (a real-life '70s rival to the NBA). The "Trops" opponents are all authentic, down to their vintage uniforms. But it's less about authenticity than laughs. Semi-Pro's "invention" of the alley-oop is no more realistic than its bear wrestling scene, but both succeed in setting up Ferrell for comedy dunks.