Love & Basketball avoids sentimentality thanks to all the prep work it’s done with these characters. As a film, it has respected the trials and tribulations of its romance narrative, giving both Quincy and Monica time to realize that compromise is not only inevitable, but also rewarding. The gorgeous final sequence finds Monica in the WNBA and Quincy happily playing the position of adorning father on the sideline. It seems practice makes perfect, eventually.
Without making a big deal about safe sex or even virginity, Gina Prince-Bythewood crafts a love story that resonates with unusual sincerity in the Age of Irony... Love & Basketball transcends the simplicity of just alienation, as it reaches for romantic equality and miraculously achieves it.