Basketball is the sixteenth episode from Season 8 of Modern Family, it aired on March 8, 2017.

Plot Summary

After choking at last year's charity basketball game, Phil has been training all year to redeem himself. However, when NBA stars Charles Barkley and DeAndre Jordan attend the game and start making bets, Phil tries to not buckle under the pressure. Meanwhile, Gloria has to step-up at Manny's school when her nemesis, Donna Duncan, tries to shame her for her lack of support at the school. Finally, Claire does whatever it takes to keep a work mistake secret from Jay, while Jay's concerned that Joe doesn't have a healthy fear of him at all.[1]

Episode Description

Phil, assisted by Luke and Alex, entertains himself with a charity basketball game. Last year, Phil crumbled under pressure and now, he is desperate to win it. But this time, Charles Barkley and DeAndre Jordan attend it too, since their agent is married to the math teacher. The two men make a bet. Jordan coaches Phil's team, while Barkley coaches the opponents. Phil is finally chosen as the basketball player who could change everything but a blackout prevents him from taking the final shot.

In the dark, alone, Phil takes the shot and manages to score. Claire and Barkley secretly watch him from outside.

As for Claire, she and Ben made a professional mistake by choosing a toxic wood. They find almost all of it and destroy it, but one piece. At the same time, Jay tries vainly to obtain Joe's respect but learns that you can't always get what you want especially when you use force and wrath.

Gloria meets with Dr. Duncan again. Dr. Duncan tries to sell hot-dogs at the match. Gloria tries to sell nachos. After a feud, Barkley advises Gloria to make amends with Dr. Duncan.

Finally, Mitch and Haley have a tradition which consists to pretend they're two friends who drink tea. Cam tries to make it with Alex, without success and both men have to coach Haley in her relationship with Rainer. But Rainer and Haley have their own private sides and confide in one another.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Joe Pritchett
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring

  • Nathan Fillion as Rainer Shine
  • Jane Krakowski as Donna Duncan
  • Charles Barkley as Himself
  • DeAndre Jordan as Himself
  • Joe Mande as Ben
  • Sarah Baker as Shirl Chambers
  • Joseph Lim Kim as Reporter
  • Barry Saltzman as Sick Man
  • Kenny Johnston as Larry
  • Lou Saliba as Referee
  • Sharon Gardner as Wife
  • Jeremy Saville as Husband
  • Cyrus Deboo as Spectator


  • Lilly does not appear in this episode, though Mitchell mentions her. Manny only appears in three short scenes.
  • Rainer mistakenly confuses Manny with Cameron.
  • During Phil's first flashback, the flag says "Volleyball Women Tournament".


Cultural References