If you want to watch a quintessential inspirational movie that pushes you toward your goals, you must watch ‘Hustle.’ The film follows the story of a talent scout and a promising basketball player as they focus on their dreams of finding a future in the NBA while going through a lot of ups and downs. Adam Sandler plays the role of Stanley Sugerman, who is known to have been a promising player himself back in college. Things don’t pan out for him due to an injury, but he doesn’t give up hope.
Sandler essays the character of Stanley Sugerman with absolute ease. He is utterly convincing as a jaded scout who just wants to go home. We feel his enthusiasm as Bo Cruz’s trainer, who puts the young player through vigorous training while keeping up his spirits. While Sandler is a great actor, and there’s no surprise in how easily he inhabits Sugerman’s role, the movie does make us wonder if he knows a lot about the game in real life. We did a little digging, and here’s what we found.
Does Adam Sandler Know Basketball in Real Life?
Yes, Adam Sandler plays basketball, and his love for the game is pretty well known. His passion for the sport has been a part of a number of movies, sometimes as a minor character trait and sometimes driving the plot of the story. In fact, ‘Hustle’ isn’t the first time one of his roles has shared the same plot with the Philadelphia 76ers. In the 2019 film ‘Uncut Gems,’ Sandler plays the role of a jewelry store owner and a gambling addict who gets in a pickle with Kevin Garnett when he places a bet on the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and the 76ers.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 18, 2019
Sandler found his love for basketball at an early age. While attending the Manchester Central High School, he played for the school basketball team. Though he wasn’t the best player there was, he did practice and play a lot. Over the years, the actor has honed his skill, which is displayed through his videos of shooting hoops going viral. In 2021, a video of him playing basketball with NBA players like Trae Young, Tobias Harris, and Aaron Gordon went viral. All of these players make an appearance in ‘Hustle,’ which could mean that it was in preparation for the movie.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who has collaborated with Sandler on several films, has also testified to the actor’s skills. “He’s legit. Not pro legit but he’s definitely LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness legit,” he said on Green Light Podcast. He also commented on Sandler’s usual attire of loose, baggy clothes. “The guys who have the perfect fit are the guys who can’t hoop. But the guys who don’t really care about what they’re wearing, those are the guys you’ve got to be worried about.”
Adam Sandler is a baller. You want to be on his team in pickup. He throws dimes!!! https://t.co/fPpwFrT9Xv
— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) May 17, 2021
Sandler is a Knicks fan and is often seen enjoying a game at the Madison Square Garden. He has also professed his love for Julius Erving, with whom he got to work on ‘Hustle’. The ‘Murder Mystery’ star has also been seen playing hoops at random places. “I see a game going on, I know where parks are. If I’m shooting in a particular state or a city, I’ll ask around where’s some good games and then I go and show up,” he said while at Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Read More: Where Was Hustle Filmed?