Hustle Ending, Explained: Does Bo Cruz Play for the Philadelphia 76ers?

Lately, Adam Sandler has been diverging from his familiar terrain of comedies and has been taking more serious, dramatic roles. One such endeavor of his is Netflix’s ‘Hustle’. In this film, he plays the role of a talent scout who finds his redemption arc in a young basketball player living in destitution. In their bid to accomplish their dreams, both Bo and Stan have to pass through hell and high water. With every new problem in their path, the chances of them winning seem to get slimmer. The ending, however, changes everything. Here’s what that little twist, in the end, means for Stan and his Spanish protege.

Hustle Plot Summary

Stanley Sugerman spends most of his days in 5-star hotels away from his family. He travels the world looking for new talent in basketball that he can bring home to Philadelphia. But he is tired of this routine now. When his boss, Rex Merrick, offers him to become the assistant coach of the team, he happily agrees. However, Rex’s sudden death leads him back to square one. The new boss wants Stan back as a scout, but when he expresses his wish to be AC, he is given an offer. If he goes scouting and brings back an exceptional player for the team, he can look forward to working as a coach.

It seems like an impossible task in the beginning, but Stan’s luck takes a turn when he stumbles upon Bo Cruz, a young and unpolished talent with great potential. His employers, however, don’t agree with his decision of bringing Bo home. Knowing that this is the only chance Bo has, and so does he, Stan decides to give his all to train Bo and get him into the NBA.

Hustle Ending: Does Bo Cruz Play for the Philadelphia 76ers?

Bo Cruz had been living in hardship before Stan found him. Despite his obvious talent for the game, he had been working in construction, trying to make a living for his family. The only reason he comes to the US is that Stan promises him the riches that come with being drafted into the NBA. In the end, his dream becomes a reality, though in a slightly different way than Stan had planned.

Stan wanted Bo for the Philadelphia 76ers as soon as he laid eyes on him. He recognizes Bo’s talent and is ready to do whatever it takes for him to be noticed by the big leagues and have a chance at living the life that he deserves. This quest leads him to quit the 76ers after his boss, Vince Merrick, makes it clear that he won’t have Bo as a part of his team. Still, he holds on to hope. He puts Bo through round after round of rigorous training until the world sees him as the promising player that he is.

In the final chance that they get to display his talent, a scout becomes interested in Bo. He has a brief conversation with Stan, who is distracted when Kat Merrick approaches him. She tells him that Vince created a mess, and to clean it up, she is taking a more active role in the company. This leads Stan, as well as the audience, to believe that Bo will now definitely become a part of the team. However, the scout that Stan had been talking to turns out to be from the Celtics.

A few months later, we discover Bo in the Celtics jersey. This confirms that in the bid to have the promising new player on their team, the Celtics must have won the bid against the 76ers. Or, it could simply be that Kat wanted to stay with Vince’s decision, bringing some other player to the team. So, even though Stan didn’t succeed in getting Bo on his team, he did actually succeed in what he’d originally set out to do — to get Bo in the NBA.

Does Stan Become the Assistant Coach for the 76ers?

While Bo’s career takes a slightly different direction than what Stan had imagined, his own life goes back on the track that he’d laid out for himself. At the beginning of the film, Rex Merrick tells Stan that he’s done enough traveling to bring talents from all over the world to their team. It caused a lot of problems for him because he couldn’t stay close to his family, having missed his daughter’s birthday for several years in a row. Rex offers him the position of an assistant coach and Stan jumps at the opportunity. But then, Vince takes over the company when Rex dies.

Vince realizes Stan’s potential as an indispensable scout. His last decision to get Haas, the player that Stan had advised against, turns out to be a disaster. He wants to make up for it, and he knows that Stan is the only one who can dig out a miracle for them. But that’s not the only reason. During their discussion regarding Haas, it becomes clear that Vince is not a big fan of Stan. Rex seems to favor Stan over his own son, and this must be the cause of some jealousy for Vince. So, when Vince sees that Stan got what he wanted by being the AC, he wants to throw his life back into chaos, while hoping that the company can still benefit from it.

No matter what his intentions, Vince’s decision turns out well for the 76ers when Stan shows up with Bo. However, Vince doesn’t want Stan to succeed. He certainly doesn’t want him to take the credit for introducing the world to an exceptional player who has the potential to be an All-Star. To be associated with such a player would mean wonders for Stan’s career. So, Vince relishes every opportunity of sabotaging Bo’s path to success.

Eventually, however, Bo’s talent comes to light, and just as Leon had predicted, people forget about his past transgressions and focus solely on his game. With Bo’s future secured and Kate taking over from Vince, Stan’s biggest hurdles to getting what he wants are removed. Kate delivers what Rex had promised him, and he becomes the assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the last scene, we see his team and the Celtics playing each other. While Stan is happy for Bo, he is also aware of his responsibility to his team and advises one of his players on how to play against Bo. This indicates that both Bo and Stan are on good terms with each other, but they are also dedicated to their teams. Most importantly, they are still dedicated to the dreams for which they worked so hard.

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