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Is Adam Sandler's film, Hustle, based on a true story? 

Queen Latifah and Adam Sandler in Hustle (Image via IMDb)
Queen Latifah and Adam Sandler in Hustle (Image via IMDb)

Hustle is a basketball movie starring Adam Sandler that was released on Netflix on June 8, 2022. Other members of the cast include Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall, Juancho Hernangómez, and Ben Foster. While the film does feature several performances and cameos from real-life NBA players, it is not a true story.

Directed by Jeremiah Zagar and co-produced by Adam Sandler and LeBron James, the film revolves around a basketball scout turned coach's efforts to help a street basketball player become an NBA star. Following the conventional trajectory of most sports drama films, Hustle, makes the cliché's work in its favour.

Whether viewers are a fan of basketball or not, they can watch this film if they're looking for something energizing yet feel-good.


Hustle film summary: The making of an NBA star

Stanley Sugerman, a basketball scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, is fed up with his life spent on airplanes and in hotel rooms while searching for talent across the world. Just when he gets a chance to settle down and finally spend more time with his family as the assistant coach for the team, the ill-timed death of his employer puts him back on the grind.

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As part of one final trip around the globe to find the "next big thing" in the NBA, Stanley lands in Spain, where he comes across Bo Cruz. The young, pithy basketball aficionado in the streets and construction worker by day, checks all of Stanley's boxes for the special talent he was looking for.

However, Stanley's toilsome journey does not end there as the new owner of the Sixers, the exasperating Vince Merrick, refuses to accept Bo into the team, citing his lack of experience, which leads Stanley to quit his job in a fit of rage. From hereon begins Bo and Stanley's journey together.

Facing their personal tragedies, angsty pasts, and current obstacles head-on, the duo persevere with the support of their families. Despite the predictable turn of events, conventional storyline and dialogues in the film, Hustle wins over its viewers.


NBA players and legends featured in Hustle

Adam Sandler's love for basketball, combined with LeBron James co-producing the film made possible a huge roster of cameos featuring real-life basketball players, which promises to leave fans starry-eyed.

Among the more prominent appearances are Juancho Hernangómez, who plays for the Utah Jazz, portraying the character of Bo Cruz in the film. Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards is seen playing Kermit Wilts, Bo's nemesis. Former Houston Rockets player and current NBA analyst Kenny Smith plays the role of Leon Rich, Stanley's friend.

Moe Wagner, the current Orlando Magic forward, is seen in the role of Haas. Real-life NBA draft player, Michael Foster, makes an appearance as Zeke Washington. Julius 'Dr. J' Erving, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, Kyle Lowry, Tyrese Maxie, Seth Curry, Doc Rivers, Dirk Nowitzki, and many others associated with the NBA appear as themselves in the film.

Therefore, despite not being a true story, Hustle does include a star cast involving a plethora of NBA-associated personnel and players.

Hustle is now available to watch on Netflix.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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