If you want to see a movie that shows the most realistic portrayal of an NBA draft with real athletes playing these roles, Adam Sandler’s Hustle is the movie to see. In his dramatic movie comeback, you can see the Uncut Gems star play a basketball scout who recruits an unknown but talented basketball player, played by Utah Jazz’s Juancho Herangomez, from Spain to take part in the NBA Draft Combine. Adam Sandler and his Hustle co-star talk about the time Hernangomez played basketball in construction boots during a wild scene in the film.
In Adam Sandler’s latest basketball movie, his character is trying to find a potential basketball player who could play for the Philadelphia 76ers. While looking in Majorca, he stumbles upon a young construction worker hustling people for their money while playing basketball. In a Whistle video, the Billy Madison star talks with Juancho Hernangomez about filming that scene where he watches his co-star play basketball in construction boots:
Sandler: Dude you look cool in that scene. And Juancho had to play for real, three, four nights in a row in construction boots.
Hernangomez: I think it was selfish on the movie to do three, four nights in a row, full nights, eight, nine hours. Full basketball! Playing defense in boots. I mean, it was crazy.
The chemistry between Adam Sandler and Juancho Herangomez really helped make this movie what it was. We saw not only the bond between a scout and a basketball star but a father-and-son vibe shown between them in the film. And to think the role for the up-and-coming player would not have been Herangomez, but a Chinese player instead. Sandler had to rewrite that part of Hustle because they apparently do not have a Netflix in China. The right actor was picked for the role of Spaniard Bo Cruz showing us the athleticism he gave audiences on the court and the emotional performance he gave in scenes off the court.
The two Hustle stars continued talking in the video about how Juancho Herangomez was kind enough to let Adam Sandler wear these construction boots and that this die-hard basketball fan could not help but play against random players when the cameras would go off.
It’s no surprise that eventually this comedy-drama actor would eventually want to make a basketball movie. Adam Sandler has been known for being a real basketball fan whether he plays ball with his fans or takes a shot of his own off a balcony. Our review of Hustle even makes us wonder if the Punch-Drunk Love star is better off just making movies about basketball from now on. He was able to bring in a number of real-life basketball players to take on these roles, show us what the NBA draft is really like, and the hardships of athletes having to be away from their families when traveling to play. Maybe before we know it, it won’t be long before we see Hustle director Jeremiah Zagar make another movie with an NBA player.
Hustle could end up being a growing trend towards the basketball film genre. If future films can present us with the chemistry Adam Sandler and Juancho Herangomez had, I’m all for it. You can watch this Rotten Tomatoes-crushing film Hustle on your Netflix subscription.
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Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.