Nba player

Every Real NBA Player Who Appears In Adam Sandler’s ‘Hustle’

HUSTLE. (LR) Juancho Hernangomez as Bo Cruz and Adam Sandler as Stanley Sugerman in Hustle. cr. Scott Yamano/Netflix © 2022.

Adam Sandlerhas another hit movie for audiences to enjoy on Netflix. It came at a good time, now that the NBA season is over, leaving plenty of time for just about everyone to sit down and watch an entertaining movie that revolves around the game of basketball.

The movie is called, Hustle, and it follows a failed NBA scout who traveled the world in search of the next international superstar on the court. He sacrificed a lot of his own life for the Philadelphia 76ers, one of the most legendary NBA franchises of all time.

When he finally meets someone with potential, he risks almost everything to bring a young streetballer to the United States to try to play in the league. This young man is played by Juancho Hernangómez, a real NBA player who currently plays for the Utah Jazz.

Contributing to the uniqueness of this film, the filmmakers brought well-known current and even former NBA players into the fold to play supporting roles. This not only attracted basketball fans to watch, but added to the size of the potential audience, in addition to making the basketball action as realistic as possible.

It’s a long list, but here are all the people who have come from the NBA to help contribute athletic gravity and accolades to Hustle.

One of the main roles went to an NBA player who stars in his first film

As mentioned earlier, Juancho Hernangómez plays one of the main characters in this first role in a feature film. It gives a face, a voice, and obviously a lot of height to Bo Cruz, the Spanish basketball rookie that Sandler’s character is trying to groom for NBA stardom.

Much like his fictional counterpart, Hernangómez actually left his native Spain for a professional career in the NBA. He started with the Denver Nuggets in 2016, then played in Minnesota, Boston and San Antonio before settling with his current team, the Jazz. He still plays for the Spain national team in international basketball tournaments or Olympic competitions.

One of the NBA’s current stars also plays a pivotal role in the plot

No matter the content of the story, each protagonist has someone or something to face. NBA star Anthony “Ant-Man” Edwards was cast in the film for almost literally putting the “ant” in the ant-agonist. His character Kermit Wilts ends up quickly becoming a rival to Cruz, making Bo’s journey to the NBA considerably more difficult than expected.

While many basketball fans don’t consider him a dirty player or anything like that in real life, his talent makes him one of the hardest players to play against in the league. Edwards was his team’s second-leading scorer last season with 21.3 points per game. During his rookie year in 2020, he and Hernangómez were teammates at Minnesota.

NBA legend helps round out main cast of characters

Many current basketball fans would recognize Kenny “The Jet” Smith for his work on the Inside The NBA office team on TNT. He was cast as Leon Rich, a sports agent and close personal friend of Sandler’s character, Stanley.

During his playing career from 1987 to 1997, he played for six NBA teams. In his freshman season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Smith’s best years were notably from 1990 to 1996 with the Houston Rockets where he won two NBA titles. Shortly after retiring, he joined TNT’s coverage of the NBA in 1998 and has been there ever since, also covering Turner Sports’ NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

So many basketball players, big and small, have made appearances in this movie

Even for the most casual basketball fan, a number of the league’s current players came across as themselves to add to the film’s realistic tone. Trae Young, Jordan Clarkson, Aaron Gordon, Seth Curry, Luka Doncic, Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle are all in the film. Additionally, recent champions such as Khris Middleton, of the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, and Kyle Lowry, who won his ring with the Raptors in 2019 have joined the cast.

And even former players, some of whom are current coaches, and Hall of Famers like Julius Erving; Charles Barkley; Shaquille O’Neal; Allen Iverson; Dirk Nowitzki; Aaron McKie; Brad Stevens; Doc Rivers; Dave Jörger; Mark Jackson; Sergio Scariolo; Jose Calderon; Leandro Barbosa; Álex Abrines and Maurice Cheeks also made appearances.

Boban Marjanovic, of the Dallas Mavericks, plays a character known as Dimitri “The “Big Serbian” Jovanovic, and Moritz Wagner, who plays for the Washington Wizards, plays a German rookie called “Haas.”

And finally, Willy Hernangómez, brother of Juancho and current NBA player, is seen in the film as a member of the Spanish national team.

Hustle, starring Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah and Juancho Hernangómez was released to stream on Netflix on June 8, 2022.