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NBA

Which NBA players star in the movie ‘Hustle’ with Adam Sandler?

Legendary players of the past, current stars, a coach and even a super fan. There’s a wide array of Basketball’s talent on show in Netflix’s ‘Hustle.’

Update:
Which NBA players star in the movie ‘Hustle’ with Adam Sandler?Which NBA players star in the movie ‘Hustle’ with Adam Sandler?
Kevin JairajUSA TODAY Sports

There’s a whole host of NBA stars on show in Netflix’s new film, but who are they and where are they at right now? Let’s find out.

Netflix’s ‘Hustle’ is full of NBA stars

Adam Sandler’s new Netflix drama has got critics raving and with good reason. Though the film plays on tried and tested cliches of the inspirational rags to riches sporting star genre, it does so in a refreshing way and with the use of a who’s who of the NBA. From the young Anthony Edwards to the legendary Dr. J himself, the film showcases a wide array of the NBA’s players both past and present with some playing themselves and others giving us a taste of their acting credentials. With that, join us for a look at which stars turn up in the film.

Anthony Edwards

With enough screen time that’s you’d almost forget acting isn’t his profession, The Minnesota Timberwolves star plays Kermit Wilts, a cocky top draft prospect who gets under Bo’s skin with a bit of trash talk. This of course isn’t far from the reality as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is known for his trash talk both on and off the court. Today, he’s actually regarded as one of the funniest players in the NBA for his post-game interviews. Considered the show stealer of the show, perhaps Edwards has a future in film, if he wants it.

Kyle Lowry

Having been the central figure in the Toronto Raptors first championship in 2019, Lowry is most definitely an NBA icon. In the film he shows up to one of Bo’s sessions and proceeds to give him a little heat. As a Philly native you can imagine his position in the film as he tries to throw the young prospect off his center. Today, Lowry plays for the Miami Heat after joining them in 2021.

Kenny Smith

Now retired, the NBA legend plays plays Leon, Stanley’s closest friend and confidante who is also an extremely successful agent. Smith as you well know was an integral part of the Houston Rockets team that won back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995. He’s now best known as one of the commentators on TNT’s Inside The NBA, where he’s worked alongside longtime host Ernie Johnson since 1998.

Mark Jackson

The former NBA player and coach pops up at the Bronx game to weigh in on Bo’s ability and potential for the future. Jackson is now a game analyst for ESPN, where he frequently calls games with his former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and legendary announcer Mike Breen.

Julius “Dr. J” Erving

the NBA legend is first seen in the film when Sandler’s character shows his daughter a viral video of the 76ers legend slam dunking at the age of 63. Considered one of the greatest players of all time, the NBA icon has a second appearance in the film when he shows Bo the ropes at the legendary Rucker Park. He also gives Bo the nickname “The Boa.” Dr. J as many know started out in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1971 before joining the NBA two years later when the leagues merged. Over his 16-year career, he won three championships, four MVPs, and three scoring titles.

Boban Marjanović

The “Big Serbian” is actually the first player that Stanley meets in the opening scene of Hustle. Claiming to be 22 years old he attempts to convince Stanley to give him a shot. The scene is made even funnier by the presence of his son who appears to be in his mid teens. Interestingly this isn’t Marjanovic’s first screen credit, having appeared in John Wick 3. Today he plays for the Dallas Mavericks.

Moe Wagner

Wagner plays Haas, a 19-year-old German player nicknamed the “German MJ” that the 76ers want to draft. Wagner was drafted in 2018 by the Los Angeles Lakers, but now plays for the Orlando Magic alongside his younger brother Franz Wagner.

Shaquille O’Neal

The former Laker plays himself and in the film is one of Bo’s famous fans. A four time NBA champion and three time Finals MVP, Shaq is no stranger to the big screen having starred in films such as Blue Chips - his film debut - Kazaam, Steel and Uncle Drew. Incidentally, this isn’t the first time he’s worked with Adam Sandler either. Shaq has appeared in four of the comedian’s films including Grown-Ups 2, Blended, and Hubie Halloween.

Charles Barkley

Shaq’s fellow Inside the NBA analyst and former Philadelphia 76er is also riding the Bo Cruz wave. An 11-time All Star and 1993′s League’s MVP, Barkley is also familiar with showbiz having played himself in 1996′s Space Jam, Suits, and Modern Family.

Tobias Harris

Though it’s just a cameo, The Philadelphia 76er makes an impression when he takes on Bo at Rucker Park. After being drafted in 2011 by the Milwaukee Bucks, the 29-year-old has done stints with the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, and Los Angeles Clippers before moving to the 76ers where he’s played since 2019.

Allen Iverson

Another former Philadelphia 76er, Iverson plays himself in the film and declares at one point that Bo “don’t need no practice.” It was that same kind of gutsy attitude that saw him become one of the most lethal players in the NBA across the 14 seasons that he played. Iverson was in fact the shortest player in NBA history win the MVP award when he received it in 2001, testament to the tenacity of the man they called ‘The Answer.’

Matisse Thybulle

Currently on the 76ers roster, Thybulle actually has repeated appearances throughout the film as he checks in on Bo’s progress. Thybulle has played for the 76ers since entering the League in 2019 and has established himself as a defensive expert. Funnily enough he’s also had a taste of showbiz albeit in a social media way after his behind the scenes videos gave fans an insight into life during the NBA’s Bubble Season in 2022 which was held in Orlando, Florida at Disney World.

Dirk Nowitzki

The former Mavericks player is seen during a FaceTime call that Stanley makes to him to get his thoughts on Bo. What’s funny here is Notwitzki himself who it would appear may have a future in the business if he wants it. The highest scoring foreign born player in NBA history, spearheaded the Mavericks only championship in 2011 and remains a respected legend of the game to this day.

Khris Middleton

The Milwaukee Bucks small forward shows up as himself in the film to cheer on Bo’s adversary, Kermit. Middleton of course came to the fore as part of the 2021 Bucks team, which included Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday. That same team won Milwaukee’s first championship in 50 years.

Aaron Gordon

With his slam dunk ability being well documented, it just makes sense that he be allowed to showcase it in ‘Hustle. After spending his first seven years in the NBA with the Orlando Magic, he’s now on the roster of the Denver Nuggets.

Brad Stevens

The former coach of the Boston Celtics, who is now the franchise’s president of basketball operations, is seen scouting Bo in the film. Stevens is of course sitting pretty at the moment having seen the team go to the 2022 NBA Finals in his first year as president.

Trae Young

The Atlanta Hawks star shows up at a secret game in the Bronx and doesn’t seem to care for Bo as he continually opts not to pass to him. This is of course a bit funny to see as in real life not only is Young known for his precision from beyond the arc, but his slick out of nowhere passing as well.

Jordan Clarkson

Also present at the aforementioned game in the Bronx, the 29-year-old Utah Jazz star was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2021.

Candace Parker

Though brief, Parker’s appearance is significant as the lone representative of the WNBA. Parker played her first 12 seasons in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks where she won a championship in 2016. The two-time MVP and Rookie of the Year joined the Chicago Sky in 2021. Incidentally, she won her second championship that same year.

Tyrese Maxey

Drafted by the 76ers in 2020, the 21-year-old has a brief cameo in the film where he gives Haas advice on how to improve on defense. “like Jrue Holiday, bro,” is what he tells the German in an apparent reference to the Milwaukee Bucks star who is considered by many to be among the best defensive players in the league.

Seth Curry

Though he’s not as much of a household name as his older brother Steph, the former Philadelphia 76er, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets is a decent player in his own right. In the film he shows up to watch Tobias Harris take on the Bo. Interestingly, Seth is currently third on the NBA’s list of all time three point shooting percentage.

Luka Dončić

As one of the biggest stars in the league today, the Dallas Mavericks star who plays himself gives Bo a huge boost when he shows up to see him and then lets his followers on Instagram know that Bo has got what it takes. Doncic of course has most definitely done that for himself since arriving in the NBA in 2018. With most convinced that he will be the best in the league in the coming years, the future looks bright for the Slovenian.

James Goldstein

While he’s not a player, the eccentric Goldstein enjoys legendary status all the same. Known for his wild fashion sense, the businessman frequently shows up courtside for Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers games wearing big floppy hats and bedazzled jackets.

Doc Rivers

The current head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers jokes about Stanley’s suit in one seen knowing that they will now be working together. A former NBA player himself, Rivers began his coaching career in 1999 with the Orlando Magic where he actually won Coach of the Year during his first season with the team. It was then on to the Boston Celtics from 2004 to 2013, winning the championship in 2008.

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