Released on 8th June, Hustle has already picked up quite the head of steam, reaching the top of Netflix’s Top 10 within 3 days of it coming out. It has received a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.4/10 on the more critical IMDb. For Adam Sandler, who portrays the protagonist, this is a huge victory as a number of his Netflix shows have been torn apart by critics.
Without giving away any spoilers, the film revolves around out-of-favour basketball coach Stanley Sugerman, played by Sandler, who discovers an extraordinary player abroad and brings him back to play for the team without telling his current players. The use of actual NBA player Juancho Hernangomez as the international talent along with other current and retired NBA players - such as Seth Curry and Shaquille O’Neal - featuring in the teams has left viewers wondering if the film is grounded in fact.
Is Hustle Based On A True Story?
Unfortunately, Hustle is not based on a true story - it is entirely fictional.
As Radio Times reports, the scriptwriters Taylor Materne and Will Fetters decided to use real basketball players to add a degree of “authenticity” to the film. Materne and Fetters also made the decision not to change the characters of any of the NBA stars featured in the film, rather, to maximise authenticity, they all play themselves.
Although the Philadelphia 76ers are a real team, Stanley Sugarman never existed and neither did Juancho Hernangomez’s Bo Cruz.
Additionally, the duo had directorial input from genuine basketball players to ensure the realism of the film was kept intact. LeBron James, one of the biggest names in the sport, was a producer for the film.