More 76ers and Philly connections revealed for Adam Sandler’s basketball movie

Adam Sandler is back with another sneak peak at the Philadelphia-filmed Hustlewhich brought him to town in 2020 and 2021, and this time, the trailer reveals a little more about the story — and shows a couple new Philly connections.

Set for release June 8 on Netflix, Hustle follows Sandler’s character Stanley Sugarman, who works as a scout for the 76ers, as he works to bring a troubled overseas prospect (played by Utah Jazz forward Juancho Hernangómez) to the United States to play for the team. In addition to Sandler, Hustle also stars Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall, and Ben Foster.

Philadelphia and the Sixers play important roles, too. As Sandler’s character says in the trailer, “If you come to Philly, your whole world’s going to change overnight.”

In February, when the film’s first teaser came out, we spotted several Sixers players, including Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris. And as Sandler said in an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show last year, we’re likely to see cameos from coach Doc Rivers and former Sixer Seth Curry, too.

We don’t see Doc or Curry in the new trailer, but there are some additional cameos. Former Sixer Boban Marjanović, for example, appears as a potential prospect for Sugarman who lies about his age (and that of his clearly late-teenage son, who he says is 10). Sixers great Dr. J also makes an appearance, as does Miami Heat point guard and Philly native Kyle Lowry.

All that Philly sauce makes sense, though, considering Hustle comes to us by way of Jeremiah Zagar, son of Julia and mosaic muralist Isaiah Zagar, who is best known for Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on South Street. Jeremiah Zagar made a name for himself in Hollywood with the 2018 drama, We the Animals.

Sandler and his cohorts first cam to Philly for filming in fall 2020, when they filmed scenes throughout the city and suburbs like Camden, Coatesville, and Chester. Last summer, the film held tryouts for extras at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington.

“We’re trying to find that rare gem,” the film’s basketball coordinator, Mike Fisher, told The Inquirer. “For this movie, you’re trying to find guys who are maybe overseas, back in town.”

Sandler didn’t just film in the Philly area — he also appeared to have some fun. In fall 2020, for example, he reportedly bought two guitars from DiPinto Guitars in Fishtown, and had dinner everywhere from Center City to Gulph Mills. Last year, he even celebrated his 55th birthday locally with a cake from Chestnut Hill’s Night Kitchen Bakery.


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