Happy Forever

Netflix’s new basketball drama ‘Hustle’ looks like the second-greatest Adam Sandler sports movie ever

February 18, 2022

Netflix’s new basketball drama ‘Hustle’ boasts an impressive resume. It’s produced by LeBron James. It features a cast including Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Kenny Smith, and, of course, Adam Sandler. Actual active NBA player Juancho Hernangómez make his acting debut as an actual active NBA player and the trailer includes cameos from the likes of Kyle Lowry and Anthony Edwards, for our money the funnest young dude in the league. All good signs, right?

But, we ask with the straightest of straight faces, can it possibly compete with this?

‘Hustle,’ which drops on Netflix on June 10th, could go on to sweep next year’s Academy Awards (it couldn’t). It could go down as the greatest basketball movie ever made (it won’t). But no matter the accolades, it will always—and we mean ALWAYS—be the second-best sports movie Adam Sandler has made. Sorry, these are the rules.

That’s just the curse of trying to follow in ‘Happy Gilmore’s spike marks. It can't be done, which is probably why ‘Happy Gilmore 2’—which would print money in today’s ‘90s nostalgia market—remains nothing more than a podcast topic. In ‘Hustle’s defense, it’s clearly trying to be a very different movie about a totally different sport. Around these parts, however, where the sound of Mr. Larson pounding on Shooter McGavin still rings through the mountain tops, it always be the bridesmaid.