Adam Sandler has acted alongside an NBA, Kevin Garnett, in the 2019 movie Uncut Gems. The actor and comedian proved this week that he could hoop alongside them.
In a pickup run with the likes of Trae Young, Jordan Clarkson, Aaron Gordon and Boban Marjanovic, Sandler competed and — impressively — didn’t look out of place. Videos of the game at a Philadelphia high school went viral Wednesday:
Sandler drained a baseline jumper off a bounce-pass assist from Trae Young in the pro run. This is Young’s second notable celebrity assist of the offseason, as the 22-year-old All-Star also dished out a smooth behind-the-back pass to rapper 2 Chainz last week.
While the 54-year-old Sandler doesn’t boast the typical hooper’s physique, Basketball Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal says Sandler is the most talented actor he’s played pick-up with. Shaq explained his choice and gave a quick Sandler scouting report on the Green Light podcast.
“He’s legit,” said O’Neal, who’s acted alongside Sandler in Grown Ups 2, Jack and Jill, Blended, and Hubie Halloween. “Not pro legit, but he’s definitely LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness legit.”
An upcoming movie will bring Sandler back to the game. In Netflix’s Hustle, Sandler will play a “washed-up” basketball scout trying to reenter the NBA through finding a “phenomenal” street-ball player. The movie doesn’t have a release date yet but will feature Robert Duvall, Queen Latifah and NBA players such as Juancho Hernangomez, Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Matisse Thybulle, Tyrese Maxey and an NBA coach in Doc Rivers.
In Uncut Gems, Sandler played a New York city jeweler who — in an attempt to pay off his mounting debts — made multiple bets on a Boston Celtics playoff game. Garnett co-starred in the film.
Sandler made headlines on the basketball court before, but not for his play. His wardrobe turned eyeballs then. Sandler decided to play with a polo shirt on, drawing laughs from some but respect from O’Neal.
“The guys that got the perfect fits are the guys that can’t hoop,” O’Neal opined. “But the guys that don’t care about what they wear…those are the guys you have to be worried of.”