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The One Thing That Solidified Adam Sandler's Relationship With His Hustle Co-Star

"Hustle," Adam Sandler's latest Netflix original movie, is a sports drama that attempts to capture the same magic as many of the genre's past classics, including "Rocky" and"Creed." It follows Stanley Sugerman (Sandler), a longtime sports scout who decides to try and climb his way up the NBA's professional ladder after he discovers a young player in Spain named Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez). Stanley believes that Bo has the talent necessary to become one of the NBA's top players, but he soon discovers that he'll have to put his entire career on the line if he wants to secure Bo a spot on a professional basketball team.

The film adopts the same underdog attitude that's present in many of Hollywood's classic sports movies, which is just another way of saying that it offers more than its fair share of triumphant moments and features a training montage that is sure to get viewers' blood pumping. However, "Hustle" also understands that the only way its story will work is if viewers believe that Stanley and Bo's bond is strong enough that they'd both be willing to turn their worlds upside down for each other.

Fortunately, Sandler and Hernangómez have the kind of palpable chemistry needed to make their relationship in "Hustle" feel authentic. Apparently, that's because, in addition to filming all their scenes together in the film, the two stars actually bonded quite a bit behind the scenes.

Hustle's stars share a similar love of basketball

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Hustle" star Juancho Hernangómez opened up about how he and Adam Sandler worked together during the filming of the new Netflix sports movie. According to the young star, it was his and Sandler's shared love of basketball that ultimately drew them together as both friends and scene partners. "He loves basketball; he really, really, really loves it," said Hernangómez when discussing his co-star's love of sports. Hernangómez added, "[Sandler] watches all the games; he texts me after the games. It's crazy how good our relationship is. We spent so much time together; we developed some good chemistry."

Of course, Hernangómez knows what it's like to be passionate about basketball. In addition to starring as one in "Hustle," Hernangómez is actually a professional basketball player in real-life. Similar to his "Hustle" character, Hernangómez was also born in Spain and made a name for himself in his home country as a talented athlete. He went on to make his professional NBA debut in 2016 and, in the years since then, he's played for a number of teams, including the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Utah Jazz (via NBA.com).

Sandler's love of basketball, meanwhile, is well-documented. As a matter of fact, the actor has even been spotted playing pick-up basketball games over the years (via The Hollywood Reporter). He's also, notably, credited as one of the executive producers of "Hustle" (via IMDb).

Taking all of this into account, it makes a lot of sense that Sandler and Hernangómez bonded as well as they did while they were making "Hustle."