Movie Reviews

Hustle: Are Vin Merrick and Rex Based on Real-Life ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ Owners?

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Robert Duvall as Rex Merrick

Are Vin Merrick and Rex in ‘Hustle’ movie Based on Real-Life ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ Owners? – NBA players Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Julius Erving make cameo appearances in ‘Hustle.’ Hustle is a fictitious story about Sixers scout Stanley Sugerman, directed by South Philly native Jeremiah Zagar (Adam Sandler). Rex Merrick (Robert Duvall) has recently elevated Stanley to assistant coach when we meet.

When Rex’s son, Vince “Vin” Merrick (Ben Foster), dies unexpectedly, Stanley is forced to return to his arduous scouting job, with the condition that he discovers the player who can lead the Sixers to a championship. The lovely narrative of two men who need each other to make their ambitions come true unfolds when Stanley travels to Spain and meets streetball phenom Bo Cruz (Hernangómez).

Rex Merrick, the Sixers’ owner, selects Stanley as the team’s assistant coach after examining his expertise and ability. When Rex Merrick dies, his son Vince “Vin” Merrick takes over as franchise commander and demotes Stanley to a scout. Rex and Vin are significant figures in Stanley’s life, with the father having a favourable influence on him and the son having a bad influence.

The Philadelphia 76ers are a well-known real-life basketball team, so it’s natural to wonder if the two characters are modelled on the team’s real-life owners. So, let us give you the answers!

Must Read: Is Stanley Sugerman Based on a Real Philadelphia 76ers Coach?

Are Hustle’s Rex and Vin Merrick Based on Real Philadelphia 76ers Owners

Are Vince “Vin” Merrick and Rex Merrick Based on Real-life “Philadelphia 76ers” Owners?

Rex Merrick and Vince “Vin” Merrick are NOT real-life Philadelphia 76ers owners. The two characters are made-up and created just for the movie. Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a sports and entertainment corporation formed by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, is the true owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Josh Harris is the team’s managing partner, while David Blitzer is the team’s co-managing partner. While Rex Merrick has owned the Sixers for a long time in the film, Harris and Blitzer’s organization purchased the team from Comcast-Spectacor in 2011 for an estimated $280 million.

Stanley’s plot includes the imaginary characters Rex and Vin. Stanley stays with the Sixers because of Rex’s faith in him, despite the difficulties he encounters as a constantly travelling scout. As a result of his efforts to help the club, he has been appointed as an assistant coach. However, after Rex’s death, Vin’s rise to power allows Stanley to be demoted to scout. He is once again obliged to go as a scout. Vin’s persona is solely intended to heighten the suspense in the story by forcing Stanley to leave the Sixers.

Vin even tries to dissuade Bo Cruz from attending the NBA selection combine as the basketball film progresses. He speaks to the press about Bo’s assault allegation in order to derail Stanley’s plan to make Bo an NBA player. The show’s screenwriters, Taylor Materne and Will Fetters, use fiction to portray Vin as the main antagonist of the story.

Stanley’s efforts to have Bo chosen for an NBA team allow him to show Vin how valuable and capable he is. Despite the fact that Rex and Vin are unrelated to the Sixers’ true owners, the Merricks and Josh Harris, the franchise’s true commander, have a lot in common.

Ben Foster as Vin in hustle
Ben Foster as Vince “Vin” Merrick in hustle

The fictional Merrick family’s popularity in Philadelphia is similar to that of Josh Harris’ family. From the time of his great-grandparents, Harris’ family has been profoundly anchored in the city. Through charity relationships with hospitals, youth centres, schools, and food distribution centres, he is also commendably committed to the communities of Philadelphia and South Jersey.

The Sixers Teens Foundation was founded under Harris’ supervision to harness basketball’s influence and brand to encourage children and youth in a variety of ways. The Sixers have crowned Atlantic Division champions in the 2020-2021 season under Harris’ leadership.

You can stream ‘Hustle‘ (2022) movie on Netflix with subscription.

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