Movie Reviews

Hustle: Is Bo Cruz Based on a Real-Life Basketball Player?

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Is Hustle’s Bo Cruz Based on a Real Basketball Player? – Hustle chronicles the story of Bo Cruz, a gifted international basketball prospect with NBA aspirations, prompting many to question whether or not Bo Cruz is a genuine NBA player. In Netflix’s 2022 original film, Adam Sandler plays Stanley Sugerman, a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers.

While the film’s main character, Adam Sandler, is a significant draw, Stanley’s story concentrates entirely around the discovery of Bo Cruz and the long process of trying to have him drafted by an NBA franchise.

Although Hustle is not based on a true story, the film’s cast blurs the borders between fiction and reality. Throughout the movie, NBA fans of various generations are treated to cameo appearances by current and former real NBA greats. Almost every single one of them appears in Hustle, as Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Dirk Nowitzki, Tray Young, and Luka Doni are just a few of the well-known NBA players who play themselves.

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Is 'Bo Cruz' Based on a Real-Life Basketball Player

Is ‘Bo Cruz’ Based on a Real-Life Basketball Player?

A few instances where Hustle develops characters that do NOT real overshadow the numerous NBA player appearances. Bo Cruz is one of them. Unfortunately, the gifted foreign prospect isn’t a legitimate NBA player. Hustle’s Bo Cruz, on the other hand, is played by Juancho Hernangómez, a real-life professional. It’s Juancho’s first acting job, which may surprise viewers, and it elevates him to a much larger role in the NBA.

Although Bo Cruz and his life are fictional, they are reminiscent of many real-life underdog stories. One of them is the story of Dennis Rodman, a five-time NBA champion. While Bo worked in construction, Rodman worked as a janitor before entering the world of professional basketball. In addition, Bo and Rodman were both abandoned by their fathers when they were young. Despite these obstacles, Rodman made it to the NBA’s promised land and was twice named NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Caron Butler, a former small forward, has a lot in common with Bo Cruz. Butler was arrested 15 times before the age of 15 years old, similar to Bo’s assault accusation. Butler’s passion for basketball blossomed during his stint in a maximum-security prison. While Bo honed his basketball abilities on the streets of Spain, Butler did the same at the prison centre, despite the fact that neither had received sufficient and formal guidance as children. Butler, despite his problematic past, was able to play in the NBA and even win a championship.

Bo Cruz, on the other hand, is not based on Rodman, Butler, or any other underdog in NBA history. Rather, the screenwriters used “the underdog tale” which is a part of these actors’ lives, to create Bo as a character with a positive outlook on life. Underdog stories are an important part of the NBA’s fascinating past, and Bo’s fictional story is based on those tales. Moreover, because he resembles various real-world characters, the parallels add to the believability of his fictitious life.

Even though Bo is played by real-life basketball player Juancho Hernangómez, the character is NOT based on the actor or player’s life. He was born into a family of past and active basketball players, and at the age of 12, he began playing competitive basketball. Thanks to Hernández’s basketball skills, Bo has a realistic persona.

Also Read: Is Hustle’s Stanley Sugerman Based on a Real Philadelphia 76ers Coach?

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