Adam Sandler's love affair with the game of basketball is pretty well-documented by now. Between his penchant for playing pick-up with strangers to his starring role in 2019's Uncut Gems, which revolved largely around NBA gambling and featured Kevin Garnett as a supporting actor, Sandler knows ball.
So it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that, as he films an upcoming Netflix film in Philadelphia about a basketball scout, Sandler has started popping up all over the city's basketball courts.
It's not surprising, but it's still really awesome.
Sandler's profile in the area took off this week when he was filmed getting some run in at Imhotep Charter up in North Philly, alongside pros like Sixers forward Tobias Harris, former Sixer Boban Marjanovic, new Philly villain Trae Young, and more:
Just a totally casual pick-up game with NBA All-Stars and Adam Sandler going on in the gymnasium of a Philadelphia high school. Totally normal day.
Sandler was also spotted in late August shooting (in both senses of the word) down at the South Philly tourist destination of Pat's & Geno's, on the basketball court at the intersection of the city's fabled cheesesteak mecca:
(For the record, that's where my Sunday morning crew runs while many indoor courts and gyms are still closed or restricted. Solid court, good hoops.)
Harris, who has clearly developed a relationship with Sandler, was spotted on set with the soon-to-be-55-year-old actor in August. Harris has a cameo in the upcoming film, which is called "Hustle":
And you might recall that, earlier this year, Sandler and the film's decision-makers were looking for background actors and "highly-skilled" basketball players to flesh out the basketball scenes in the film.
It's really cool to see Sandler just throwing himself into the city's basketball scene. Seems like a cool dude, and not a bad hooper.
If Sandler is reading this (of course he is) and is looking for some more places to hoop, here are a few of my personal recommendations:
Lee Cultural Center - 43rd & Haverford
These courts aren't in tip-top shape, but what they lack in elite resources they more than make up for in character. The view from West Philly, aided by the courts being elevated, is truly one-of-a-kind, a unique look at Center City from an angle many don't often see. Plus, the row of available hoops means you can almost always show up and get shots up or jump in a game.
Marian Anderson Recreation Center - 18th & Catherine
Home to the long-lost Open Challenge, this spot has just one full-length court and a quarter-court for those waiting to get next, but they're worth the potential queue. The backboards have been updated, the view of the city from South Philly is extremely enjoyable, and the location on the corner of two bustling streets makes for an extremely nice environment to hoop in.
Ralph Brooks Park - 20th & Tasker
This court is often busy, especially on the weekends, but when it's empty this is one of the nicest-quality courts I've played on in the city. You've got bleachers on one side for the inevitable crowd that will gather to watch Sandler ball out, you've got up-to-date backboards and rims, and you've got a nice and even playing surface, which shouldn't be taken for granted when you're balling outdoors. Connor Barwin's Make The World Better Foundation did a great job here.