Can Adam Sandler Play Basketball?

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Adam Sandler made a fortune making comedy movies mainly with his circle of friends. His films often have something to do with sports, like the critically-acclaimed Uncut Gems, The Longest Yard (football), and Happy Gilmore (golf). Sandler seemed to be very at ease as washed-up quarterback Paul Crewe and was also seen in the movie playing one-on-one basketball with former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin. So, really, can Adam Sandler play basketball?

Can Adam Sandler Really Play BasketballCan Adam Sandler Really Play Basketball?

Sandler incorporates his real-life friends, family, religion, and hobbies in his movies, and he’s not hiding the fact that he loves playing hoops. Along with his buddies Chris Rock and David Spade, Sandler is a fixture in Lakers’ home games while also being a fan of his hometown New York Knicks.

Back in high school at Manchester Central (New Hampshire), Sandler joined the basketball team. He was not the team’s go-to guy by any means, but he trained and developed basketball skills mainly because he’s not the fastest guy around. 

In short, he really likes basketball. But then again, many people “like” singing, and guess what, the feeling wasn’t mutual. So, in that context, can Adam Sandler play basketball? Yes, he can. In the words of Shaquille O’Neal, the actor is “legit,” not pro legit, but rec league “legit.”

Would you like to see it for yourself? Here is almost two-minute footage of Adam Sandler playing pickup basketball.

Did you see that pass at the 0:48 mark? If you have been around basketball for long, you immediately know that’s not an easy pass to make. A third of the credit goes to Sandler’s teammate, but that bullet pass needs above-average skill to complete. Sandler is already 55 years old, so temper your expectations.

Did Adam Sandler Play Any Sports Growing UpDid Adam Sandler Play Any Sports Growing Up?

Adam confirmed that he loves sports growing up and constantly goes bananas cheering for his favorite teams. We see him play football and golf in movies, but it seems like basketball has a special place in his heart. As mentioned, Sandler joined his high school basketball team in Central Manchester. He wasn’t outstanding, but that sports endeavor inspired him to train and improve his basketball skills.

Fun fact: Before The Longest Yard, Sandler never really played football and has not thrown a football before. Also, in real life, Sandler is terrible in golf and hockey, unlike the Happy Gilmore character in one of his movies.

What Do Folks Think of Adam Sandler’s Basketball SkillsWhat Do Folks Think of Adam Sandler’s Basketball Skills

The great Shaquille O’Neal already signed off on Sandler’s basketball skills. (‘He’s legit. Not pro legit, but he’s definitely LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness legit’ were O’Neal’s exact words.)

A video on Twitter showed Sandler playing hoops with NBA players like Trae Young, Tobias Harris, Jordan Clarkson, Aaron Gordon, and others. It did seem like he was holding his own.


This inspired funny comments about the actor’s basketball skills. A Twitter user named SpliffVanGundy said: ‘The confidence for Adam Sandler to have to hit that jumper in front of, let alone be in the same run as those cars, can only come from having more money than everyone in that gym combined.’

Another commented: “Adam is the old man at the gym who surprises you by playing great for five minutes before he gets a cramp and sits down.”

Jokes aside, Sandler downplayed his own skills in a rare appearance at NBA on TNT. The guys took note of the sweet dime Sandler dropped, but he told the crew passing is the only thing he could do since he can’t shoot.

Whatever people think every time Adam Sandler plays basketball, it would appear that he could be a decent player in his younger, slimmer days. Sandler obviously does not have the natural speed, but he is a decent perimeter shooter and passer.

7 Interesting Facts About Adam Sandler

7 Interesting Facts About Adam Sandler

Security Blanket

Believe it or not, the world wouldn’t have known Adam Sandler if not for his guitar. He revealed that in his early attempts at standup comedy, he had a nasty case of stage fright that he would just go blank as soon as the spotlight was on him. The only thing that got Adam through is his, well, guitar. With his musical instrument in hand, Adam was able to go through his routine normally. Unsurprisingly, he called his guitar his “security blanket.”

Most popular film?

You wouldn’t have guessed this one, but Adam’s highest-grossing film was Hotel Transylvania 2. Riding the wave of the first successful movie, HT 2 made almost $500 million worldwide. The third installment was even more successful, earning over $528 million. All in all, the Hotel Transylvania series earned over a billion dollars!

Ain’t it ridiculous?

The Ridiculous 6, Sandler’s movie with Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Terry Crews, and more of his buddies, is not the most critically-acclaimed film, but it holds quite an impressive record on Netflix. The film was viewed more times in 30 days than any other film on Netflix’s roster.

Adam the Avenger?

At one point, Sandler was considered for the voice of Guardian of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon. The part eventually went to Bradley Cooper. He was also considered for the cab driver Max in Collateral, but that also fell apart. Jamie Foxx was chosen for the role and earned an Academy Award nomination.

Worst Actor and Actress

People love Sandler’s movies so much, but the same cannot be said of the critics. The critics loathed his movie “Jack and Jill” so much that they named him the worst actor and actress of the year. You may remember that Sandler played the roles of the twins Jack and Jill.

One of the richest actors alive

Sandler’s movies are always box office hits despite being a punching bag for movie critics. That allowed him to amass an incredible amount of wealth. Depending on which website you ask, Sandler’s fortune is estimated to be anywhere from $300 to $400 million. Some may say it’s more like $420 million, but what’s the difference? The guy is extremely rich.

He hates “fashion.”

Sandler is the epitome of the “Why dress up when you have more money than all the people in the room combined” type of attitude. He has worn sweatsuits to awards shows and was even interviewed wearing track pants on a late-night show. 

Wrapping Things Up: Can Adam Sandler Play Basketball?

Adam Sandler has made a lot of movies and millions out of it. Many of his films have basketball undertones, either portraying him as a pretty good basketball player or at least a decent one. That’s not really a surprise because Sandler was actually a member of his high school basketball team. He won’t be mistaken as a speedster, but he spent time developing and training his basketball skills.

Even at the height of his popularity as a movie star, Sandler’s love for basketball still runs wild. He is a fixture of Lakers’ home games and still roots for the New York Knicks when given a chance. There are also videos of Sandler playing pickup games, whether in his hometown or pro runs with NBA players.

Based on this information, can Adam Sandler play basketball, or in other words, is he any good at it? Well, at least according to Shaquille O’Neal and the video evidence, it does seem like Sandler can hold his own. Sandler was caught dropping a nice dime to a teammate in one of these pro runs, which led to a reverse layup. That type of pass proves he has developed enough basketball skills to be competent in a sport that he loves.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Cover photo by Glyn Lowe Photoworks is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / modified from original

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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