Within the elite sports, none is more attractive to figures in the entertainment industry than basketball and NBA. Much of this tradition began with the Los Angeles Lakers of the Big Showa team led by Pat Riley. During those years –which began to be adapted recently, in an HBO series–, the different scales of glamor and entertainment were mixed, never to be separated again. That explains the origin of movies What Rough diamonds (2019) and Claw (2022), in which Adam Sandler is the main character.
Progressively, due to the phenomenon generated by Los Angeles Lakers, the front rows of the NBA courts began to fill with familiar faces. Since Jack Nicholson until Spike Lee. Returning with the mentioned productions, Rough diamonds It was directed by ben safdie Y Joshua Safdiehyphenated both along with Ronald Bronstein. A dynamic drama in which sports and the universe of betting come together to tell the story of Howard Ratner, played by Adam Sandler, with different addictions and needs. In Clawdirected by Jeremiah Zagarplays an elite scout who looks for potential in players from anywhere in the world, although his favorite place is his home and the possibility of being with his family.
In both cases, the experiment worked. Two areas of the entertainment industry have come together to offer a couple of strong cinematic experiences from different points of view. For Adam Sandler, in particular, they could be understood as a before and after in his career.
Adam Sandler and his constant winks towards sports
Adam Sandler may have reached a higher echelon of recognition with the movie Happy Gilmore, released in 1996. In it, the actor plays a privileged golfer who cannot control his emotions during the game. Nine years after that production, came Low blow the final game. In this film is a player of the NFL disgraced, who is later discovered to have basketball skills. In the midst of those productions, the water carrierin 1998, which is also marked by American football.
The difference between these films and Rough diamonds Y Claw it is the focus of the stories, displacing comedy for more complex dramas through which to explore different themes. All this, without ceasing to be “a film of Adam Sandler”, with humor and extravagant details or cameos that describe part of his relationship with that world that interests him so much, the NBA and other elite sports. To the point that on YouTube you can find a video titled “Adam Sandler Ultimate Basketball Compilation”, as if it were another athletic superstar.
Prior to Rough diamonds Y Clawthe actor had been carrying out a series of interventions without great importance, except for his work as the Count Dracula in the franchise Transylvania hotel. He even got to play himself in some production. In this irregular context, the two films mentioned differ in a notable way.
The change of role and the importance within his career
Those movies contradict part of his career, marked by humor. In both, this is a resource but not the support of his interventions. While in many films he was seen as an actor taking refuge in laughter to solve various situations within the stories, in his most recent works he goes a little further in situations of vulnerability and stress for his characters.. As if the easy joke was displaced by well channeled emotion, at the service of what you want to tell.
Is the above a betrayal of your tradition? You might think so. But when you take into account different aspects of those stories, like the cameos of athletes, of entertainment figures, a kind of all-star of celebrities, part of that tone is recognized that Adam Sandler has spread in the different productions in which he participated or that, directly, he was in charge of developing.
Thus it is explained that in Rough diamonds East Kevin Garnet, one of the most important players in contemporary NBA history; also the presence of multiple players from that league, including the coach Doc Riversduring Clawproduced together with Lebron James. It is part of that tradition that began in the 1980s in which each other, players and movie and entertainment stars, began to interact and recognize in this sport an opportunity to position themselves and find stories to develop. All that Adam Sandler is now taking, in his own way, to the platforms.