Adam Sandler's new Netflix movie just dropped and -- hold on to your backward baseball cap -- there doesn’t seem to be a David Spade in sight.

Sandler plays the Burgess Meredith role in Hustle, the washed-up old basketball scout who screams some sense into a wannabe champion from a … rocky background. It’s a rare serious role for Sandler on Netflix, the streaming service for whom the comic has produced goofy-ass classics like The Ridiculous Six and Hubie Halloween

But it shouldn’t be a surprise that Sandler is making a hoops flick. He’s been a regular in Hollywood pick-up games for years. And -- hold on to your backward baseball cap -- he’s actually a decent player.

OK, we didn’t say he was a pro-caliber player. But for someone of his age, height, and ding-dong disposition? Not bad, Sandman!

"He's legit," Shaquille O'Neal said on the "Green Light with Chris Long" podcast. "Not pro legit, but he's definitely LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness legit."  (Let the record show that Sandler has cast Shaq in four movies, one for each championship, so the big man might be a little biased. There’s a reason Shaq is known as the Rob Schneider of the NBA.)

Sandler seems like he’s having a blast between takes on Hustle, hooping it up with NBA stars like Trae Young, Tobias Harris, and Aaron Gordon. 

Sandler could probably make a few bucks, White Men Can’t Jump-style, by hustling playground ballers into thinking he’s a lousy player. With the oversized t-shirts and baggy shorts, he’s not exactly looking like an All-Star out there. But Shaq says that doesn’t matter.

“The guys who have the perfect fit are the guys who can’t hoop,” says Shaq Daddy. “But the guys who don’t really care about what they’re wearing, those are the guys you’ve got to be worried about.”

Hustle isn’t the first time Sandler has brought his ball to the set.  He’s been known to request a nearby court on several of his film productions. When he filmed Uncut Gems with NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, the two got up some shots while the cameras were reloading.

“When we would get done with these long days or in between takes,” Garnett told Jimmy Kimmel, “we would go out and shoot around.”

But Sandler had bigger ambitions.  “It was a dream of mine to maybe, after work, show up at a park and play 2-on-2,” he said. “And say, ‘Let me call my friend Kevin to play with me.’ It would have been amazing.”

“If you had said that,” Garnett said, “I probably would have showed up.” 

So the legend of Sandler the Baller continues to grow.  You might catch him in a Long Island pick-up game or balling out at the neighborhood gym.  As we all collectively move to the multiverse, could going one-on-one with a digital Sandler be far behind?

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Top image: Netflix

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