What it’s like playing street basketball with Jewish megastar Adam Sandler

New Yorker Jeremy Cohen said it was a ‘beautiful moment’


2RDEBT7 New York, USA. 20th July, 2023. Actors Timothee Chalamet and Adam Sandler are playing a basketball game with some friends in a playground in Soho, New York, NY on July 20, 2023. Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

Jeremy Cohen wasn’t planning on playing basketball yesterday afternoon and he definitely wasn’t planning on playing basketball with comedy legend and Jewish megastar Adam Sandler.

But walking through Manhattan with his friend, he noticed a crowd playing pickup on a court nearby.

“We said to each other: ‘How crazy would it be if that was Adam Sandler’” – the actor and basketball fanatic has recently been spotted playing the game across New York.


“We were just joking, but as we got closer we were like: ‘That guy kind of looks like him,’” Cohen said. When they approached the court, they realised it actually was the “Sandman” .

“There were like 10 people playing, and I wasn’t in basketball clothes, but I wanted to play,” Cohen said. “So I called the next game”.

Cohen ended up on Sandler’s team, which he said was “pretty wild”. “It was a really beautiful moment,” Cohen told the Jewish Chroncile.

Sandler was “such a nice guy, just living in the moment,” Cohen said. “Everyone kind of treated him like any other guy, and was pretty respectful”.

Even though they lost, Cohen got some good game talk from the Sandman. “He told me I have good hustle, and gave me a slap on the chest,” he said. “I was like, ‘No way, I’m going to hold onto that compliment to tell my grandkids’”.

It was a high compliment from Sandler, who Cohen assessed had a “very high basketball IQ”. “He really has a vision for the court,” he told the Jewish Chronicle, “and you can expect a pass from him when you least expect it”.


Sandler is one of Cohen’s favourite actors, and was clearly popular on the court. By the end of the game, he had 20 or 25 people watching. “He was like, ‘I’ve got to get back to my kids,’” Cohen said. “And then he walked away”.

This isn’t the first time Sandler has been spotted playing basketball in New York. The actor is a huge fan of the game, and once worked up a sweat with Timothee Chalamet last month. He also played a basketball scout in the 2022 film, Hustle part of his record deal with Netflix.

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