Hustle (2022) summary and ending explained 

Hustle revolves around a basketball scout looking to prove he has what it takes to thrive in NBA. When he finds a talented player in the streets of Spain, he takes it upon himself to make him a star in the league. The film is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler), is a scout for the NBA team Philadelphia 76ers. His search for new talents isn’t exactly going as planned when it’s suggested that he sign Haas (Moe Wagner).

Stanley isn’t convinced that Haas is motivated enough, and feels he doesn’t put in the effort required. Vince Merrick (Ben Foster), the son of the team owner Rex (Robert Duvall), is insistent they sign Haas and Stanley backs down.

Rex confronts Stanley and criticises him for backing down against his son, stating that the biggest reason he hired him was that he always took action against what he felt was incorrect.

He offers him the position of assistant coach, something that Stanley has always wanted since this allows him to be closer to his wife, Teresa (Queen Latifa), and daughter, Alex (Jordan Elizabeth Hull).

The scouting position required him to travel frequently. Stanley even gets his own office alongside the role.

However, Rex dies soon after and instead of his daughter, Kat (Heidi Gardner), who is on good terms with Stanley, Vince takes over the 76ers.

Three months later, the signing of Haas isn’t proving fruitful, Vince makes Stanley a scout again, despite his request to stay assistant coach, expecting him to find the ‘missing piece’.

His resumed search takes him to Spain. When the player he came to assess turns out to be injured, he seeks a court to play some basketball to feel better.

At the street court, he notices Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez), a promising talent. He follows him and convinces him and his mother, Paola (María Botto) and daughter, Lucia (Ainhoa Pillet), that Bo needs to come to Philadelphia and give tryouts. 

Bo is under the impression that the 76ers are paying for his visit, but Vince is against giving him a chance and Stanley has to bear the costs himself.

The youngster’s first attempt at leaving an impression fails when Kermit Wilts (Anothony Edwards) gets into his head with insults.

Stanley motivates him and they train hard to improve Bo’s physique as well as his skills as a basketball player. He also trains him to bear insults and be stronger mentally.

Stanley’s best lead, his former teammate Leon Rich (Kenny Smith), turns out to be a dead-end when he refuses to give Bo a chance because of his past record of assault back in Spain.

Vince has been spreading this further, along with the fact that 76ers were never interested in Bo. Hurt by the revelation, he leaves, but Stanley finds him and calms him down.

Bo reveals that he assaulted Lucia’s mother’s boyfriend because he suggested they take Lucia back and get some money by giving her to the government. Bo only went to talk to him, but the situation aggravated. He’s not like everyone is suggesting he is. All he does is because of his love for his family.

Stanley also reveals that he has his own regrets. He ruined his team’s chances of winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) when he injured his hand in a drunk and drive accident, along with injuries to Leon, who was with him in the car. The accident resulted in him spending six months in jail.

If you still have doubts about the ending, here’s a full breakdown.

Hustle ending explained in detail:

Another chance

When nobody is willing to give Bo a chance because of his criminal record, Alex suggests they ask help from Stanley’s friend, former pro Julius Erving aka Dr. J., in helping his talent go viral.

All of them together organise sessions where Bo takes on challengers, from street players to NBA players. Hitting the rim against him gets you $50, putting the ball in the hoop gets you $100 and beating him one on one means winning $1000.

He performs so well that it catches the attention of former players on social media, who urge him to be picked for NBA Draft Combine, where players are measured and allowed to showcase their skills in 5-on-5 drills.

He is selected but still seems unhappy. Stanley and Teresa figure out that he’s missing his daughter. A day before the Combine, Stanley surprises him by flying in Paola and Lucia, leaving him overjoyed.

After coming second to only Kermit in the speed and agility drills, the 5-on-5 begins. Bo is doing well until Kermit starts insulting his family. He loses his cool and almost punches Kermit. He’s branded a violent man by the media.


It feels like it’s the end of the road for Bo and Stanley after the whole disaster at the Combine, despite Leon trying to console Stanley by telling him people will get over it.

Paola has a heart-to-heart conversation with Bo, letting him know that he always loved his family so much that he forgot to love himself.

Stanley came in and took all of his burden, letting him be himself. Stanley is his support, his oak tree. Bo gets ready to say goodbye to Philadelphia.

Paola and Lucia have been booked on a different flight and leave first. Stanley drops Bo for his flight, but not before telling him that coaching him was the best month of his life.

The two part ways, with both visibly dejected. Before Bo can board the flight, Stanley gets a call from Leon, who offers Bo a chance to play a match with important people watching.

Fulfilled dreams

Stanley rushes to stop Bo from boarding the flight and successfully manages to bring him to the match, which is littered with the best talents from the top colleges.

Kat is there as well, who tells Stanley that Vince was let go because of the mess he created and she will handle 76ers now. She also reinstates him as the assistant coach.

Everybody watching the game is impressed by him, and he is no longer affected by Kermit’s trash talking. As he dunks, there’s a time skip of five months.

Alex calls Stanley, now the assistant coach of the 76ers, to tell him she’s ready to watch their basketball match.

Stanley goes to the match and meets Bo, who is actually in the opposition team; the Boston Celtics. He has a tattoo of an oak tree on his hand, dedicated to Stanley, as well as the same number as him when he played; 22.

Hustle ends with montages of the entire cast of former and current basketball players who star in the film.

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