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UNCUT GEMS Is a Superb Movie

A reminder of the brilliance of Adam Sandler and Kevin Garnett's performance in Uncut Gems, now on Netflix globally.


One usually associates Adam Sandler with his comedy, and it is unexpected to see him playing a serious role in a movie. However, when he does act in a drama, he tends to be absolutely brilliant, and Uncut Gems is another example of Sandler’s acting talent shining through. The movie, directed by Josh and Bennie Safdie, was released on Netflix internationally, and garnered rave reviews, even earning Sandler an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. It is finally available to stream on Netflix in the United States as well, and thus movie fans can finally watch one of Sandler’s finest performances from the comfort of their couches.



Uncut Gems is a story about a Jewish gambling addict, played by Sandler, who must retrieve a rare, expensive gem he owns in order to pay off his gambling debts. The movie does an excellent job of also showing a rare side of the sports world, with Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett having a prominent role in the film, playing himself. In fact, some commentators have called it one of the most accurate sports movies ever through its ability to show just how dedicated, and even addicted, most sports fans are towards their teams. Garnett’s role in the movie is extremely interesting as well, even more so with the recent release of The Last Dance, the ESPN documentary on the Chicago Bulls.



Interesting parallel between real-life basketball and Uncut Gems is through the fact that like Sandler’s character, Michael Jordan was also extremely fond of gambling, like we see in The Last Dance. The NBA legend was often found making bets on his golf games, while he also used to play cards with some of his teammates and friends for thousands of dollars per hand. While there were a lot of concerns around his gambling habit from fans and the NBA as well, Jordan has always maintained that he did not have an addiction, since he could stop at any time he wanted. His addiction was to competition and winning, and thus he always needed to be immersed in some form of competitive activity, which was where the gambling came in. One of the most infamous episodes of Jordan’s career had seen him take off to Atlantic City with family and friends in the middle of the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Knicks. The Bulls were 2-0 down in the series, and Jordan went off to play casino online for real money. There was a lot of backlash against him for this, but he has said that he was back in his hotel by 1 am, and he needed the break to be able to take his focus away from the series and be able to relax a little bit and return fully charged for the rest of the playoffs.



The Last Dance understandably focused a lot on Michael Jordan and his role in turning Chicago from no-hopers into one of the most successful and legendary NBA franchises ever. He won six championships in eight years with the Bulls, and the series shows just how competitive and driven a player he was. There have been very few players with that competitive spirit in basketball, but there are some who believe that Garnett could be considered equally driven. Celtics legend Paul Pierce, who played with Garnett for six seasons, and won an NBA title together in 2008, has said that Kevin Garnett was just as competitive as Jordan, and also as ready to fight and push his teammates so that they gave their absolute best on the court as well. His legendary status at the Celtics is not under dispute, with the franchise set to retire his No. 5 jersey next season.