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Volume 26 No. 227
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Kevin Garnett Plays Key Role In Adam Sandler's "Uncut Gems"

Garnett plays a heightened version of himself, and he holds his own during his scenes with Sandler
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Garnett plays a heightened version of himself, and he holds his own during his scenes with Sandler
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Garnett plays a heightened version of himself, and he holds his own during his scenes with Sandler
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Former NBAer KEVIN GARNETT is a "central figure" in the new movie "UNCUT GEMS," in which he plays himself in the "relentless, anxiety-inducing thriller" starring ADAM SANDLER, according to Rohan Nadkarni of SI.com. Garnett in his supporting role "seeks to acquire an Ethiopian black opal from Sandler's character" during the '12 Celtics-76ers playoff series. Garnett plays a "heightened version of himself," and he "holds his own during his scenes with Sandler, adding dramatic heft to what could otherwise be seen as stunt casting" (SI.com, 12/12). THE RINGER's Alan Siegel notes "Uncut Gems" contains "actual game footage, real players, and one of the best acting performances by an athlete ever" in Garnett (THERINGER.com, 12/13).

SIXTH LEADING MAN: In N.Y., Stefan Bondy notes Garnett was "far from the top choice of the studio or 'Uncut Gems' directors," as the script "was written for AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE, but the director's agent wanted more star power." Interest from KOBE BRYANT "prompted the SAFDIE brothers to re-write the film and center it" around Bryant's 60-point performance at MSG, but Bryant "flaked out." 76ers C JOEL EMBIID was "discussed, but using active players created scheduling complications," so Garnett "turned into the reluctant choice" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/13). In Boston, Nicole Yang noted despite "not being in the film's original plans, Garnett was honored to have been chosen and took the job seriously." Garnett said that he "noticed a crossover between cinema and basketball, citing the preparation process and desire to perform well" (BOSTON.com, 12/9).