Many great athletes have leapt from sport to screen to find movie stardom. Here is a look an 8 great basketball superstars who jumped from the hardwood to Hollywood.
8. Kobe Bryant: Special mention
It is not hard to believe that Kobe Bryant was exceptionally creative even outside the Basketball bubble. The 5-time NBA Champion and 2-time Olympics Gold medalist also won an Oscar award in the Best Animated Short Film Category for Dear Basketball. The movie was based on a poem the Black Mamba wrote before his retirement in 2015, and he shared the award with animator/director Glen Keane.
7. Kevin Garnett in Uncut Gems
This is perhaps one of the greatest movies with an NBA player in the supporting role. The dark comedy released in 2019 showcased a crazy jeweler’s life of betting and somehow involved the Boston Celtics’ big man, Kevin Garnett. It’s certainly a must-watch if you liked Pulp Fiction.
6. Ray Allen in He Got Game
In an extraordinary tale about a gifted son and his convicted father, this movie is a classic Basketball flick with a gripping storyline. Ray Allen was just 22-YO when this movie released, and he played the son of star Denzel Washington who would do anything to inspire him to become a baller.
5.Kevin Durant in Thunderstruck
Perhaps one of the funniest movies on the list, this 2012 film is a perfect family picture. In this, OKC’s rising sensation, Kevin Durant, magically loses all his basketball superpowers to a random kid-next-door, while his agent struggles to bring it back. KD totally nailed it with his comic timing and natural acting. You can catch this one on Netflix.
4.Kyrie Irving in Uncle Drew
Following KD’s footsteps, his Brooklyn Nets big 3 counterpart, Kyrie Irving, played a hilarious part in the 2018 movie, Uncle Drew. Kyrie played a 70-YO Uncle Drew with an alter ego just like Eminem’s Slim Shady. The movie also starred Chris Webber, Charles Barkley, and Nate Robinson, among others.
3. Shaquille O’Neal in Grown Ups 2
Even if someone does not watch this movie, they must at least Google and observe Shaq’s look. He played Officer Fluzoo in the movie and his semi-bald look took the audiences for a laughing riot.
2. Michael Jordan in Space Jam
This family comedy perhaps launched basketball to the world of movies. It had an interesting plot where a retired Michael Jordan would team-up with Bugs Bunny (Looney Toons) and try to defeat a criminal group. The movie had other big names in the cast, but it was MJ who single-handedly made it a popular tale.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane
With 38,387 points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He also holds claim to two of the most memorable performances on film. The first came as Bruce Lee’s high-kicking joe in the karate classic The Game of Death (1978). The second was as Roger Murdock, the copilot from Airplane! (1980). Do we think his performance in thelatter was comedy gold? That’s a big roger – Roger!