Dancing with the Stars has become an incredibly popular event over the years. We have gotten to see a number of high-profile sports personalities take part and sometimes even come away with a win. It begs the question, what NBA players have been on Dancing with the Stars?
What NBA Players Have Been on Dancing with the Stars? There have been eight NBA players that were contestants on Dancing with the Stars. Lamar Odom, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Metta World Peace, Derek Fisher, Clyde Drexler, Rick Fox, Charles Oakley and most recently Iman Shumpert. The most successful NBA player to perform on Dancing with the Stars is Iman Shumpert. The former Cleveland star danced away with the title in 2021.
How did each of them perform during this competition? Were there a few players that completely burnt out and flopped horribly? Were there some phenomenal dancers that shocked the world?
Clyde Drexler came onto the show during Season 4. He was able to partner up with a professional dancer named Elena Grinenko to compete against a handful of other popular celebrities. The 10-time NBA All-Star did pretty well, but it just wasn’t enough as he and his partner finished in eight place that year.
The small forward who played for both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics competed in the show during Season 11. The three-time NBA champion worked with Cheryl Burke and had a few mind-blowing shows during their time on the show. They could have made it all the way if it weren’t for a random and disappointing demise that saw them finish in sixth place. Many fans of the show at the time were upset that they were kicked off so soon.
Derek Fisher worked with Sharna Burgess in Season 25. The duo had a few flashy performances but didn’t really last that long in the show. They were eliminated during the fourth week, finishing in 11th place. Still, they were a joy to watch in their few performances.
Metta World Peace
Ron Artest, otherwise known as Metta World Peace, is most famous for his play on the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets. He teamed up with Peta Murgatroyd during Season 13 of the show. The duo had performed a cha-cha routine in their first performance of the season. Unfortunately, that performance was all we got to see from them. They were the first duo to get eliminated that season.
Lamar Odom is next up on the list of NBA players here. Ironically, Odom also partnered up with Peta Murgatroyd on the show. This was during Season 28, a lot further down the line compared to when Metta World Peace appeared. They didn’t do too bad but didn’t last very long in the competition, getting eliminated in Week 4, which was 10th place.
You might be thinking that this is a typo, but it’s most certainly not. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tried his luck at the competition during Season 26. He worked with Gleb Savchenko and together they were able to place in a joint seventh place. The duo was unfortunately involved in a brutal double elimination.
Charles Oakley competed during Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars. He worked alongside Emma Slater during the competition but got eliminated from contention during Week 2, placing in 15th. To provide some more information there, they got the boot a week before Carole Baskin was kicked off the show.
We saved the best for last. Iman Shumpert shocked the world when he joined the competition alongside Daniella Karagach. The duo had to compete against a number of talented opponents including Matt James and JoJo Siwa. However, none were able to take them down. Shumpert and Karagach walked away with the Mirrorball trophy at the end of Season 30.
NBA Players That Don’t Want to Compete
Unsurprisingly, not everybody wants to join the show and put their dancing to the test. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, there have been some big-name NBA players that have openly talked about refusing a spot in the competition for various reasons. The most notable being Shaquille O’Neal. The former Los Angeles Lakers center talked about how he would have only competed in the show if he were involved in Season 1. He went further to talk about how he just doesn’t have the courage and discipline required to put on a good show for the people watching at home. It may be a little disappointing to some after he so openly challenges other NBA players to dance-like competitions in his spare time. For example, he posted a video to social media with the caption “Y’all don’t want none.” The video was him dancing and challenging players like LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry.
Moving onto the next notable player, Anthony Davis. Ironically, another Los Angeles Lakers big man. Davis was approached about joining the show but turned the opportunity down. He opened up about the invitation in 2015, so it’s unclear what season he would have competed in if he were to have said yes. Davis said that he has watched multiple other players compete on the show during his lifetime, not just NBA players either, but athletes in general. However, he made it very clear that he thought he was going to embarrass himself if he got out there. In his words, “I can’t dance. I would never want to do nothing to embarrass myself.” I can’t say that I really blame him for that, but it is interesting to think if he could potentially have a change of heart nowadays. It has been roughly seven years since these comments, maybe his dancing skills got a whole lot better and he makes a surprise appearance soon. Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.