At 31 years old, Iman Shumpert would appear to be too young to be done with an NBA career. He hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t been on a roster since 2019. Even though he’s not on the court, he’s still making great use of his time. Shumpert has been acting on Showtime’s The Chi and BET’s Twenties, and he’s been rapping since he was still playing in the NBA. However, he might one day be most known for his performance on Dancing with the Stars.
Many athletes have performed well on the show. Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and, former Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Hines Ward are just two of the athletes who have won the competition. Shumpert is the first NBA player to ever advance to the finals. A look at his most recent performance makes it obvious why he advanced without even looking at his competitors.
Shumpert and his partner, Daniella Karagach, were spectacular. I mean look at the ending. She’s literally standing on top of his chest. Throughout the performance Shumpert twirls Karagach, a full grown woman, around like a Kappa does a cane. They first went viral with their Horror Night performance to the remix of Luniz’s “I Got Five on It” from the movie US. Karagach is standing on Shumpert’s shoulders and falling into his arms, he’s swinging her all over the dance floor, and at some point you stop ask yourself, wait this guy isn’t a trained dancer?
While the tosses and twirls are impressive, Shumpert isn’t simply standing still and launching his partner into orbit. He’s got the footwork going as well as jumping and sliding himself. His wife, Teyana Taylor, is a professional musician and an excellent dancer herself. Maybe she put her husband through a boot camp before this started, or else this talent has been hidden in plain sight. I have never watched Dancing with the Stars, but I make sure to look out during the week for Shumpert’s performances to appear on social media.
Shumpert wants more of his NBA brethren to participate on the show. He said in an interview with Page Six that Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving have the footwork to perform well on the show.
Irving on the show would be an absolute treat. Him using his dazzling footwork from his crossover dribble in an elaborate routine that the judges would not quite understand, and Irving explaining to them that they need to open their third eye and realize that the whole dance is just an illusion. He’s not dancing, no one dances. We just move as the beat guides us to enlightenment.
In the finals, OPRF’s finest will be up against teen star JoJo Siwa, current host of The Talk; former Broadway performer Amanda Kloots, and famous Peleton Instructor and former background dancer Cody Rigsby. With all three having professional dance experience, Shumpert will have his work cut out for him, but for now his run is just fun to watch.