From the hardwood to the dance floor Iman Shumpert stands alone in the history books after becoming the first NBA player to win Dancing with the Stars.
Shumpert, a member of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship team, succeeded where no other former player had in the competition’s 30th season.
The ten-year NBA veteran and his partner Daniella Karagach received two perfect scores in the finale, including freestyling to Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control” and DJ Clent’s “Bounce.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli dubbed Shumpert “king of the ballroom.”
Shumpert isn’t the first NBA champion to appear on the popular show.
Former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Derek Fisher, Lamar Odom, MettaWorld Peace, Rick Fox, and former Houston Rocket Clyde Drexler all competed on the show, but only Shumpert brought home the mirror ball trophy.
“I could lock in on that type of target,” Shumpert said pointing, out the aesthetic similarities of the Mirror Ball and Larry O’Brien trophies.
At six-foot-five, Shumpert also became the tallest winner.
“I hope that the guys home watching realize that the shows not all the way about you being able to technically dance,” said Shumpert. “As basketball players, we get trapped in that a lot, to be an athlete all the time, but if this is not proof enough for you that you can be more, you should look harder at the Mirror Ball.”
The New York Knicks drafted Shumpert in the first round in 2011.
He played three seasons in the Big Apple before joining the Cavs.
During Cleveland’s one and only title season, Shumpert averaged 5.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
He played four years with the Cavs before jumping to Toronto, Sacramento, Houston and finishing his career with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21.
Shumpert notched his highest point total, 9.5, his rookie season with the Knicks.
He finished with career averages of 7.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.