10 basketball players turned actors

Athletes have repeatedly tried their hand at other endeavors outside of sport. By far the most popular choice is acting. One of the most successful athlete-to-actor transformations is WWE Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson began his acting career playing his father in an appearance on This show from the 70s, before joining the Fast and Furious franchise.

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In addition to wrestlers, basketball players often become involved in the film industry. Players would play their own role or continue to play professionally. Now whether they succeeded or not is up to the viewers. Can basketball players perform on screen and on the court?

ten Michael Jordan has a net worth of $1.6 billion


Michael Jordan Space Jam Green Screen

Michael Jordan spearheaded the Chicago Bulls in the 80s and 90s. Jordan played basketball like no one had ever seen him before, inspiring the creation of Nike Air Jordan shoes. Jordan played his role in the 1996 film spacejam, a live-action animation crossover with looney tunes. The film was shot when Jordan retired from the NBA in 1993, until he returned to the organization in 1995 after a baseball attempt.

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Jordan helped Bugs Bunny and the rest of the looney tunes gang in a basketball game against evil aliens. Other basketball stars like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird and others have made appearances in SpaceJam. Jordan starred in the docuseries the last dance in 2020, and a remake of spacejam, title Space Jam: a new legacy, came out in 2021.

9 Dennis Rodman had many adventures outside of basketball


Denis Rodman

Dennis Rodman was known as the eccentric bad boy of the NBA, due to how often he got into fights with players and referees, as well as his tattoos and piercings. Amazingly, Rodman developed a friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in 2013 and even fought in a wrestling match with Hulk Hogan.

Along with other crazy antics, Rodman starred in two films in the late 90s, Doubles team and Simon Sez. He received three Razzie Awards for his performance. Overall, Rodman has remained a controversial figure over the years.


8 Rick Fox had a long acting career


Rick Fox speaks with the referee

Rick Fox played with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in the 90s while pursuing an acting career. Fox actually earned a bachelor’s degree in radio, television, and film from the University of North Carolina. He retired from basketball in 2004 and focused more on his acting career.

Fox has developed a long list of acting credits over time, but one of his most notable appearances was a guest appearance in the 2003 Disney film. Holes like Clyde ‘Sweetfeet’ Livingston. Fox also owned the Echo Fox esports franchise until 2019.


7 Blake Griffin played a small role with big names


Blake Griffin in the female brain

Blake Griffin went down in history as one of the most decorated basketball players at the University of Oklahoma. Griffin began his professional basketball career with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2009. Griffin was awarded Rookie of the Year in 2011, after missing the previous season with a knee injury.

He played a minor role in the 2017 comedy The female brain. The female brain also played prominent names in the industry, such as Sofía Vergara, Cecily Strong and James Marsden. The female brain focused on examining the differences between the male and female brain.


6 Kareem Abdul Jabbar


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has had a long basketball and acting career. Abdul-Jabbar was first drafted from the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and ended up with the Los Angeles Lakers. He played a total of 20 seasons of basketball during his career.

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When Abdul-Jabbar played for the Lakers in Los Angeles, it was the main opportunity for him to find out what acting was all about. He co-starred martial arts superstar Bruce Lee in the 1972 film game of death, and played a co-pilot for the 1980 comedy film Plane! Abdul-Jabbar later appeared on shows like Full house and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


5 John Salley starred alongside Will Smith


John Salley with Will Smith in Bad Boys

John Salley played for various NBA franchises but started with the Detroit Pistons in 1986. Salley was actually the first player to win a basketball championship in three separate decades. Salley had his first role in the 1995 film Buddy cop. Bad Boys with his co-star, Will Smith.

Salley played computer geek Fletcher, who helped Smith’s character solve cases for the Miami Police Department. Salley then reprized his role for the sequel, bad boys IIin 2003. A spin-off TV series even came out in 2019 starring Salley.


4 Ray Allen was applauded for his acting performance


Ray Allen in He's Got A Game

Ray Allen was first drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996, but was soon traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. He signed a $6.2 million contract with the Bucks and then a whopping $70.9 million extension in 1999. Allen boosted his net worth when he starred alongside Denzel Washington in the movie Spike Lee in 1998. He has game.

Allen played the role of Jesus Shuttlesworth, whose father (Denzel Washington) is in prison. The Governor persuaded Shuttlesworth to play for the Governor’s alma mater in exchange for a reduction in his father’s prison sentence. Allen was ultimately praised for his performance in the film.




3 Kevin Durant has acted and written articles


Kevin Durant in Thunderstruck

Kevin Durant started his NBA basketball career when the Seattle SuperSonics drafted him in 2007. When the team moved to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant played 8 years with them. This three-time Olympic gold medalist wrote articles and took photos for The players’ stand a new media platform founded by former MLB player Derek Jeter.

In addition to writing and photography, Durant starred in the 2012 comedy film Stunned. Stunned follows a high school student who magically received Durant’s basketball abilities when Durant signed a basketball to him. The film received mixed reviews and Durant has not acted in a film since.


2 Shaquille O’Neal’s movies were a flop


Shaquille O'Neal in Kazaam

Shaquille O’Neal, better known by his nickname “Shaq” and his towering 7-foot stature, was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992. Shaq is a spokesman for Papa John’s pizza and one of the top NBA centers first. He tried his hand at acting in 1994 for the basketball drama Blue fries.

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O’Neal later appeared in the 1996 fantasy film Kazam, which was released the same year as Jordan’s SpaceJam. NeverthelessKazam was far from being so successful. O’Neal played a 5,000-year-old genius who granted three wishes for a 12-year-old boy. The film earned $19 million on its $20 million budget.


1 LeBron James starred in the Space Jam remake


Whether LeBron James or Michael Jordan is the best basketball player has been debated for over 15 years. James made his NBA debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. James received the NBA Rookie of the Year award that season, the first Cavalier to do so. James began his acting career with an appearance on the HBO series Surroundings.

He then played himself in Judd Apatow’s 2015 film train crash, before her starring role in Space Jam: A New Legacy. Reviews for Space Jam: A New Legacy were mixed and fans were disappointed because Michael Jordan didn’t make a cameo.

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