For years, former Brooklyn Nets guard Iman Shumpert publicly lamented the fact that he never was put in a position to showcase his full repertoire on the basketball court. Thankfully, he’s had a completely opposite experience off of it, as he’s dabbled in music, fashion, and other interests. But on Monday night, the 2016 NBA champ experienced one of his biggest wins yet when he became the first former NBA player to win the latest iteration of the popular competition series Dancing with the Stars.
Doing so wasn’t an easy feat, because after 10 weeks of fierce competition that included a brilliant jazz routine set to Kanye West’s “Dark Fantasy” and a jaw-dropping tribute to Jordan Peele’s Us, the 11-year NBA veteran faced off against an experienced assemblage of celebrity dancers in the finale that included Peleton instructor (and former professional dancer) Cody Rigsby, award-winning fitness entrepreneur (and dancer) Amanda Kloots, and global superstar JoJo Siwa.
Host Tyra Banks could barely contain her excitement when she announced the winners—and I’m sure Shumpert’s wife, multi-hyphenate Teyana Taylor, felt the exact same way after her husband and his partner, Daniella Karagach, were declared the new champions of Dancing with the Stars.
Throughout his stint on the show, the six-five baller received plenty of praise from the NBA community. But one of his loudest and proudest supporters throughout his journey was former teammate LeBron James, who made it a point to publicly express his admiration for Shumpert’s moves on the dance floor.
With his victory Monday night, Shumpert joins Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez and former NFL stars Hines Ward and Emmitt Smith as the latest professional athlete to become a Mirror Ball champion. And with his time in the NBA drawing to a close, hopefully his stint on Dancing with the Stars helps to usher in the next chapter of his career after basketball.