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How Dancing With The Stars Winner Iman Shumpert Feels About Making History For The NBA

Daniella Karagach and Iman Shumpert on Dancing with the Stars
(Image credit: ABC)

Another season of Dancing with the Stars has come to an end, which means the highly coveted Mirrorball trophy has now been awarded to a new pair of competitors. This past Monday, partners Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach were crowned the winners of Season 30’s competition. Such an achievement is remarkable in and of itself, but there’s one aspect of the win that’s particularly special. With his victory, Shumpert has now become the first NBA player to win the competition. Now, the champion is speaking out about his victory and what it means to him. 

The professional basketball vet has received a few nice accolades over the course of his playing career, including a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But there has to be something special about accomplishing something on the dance floor that no player before him has ever accomplished. In a recent interview with E!, the star seemed pleased with the win but, based on his comments, it means a lot more to the basketball community as a whole:

It means a lot. I think with the NBA, we're a family, a fraternity at the end of the day. And any time I got to put that hat on to represent them, I try and do it the right way. I hope they was watching, supporting. I hope we did it justice. I love my NBA family.

Basketball players can be fierce competitors on the court but, ultimately, they do indeed share a bond that continues long after their playing days are finished. It’s wonderful to see that Iman Shumpert is taking the opportunity to put the spotlight there amid his accomplishment. And Shumpert really does deserve credit for his work on the show. 

Over the course of the competition, the former Brooklyn Net and Daniella Karagach pulled off some very impressive routines. During Disney Week, the two earned high marks for their performance of Aladdin’s “Arabian Nights,” and they also earned perfect scores when they danced to “I Got 5 on It (Tethered Mix)” (from Us) for Horror Week. And of course, they were facing some stiff competition. Coming in second place behind them was the history-making duo of JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson. And in third and fourth place were Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke and Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, respectively. 

Though Iman Shumpert is the first NBA player to win a season of Dancing with the Stars, he’s far from the first to ever compete. Over the years, the reality competition series has welcomed notable names like Clyde Drexler, Rick Fox and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Historically, most players have been eliminated from the competition relatively early, which makes Shumpert’s win all the more impressive now. 

Maybe this recent victory will encourage other NBA players to take to the dance floor to strut their stuff. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Michael Jordan join Dancing with the Stars, as he’d bring a serious competitive nature to the proceedings. One can only imagine who may be tempted to join DWTS next, but I definitely feel certain that this won’t be the last time a baller takes home that sweet-looking trophy.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.