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Recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Gary Oldman released a Public Service Announcement asking basketball players to stop acting in films. The logic being that just as Oldman doesn’t randomly appear on NBA teams because he’s famous, basketball players should quit appearing in films. It was pretty entertaining and it got us at BR5 thinking about who the worst of the worst were…
Here is our list of the top five worst NBA players trying their hand at acting.
The No. 5 overall offender is the late, great Wilt Chamberlain. A four-time MVP, a 13-time All-Star, the man is as credentialed as you can get playing basketball. If that weren’t enough, Wilt also drew attention to himself for claiming to have bedded over 20,000 women.
Quite a character, right? In real life: yes, on-screen: no. His appearance in Conan the Destroyer was awful at best. I guess none of those 20,000 women ever saw his work in the film.
At No. 4 overall is Michael Jordan. A six-time champion, a five-time league MVP, the man kept the world’s eye on the sport for two decades while he played. He’s probably the greatest ever. It was a swing-and-a-miss for Jordan with baseball; he had a similar result with acting.
Even though it was a beloved film, Jordan’s work in the 1996 film Space Jam was brutal. Even though his role was featured throughout the film, he was easily outdone by Patrick Ewing and a bunch of cartoons.
Unfortunately, you can’t chalk these acting gaffes up to the 90’s, there’s a film coming out in August that promises to live up to the NBA actor precedent.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is one of the top players in the league today. Unfortunately, someone talked him into starring in Thunderstruck, a basketball movie in which Durant switches talents with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. The kid becomes a star, while Durant suddenly can’t hit a shot. In the end, the kid switches back, for the good of the team.
If you like wasting your time, check this out when it releases in August.
At No. 2 is Dennis Rodman. One of the greatest defensive players ever, his ability to act was on the opposite end of the scale. Frankly, it doesn’t get much worse than the worm when it comes to cinema gaffes. His “highlights” include Double Team and Simon Sez.
And finally, there is no basketball player who has ever spawned onscreen gems like the great Shaquille O’Neal. If there was ever any doubt to the validity and necessity of Oldman’s PSA, Shaq reminds us all that basketball players should only be on-camera to play basketball, nothing else!
Shaq’s brilliance first graced the screen when he starred as a rapping genie in Kazaam. When that didn’t get the Academy’s attention, Shaq doubled down with Steel. We’re still not 100 percent what that movie was about…
Regardless, Shaq remains undeterred. He’s allegedly set to make an appearance in the upcoming Sandler sequel: Grown Ups 2. Can’t wait.