Iman Shumpert clearly knows a thing or two about winning. The former New York Knicks guard won a championship with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. And on November 22, he became the first NBA player to make it to the finals and win the title on Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars.
If you thought his moves on the hardwood were something, you should see his fusion dance skills.
With the DWTS Mirrorball Trophy now secured, the 31-year-old Shumpert is ready for another challenge. Specifically, he’s looking to take his winning ways back to the place where he first made a name for himself — the basketball court.
Shumpert ‘Never Stopped Playing’
In the wake of his DWTS win, TMZ caught up with Shumpert and asked him about his hoops plans. His response left little doubt that he still considers himself a baller first and foremost.
“Trying to see what we can get done. I love basketball. I never stopped playing,” Shumpert told TMZ. “They call me a ‘former’, ‘ex,’ but I told them the league just didn’t pay me this year. It’s not an ‘ex’ thing. Me and the league didn’t break up.”
This isn’t the first time that Shumpert has hinted at a potential comeback bid. A few days before his big ballroom win, he joined ESPN’s NBA Today and made it clear that the Association is where he wants to be.
“I gotta get my work in,” he said. “I just gotta keep myself ready and I think my reputation around the league, just working my ass off — nobody’s going to say, ‘Is Iman going to be ready? Is Iman going to be working hard? Is Iman going to be doing the right things to bring positivity to this ball club?’ I don’t think anybody can question that with my rap sheet.”
Shumpert added, “I’m just trying to hang my head on that and wait for the right opportunity. And if it doesn’t come, I’ll be doing other opportunities until that happens. I play basketball because I love it, not to wait on a job at the same time.”
Get all the latest Knicks news, analysis and viral content! Follow the Heavy on Knicks Facebook page!
Shumpert’s NBA Career at a Glance
Shumpert — a Georgia Tech product — was selected by the Knicks with the 17th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He made an immediate impact for his first professional team, starting in 35 of his 59 games and capturing All-Rookie First Team honors.
He would ultimately spend parts of four seasons with the Knicks from 2011 to 2015. In 202 games for the franchise, he averaged 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. He was also a 34.3% three-point shooter.
After his run in the Big Apple came to an end, he spent time with the Cavs, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets. His last taste of NBA action was a two-game stint with the latter club in February of this year.