Iman Shumpert is First Former NBA Player to Make it to ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Finale

Corey Cesare
Taylor Fox
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iman shumpert and daniella karagach dancing with the starsABC/Christopher Willard

Iman Shumpert made Dancing With the Stars history last night when he made it through to the finals. This season, the former NBA player has not only brought in a perfect score, he and his partner Daniella Karagach have never been in the bottom three. Iman has shown that tall men can dance too, and look great while doing it.

In the DWTS semifinals, Iman and Daniella scored a 37 on their redemption dance and a 38 for their Jazz performance to “Dark Fantasy” by Kanye West and Iman’s wife Teyana Taylor. Even though he didn’t score the highest of the night, he was solidly in the middle with his combined score of 75 out of 80, this pair have had some truly daring dances over the weeks.

There’s no way around it, Iman’s best dance so far on the series was his week six contemporary dance. Iman and Daniella danced a beautifully terrifying dance to “I Got 5 On It (Tethered Mix from US)” by Luniz inspired by the movie Us. The judges were so impressed by their performance that the couple earned their first perfect score.

Iman and Daniella were on fire with their jaw dropping routines last night as well. The underdogs are capitalizing on Iman’s vast height and incredible strength by adding a lot more acrobatics and jaw-dropping lifts to their performances.

NBA Players Historically Don’t Succeed on Dancing with the Stars

Iman said it best last night, everyone thought a tall basketball player would be a joke on the show. At the beginning of the season, it seemed as though the foot height difference between he and Daniella would be a challenge too big to overcome. Thanks to the amazing choreography by Daniella and the clear trust these two have in each other, they’ve exceeded all expectations.

Because of their massive size compared to their partners, basketball players historically don’t do very well on Dancing with the Stars. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s highest score during his season was just a 19 out of 30 and he was eliminated in the second episode of that shortened season. Kareem, who is over seven feet tall, was nearly two feet taller than his partner Lindsay Arnold.

Lamar Odom was also over a foot taller than partner Peta Murgatroyd on Season 28 of the show. The pair earned tenth place and were in the bottom two twice in their four-episode stint.

Before Iman, Rick Fox made it the furthest of all the ballers to compete on Dancing With the Stars. Rick played for both The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers and competed during Season 11 of DWTS with this partner Cheryl Burke. The couple finished the competition in sixth place, with a highest score of 27 out of 30.

Whether Iman wins season 30 or not, he and Daniella have already made history. He is the first former NBA player to earn that perfect score and now he has made it all the way to the live finale. With the majority of the internet on his side, could this be the year a tall king takes the trophy?

The Dancing with the Stars finale is live on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can vote online or by texting their favorite celebrity’s name to 21523. Be sure to catch the final four battle it out for their last chance to show their stuff.

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