Iman Shumpert became a fan favorite on Season 30 of Dancing with the Stars.
Iman proved early on that he needed a lot of work, and it didn’t look like he would go far in the series. However, Iman managed to turn things around. He improved more than almost anyone and ended up winning the entire competition.
However, it recently came to light that Iman almost rejected the offer to compete on the show. It wasn’t until one person convinced him to try it out that he decided to become a contestant.
Iman Shumpert’s mom convinced him to go on Dancing with the Stars
Iman Shumpert spoke to Ebony about his life, including his appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
Iman revealed to Ebony that he did not want to be on the reality show. He was hard at work, training to make a professional team as the NBA season approached. Iman thought that DWTS called him because they believed he was retired.
“I originally wasn’t going to do it because I felt like that would be the feeling if people saw me on the show – that he’s just a retired player,” Iman said.
However, he then told his mom and got some surprising news.
“I found out my mom loved the show and she got super excited when I got on the phone with her,” he said. “After talking with my wife, she said the same thing.”
“Having the encouragement threw it over the time. But trust me, I’d never actually sat down and watched the show.”
He then said that he was nervous because of his size; he felt if his partner wasn’t tall, it would be “pretty difficult.” His wife, who was a professional dancer, knew better.
“He’s a jack-of-all-trades,” his wife Teyana Taylor said. “I think it’s amazing that he can win a basketball championship, win a Mirrorball trophy – and then land roles in movies and television shows.”
“That’s the real goal. It’s to step out of one box, to unplug from one socket and be able to plug into multiple sockets.”
Iman Shumpert used his personality to win Dancing with the Stars
Iman Shumpert was not one of the better dancers early in the competition. However, things changed when he allowed his personality to shine through.
It all started with the Horror Night performance. Iman and his partner Daniella took on the roles from the movie Us and knocked it out of the park. The judges were shocked and heaped praise on Iman, and he never had to worry about fan votes after that.
During the finals, the remaining contestants were Iman and JoJo Siwa. Both contestants were favorites, but Iman prevailed thanks to the high-energy freestyle dance that awarded him the underdog victory.
Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus. The dancing reality competition series will return in late 2022 to its new home on Disney+.