LeBron James has won two NBA championships, four Most Valuable Player trophies and the hatred of most sports fans outside the state of Florida. But like like Ariel, he wants more. The Miami Heat star will star in a new movie opposite comedian Kevin Hart titled Ballers, currently scheduled to shoot in Miami next summer.
King James has dabbled in acting before (see: Entourage) and stars in those cute Samsung Galaxy commercials you don’t want anyone to know you enjoy. But like other overpaid, detested sports stars, there’s always another world to conquer. Before LeBron stars memorizing his lines or demanding obscurely flavored fruit snacks for his trailer, we advise him to take a look at those athletes who have acted before him. A bad film or television cameo may be fleeting, but an embarrassing clip posted on YouTube is forever.
Michael Jordan, Space Jam (1996)
The Chicago Bulls star decided to use his mid-career personal crisis as inspiration for a major motion picture, complete with aliens and Looney Tunes. If you can move past the ridiculous premise, Space Jam is fun (Bill Murray!) and Jordan struggling to impress his late father hits close to home. Too bad his happy and sad faces look identical.
Shaquille O’Neal, Kazaam (1996)
Yes, 1996 was rife with athletes looking to make a few extra bucks with a side hustle or two. At the time, Shaq was an emerging superstar in the NBA, so it’s difficult for us to understand why he’d sign up to play a giant genie who raps his commands–even if his character provides for a heck of a trivia question. If you watch the trailer while singing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle” to yourself, it’s a lot more fun.
Kevin Durant, Thunderstruck (2012)
KD, you are too good of a basketball player (and Instagram photographer) to sour your name with a low budget Space Jam rip-off! If you’re looking to expand your resume, may we suggest a line of lensless glasses?
Dan Marino, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Ask the former Miami Dolphins quarterback about football, and he’ll talk your ear off. Request he save the day by whisper-asking Jim Carrey to examine a man’s behind? Eh, good luck.
Lance Armstrong, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
The Tour de France winner gave a much more convincing performance when he told the world he didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs.
Dennis Rodman, Double Team (1997)
It’s not difficult to out-perform action veteran Jean Claude Van Damme, yet Rodman delivers his bevy of sports analogies with stale enthusiasm. E for Effort?
Terry Bradshaw, Failure To Launch (2006)
The Super Bowl champ and pre-game talking head plays the father of a 35-year-old man child. And thanks to his performance, we now have “Terry Bradshaw Nude Scene” ingrained in our minds forever (and ever and ever).
Tom Brady, Entourage (2009)
It must be difficult for a non-actor to break into a tight-knit cast towards the end of a series and feel confident like he or she has delivered a strong performance. Who are we kidding? This is Tom Brady, the invincible modelizer! He should be able to carry on a fictional conversation about golf with ease. Sadly, he’s stiff as a board, which may explain why the camera does a good job of staying away from a close-up. Jets/Eagles/Steelers/non-Patriots fans everywhere: savor this moment of Brady mediocrity.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Airplane! (1980)
As a professional basketball player pretending to be a regular ol’ airline pilot, the superstar can’t seem to deliver his lines naturally. But for such a kooky film, it works?
Hulk Hogan, Mr. Nanny (1993)
Who could forget the professional wrestler’s surprising turn as a male caretaker tasked with juice boxes and dirty laundry? Yes, before he put his family on reality television, Hogan was wearing a ballet leotard and pretending to get electrocuted by a pair of kids under 12. It’s safe to say he’s no Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…