NBA players find ways to keep us entertained, regardless of whether they’re taking to the hardwood and doing what they do best or leaning into their electric personalities and either captivating audiences or getting a laugh on both the big and small screen. But who’s the best? There have been plenty of performances by NBA players that qualify for consideration. That’s why we pulled in some help to decide, asking both the DIME editorial team and a collection of other Uproxx editors and film and TV critics to vote and pick the best. Which led to a lot of interesting takes.
For instance, Dime editorial director Martin Rickman had this to say about Ray Allen in Spike Lee’s He Got Game: “Ray’s ability to let the role come to him instead of overacting or trying to do too much is hard for A-listers much less legendary three-point gunners.” Uproxx editor at large Brian Grubb added that respect has to be paid to Allen for carrying a significant portion of that film while most others on this list are more like cameos. And that’s true, but what cameos they are. As features editor Jason Tabrys said, Kevin Garnett’s performance in Uncut Gems might be “the coolest and calmest part of a movie that is filled with anxiety over Adam Sandler’s character’s actions and everyone’s responses to him.” Hip-hop editor and TV/Film critic Aaron Williams had nothing but praise for the memorable way Blake Griffin showed his self-deprecating sense of humor on Broad City with features writer Jess Toomer remarking on how Griffin showed he was down for anything.
All told, more than 25 performances got a vote with a fierce competition breaking out for the top spot. Take a look at the above video to see where we landed on the true on-screen MVPs and then let us know which ballers we missed on.