March Madness is over, and the NBA playoffs don't begin for for a few more weeks, so what are basketball fans to do during the lull in the excitement? If you are a hoops fan who loves movies, you may want to check out some of these flicks that feature NBA players. Here are the top five appearances of NBA stars in movies, for better or for worse.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar- 'Airplane!'
"Airplane!" still stands out as a comedy classic even though it is now over 30 years old. It is filled with great cameos of stars who were popular in the 1970s. The best performance by far is that of Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He plays co-pilot Roger Murdoch on the doomed flight, even though one passenger suspects it is really Jabbar in disguise. His appearance in the movie may just be one of the best cameos that any pro-athlete has had in any movie.
Michael Jordan- 'Space Jam'
Michael Jordan starred in "Space Jam" alongside the Looney Tunes. Though there were other NBA stars who make appearances in the film, such as Larry Bird, it was MJ's movie, and he actually does a pretty good job in the film. It was marketed to kids, and played off of Jordan's squeaky-clean image from his days on the Chicago Bulls. Even though it is more of a family movie, it is still fun for basketball fans to watch, and s a great way to show your kids the NBA stars of twenty years ago.
Wilt Chamberlain- 'Conan the Destroyer'
Action film fans will appreciate this 1984 film with Wilt Chamberlain starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones. He plays Bombaata, whose goal is to protect the virginity of the princess. It is an ironic role for a man who claimed to have slept with over 20,000 women.
Shaq has tried his hand at many different careers outside of basketball, but the one he may be most remembered for (outside of his short-lived rap career) is his movie Kazaam. O'Neal plays a genie who is released from a boom box by a kid being chased by neighborhood bullies. The film was widely panned, but portraying a giant genie just seems like the role that Shaq was born to play. It is definitely worth a watch, if only to laugh at the absurdity of the plot.
Patrick Ewing- 'The Exorcist III'
If you have ever wanted to see an NBA star play the Angel of Death in a movie about ritualistic murder, then "The Exorcist III" is the movie for you. Ewing's role is more of a cameo in this film, but the movie is full of cameos that are far more famous than any of the actual stars. C. Everett Coop, Samuel L. Jackson, Larry King, and Fabio all appear in the film as well. You may want to put this one on your list of guilty pleasures.
Whitney Levon has been writing about both celebrities and sports for several years. You can find her work on Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Voices, and Yahoo! News.
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar
- Michael Jordan