ByStephen Adamson, writer at
I love the game. I love the hustle. MP Staff Writer and Retired Rapper. Twitter: @_StephenAdamson
Stephen Adamson

We're still fresh off Ronda Rousey getting (debatably) ransacked of her undefeated celebrity status by a swift kick to the neck from Holly Holm. As you all may know, she was tapped for ad campaigns, had roles in the Entourage and Furious 7 movies, and she was overall just given the spotlight due to her success as an undefeated badass woman.

She's not the only star athlete to get love on camera... check out these nine athletes who got roles in major Hollywood films.

1. Michael Jordan in 'Space Jam'

This was clearly one of the best athlete-to-screen transitions made by anyone, ever. The fact that somebody pitched Michael Jordan sharing camera time with the Looney Tunes—and eventually Bill Murray—and nobody batted an eye is what gets me the most. I'm glad someone thought of doing this, because it came out fantastically.

2. LeBron James in 'Trainwreck'

When Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer, and Bill Hader come together, you know you're going to get something funny. But when you toss in a surprisingly hilarious Lebron James, you strike gold almost automatically. Lebron is one of the best athletes on the planet, and objectively the best basketball player. Turns out he's funny, too? Unfair.

3. The Rock in... well, everything

The Rock doesn't make movies. Movies exist and then The Rock graces us with his presence in them. Of course, he was one of the best and most iconic WWE wrestlers to ever do it and played football as well, at the University of Miami prior to delving into entertainment. Probably a good switch, as he appeared in numerous films and most recently cashed in with San Andreas and Furious 7.

4. The aforementioned Ronda Rousey in 'Entourage' and 'Furious 7'

We've already discussed her, but she delivered some interesting performances in these two films. In both cases, she had a merely supportive role, but she made her presence be felt for damn sure.

5. Ray Allen in 'He Got Game'

Ray Allen was a youngster at the time, and he's now semi-retired, but I definitely can't let anyone forget about this Spike Lee classic. Allen got to star alongside Denzel Washington in He Got Game, and he even acted somewhat decently. Not that he really had to try that hard, playing an all-star basketball player. Of course, that's what he was IRL at the time.

6. Shaq

This photo above is from Kazaam, a ridiculous film that probably didn't need to be made. However, you can't knock the fact that Shaq brought a level of hilarity and lightness to it that no other actor could have. He also appeared in Steel and multiple other films in which he played himself. He's truly a goofy guy, which is only amplified by the fact that he's a 7'2" NBA legend.

7. Mike Tyson in 'The Hangover' and other miscellaneous projects

Mike Tyson currently has an animated project out and it's pretty hilarious. If you don't know who he is, he's a boxer who bit off another boxer's ear in one of the biggest heavyweight fights ever. But I think his biggest on camera moment came in the lovably comedic Hangover Part I and Part II.

8. Jesse 'The Body' Ventura kicked ass back in the day

Governor of Minnesota and legendary old-school wrestler Jesse Ventura had roles in Predator, The Running Man, and Batman & Robin that I'm sure had some effect on Dwayne Johnson trying his hand at acting, too. Nearly included John Cena as well, but he hasn't quite broken through to the extent of these other two.


I know there are many more, but these are the ones that stood out to me. Add yours below, please, I welcome more athletes!

Sports + Movies = Fun


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