Hardwood and Hollywood

Iman Shumpert’s spoken word ode to his aunt

I’m not sure what it is this offseason that has NBA players breaking down and showing the type of human emotion that displays their vulnerability, but it happened again. Last week, Derrick Rose had to fight back tears at his adidas sneaker launch as he felt grateful toward his fans. This week, it’s Iman Shumpert who was performing a spoken word ode to his aunt in New York City’s Village Underground.

Shumpert’s aunt died of cancer and the performance was an open letter to her, letting her know that he remembers her, the difficult times her death brought, but also letting her know that everything is good and going to be alright. Watch the video and understand the visceral power of spoken word:

Props to Iman Shumpert for being who he is and letting us know that NBA players aren’t just dudes that run up and down the court, either getting buckets or stopping them, but real people that have to deal with real people problems like we all do. I think sometimes, professional athletes “leave” the earth, but eventually find themselves touching the ground again.

I wish Shumpert nothing but the best and love the manner in which he is moving on, but still remembering his auntie.

You can contact and find me on Twitter @BallerMindFrame or e-mail me at [email protected].

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Dennis Velasco (AKA DV) has contributed a lot of content throughout the Internet over the past several years - SB Nation, ESPN/TrueHoop, SI, SLAM, Yahoo! Sports, BuzzFeed, and The New York Times Company among others. DV is the Publisher of Hardwood and Hollywood.

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