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The NBA Legend You Likely Forgot Co-Starred With Jean-Claude Van Damme

Sharing the screen with Jean-Claude Van Damme is an honor shared by an elite fraternity of screen actors. Rob Schneider. Michael Rooker. Wilford Brimley. Raul Julia. Rosanna Arquette. Even Jean-Claude Van Damme himself, as seen in the film "Double Impact." The list goes on, but you might not remember that it includes a certain basketball legend who had a penchant for extracurricular projects during his '90s heyday in the NBA.

One of those projects, as it turns out, was an action film with Van Damme and Mickey Rourke. The film in question is an incredible example of how wild and crazy action movies can get, and it's worth watching whether you're interested in the side projects of NBA superstars or not. And if you are interested in that subject, then it's downright essential.

Read on to find out which NBA legend, famous for his exploits both on and off the court, once played second banana to the Muscles from Brussels.

Dennis Rodman co-starred with JCVD in Double Team

In the mid-'90s, Dennis Rodman, then playing for the Chicago Bulls, was looking to branch out beyond basketball. That included a stint as a professional wrestler as part of World Championship Wrestling's New World Order, an MTV reality show, and a movie career. His debut in the latter was in the 1997 film "Double Team," directed by Hong Kong genre master Tsui Hark and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, per IMDb.

The plot of "Double Team" features Van Damme as a super-spy teaming up with Yaz, Rodman's quippy arms dealer, to take down international super-terrorist Stavros, played by Mickey Rourke. It's one of those movies that's pretty much impossible to describe in prose, but one of its most memorable features is its overload of basketball-related puns (starting with the title of the film itself), usually spouted by Yaz, despite the small detail that, other than being played by Rodman, the character as depicted on-screen has nothing whatsoever to do with basketball.

Rodman wasn't as much of a success as a movie star as he was in the NBA. But he did go on to make one more action movie: 1999's "Simon Sez," this time with no Van Damme in sight.