The Sports Star Cameos In ‘What Men Want’ Include Athletes Past & Present
In the upcoming movie What Men Want, Taraji P. Henson takes on the role Mel Gibson played in the What Women Want in the year 2000. But switching up the genders isn't the only change the new movie makes to the original. While Gibson's character Nick worked in advertising, Ali Davis (Henson) is a sports agent. Naturally, that means that What Men Want features several sports star cameos, from athletes to a certain Shark Tank shark. Spoilers ahead.
At the start of What Men Want, Ali is expecting to be promoted to partner at the sports agency where she works and is surprised to find out a male coworker has gotten the new role instead. But, soon, after a night of seeing a psychic, drinking some drug-laced tea, going to a club for a bachelorette party, and ending up in the hospital after hitting her head, she realizes she can now hear men's thoughts. She uses this to her advantage when trying to sign the potential number one pick in the NBA Draft to prove her worth at her company and, this being a rom-com, she also uses her new powers in her love life.
The young basketball player, Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie), isn't a real athlete, but there are actual sports personalities who pop up in the film as Ali navigates her career and her newfound gift. Keep your eyes peeled for these cameos:
Ali is supposed to be good with women clients — at one point her boss tells her to "stay in her lane" — and one of them is WNBA great Lisa Leslie. In Leslie's scene, she's supposed to be arguing that she deserves to be in the center of a magazine cover that will feature other athletes and lists her stats: four Olympic gold medals and three WNBA MVPs.
Shaq pops up at a secret men-only poker game that Ali finds out about because, duh, she can hear her coworkers' thoughts. What does Ali hear from Shaq's inner thoughts? "Pretzels are delicious," he thinks while scarfing some down.
Grant Hill is another guest at the poker game. According to What Men Want producer Will Packer, he made an appearance because the film shot in Atlanta and both Hill and the movie have connections to the Hawks. "The centerpiece team is the Atlanta Hawks because that's where our fictional NBA draftee lands," Packer said during a set visit, according to Screen Rant. He continued, "Grant Hill is one of the owners also of the Hawks and he came in and did a cameo. We shot in the arena where they play."
Yet another poker game player is Mark Cuban, Shark Tank shark and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Minnesota Timberwolves player Karl-Anthony Towns shows up when Jamal and Ali are attending a Hawks game. And he fits right into the movie since Towns himself was drafted first overall in 2015.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver makes a cameo to announce the draft, just as he would in real life.
If you're an NBA fan, maybe you'll be interested to see how these faces all fair on screen. And if you're just someone who doesn't pay attention to sports and were like, "Who was that?," now you know.