Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Before Blake Griffin Dunked Over A Car, Kenny Smith Had A Three-Minute Religious Experience

If you missed the NBA slam dunk contest on Saturday night, you not only missed Blake Griffin dunking over a silver Kia and some other confusing but exciting shenanigans — you also missed Kenny Smith, Griffin's "coach" for the evening, delivering a nearly three-minute long speech about obstacles and the power of belief. David Roher at Harvard Sports Analysis transcribed the speech and posted a "word cloud" of the address last night. Smith used the word "believe" six separate times, and talked about obstacles that we all need to get over — like, for example, a brand new car standing in the way of a cash prize and a big endorsement deal!

The "speech," in full (including Griffin's rousing addition):

KENNY: Well, we seen a lot of dunks over the dunk…over the great dunk contest, look at this panel, this esteemed panel, that was sitting here, and we've seen them do everything that you've ever seen. But sometimes you just gotta go a little bit extra. You gotta go a little bit extra so can I bring some extra stuff out! We gonna bring the pageantry to the dunk contest. Everybody else brought pageantry, we've seen teddy bears, cars, things…we need to bring something out! We need to bring it out! [Pause as car rolls] When you trying to get somewhere, a lot of the times you take a…you walk, you might take a bike, but sometimes you need to get in a car. ..Sometimes cars are obstacles…sometime they're things that can help you! But tonight, this car is nothing but an obstacle…So just open your mind!…We trying to get it right. We're trying to get it right…Yes. Stand up ladies and gentlemen! Stand up! Stand up ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen – Blake, do you believe you can do this? Blake, Do you believe you can do this? Blake, do you believe you can do this?

BLAKE: I dunno, man. Um…I mean…

KENNY: You gotta believe! Yo, Ladies and gentlemen, we have the Crenshaw Elite Choir to make you believe! [Choir starts singing]. He needs to believe! I can't hear you! I can't hear you! Every night and day…Oh wait a minute, it's not over. We also have a special guest for this dunk. Here he is: Baron Davis.


We all know what happened next. All of the speaking and singing about believing made Blake Griffin believe he could fly. Dr. Peale would be so proud.

A Transcript and Illustration of Kenny Smith's Glorious Blake Griffin Car Dunk Speech [Harvard Sports Analysis]

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