LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks the ball over a car in the final round of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Remember that cool dunk Blake Griffin had during the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk contest? It turns out that was staged by the NBA.

The idea in general to dunk over a car was Griffin’s, but because everything must be branded a certain way for these all-star extravaganzas, the NBA forced Griffin to adjust his high-flying act to something more economical.

I wanted to jump over a convertible, but I wasn’t allowed to. It had to be a Kia Optima,” Griffin said on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast. “I wanted to have Baron Davis and some of my teammates roll out in a convertible, and then just toss it straight up and jump over the whole thing, instead of just the hood.”

Kia is of course a corporate sponsor of the NBA. Unfortunately for Griffin, Kia does not offer a convertible in their lineup, so the company was unable to help Griffin stage his desired dunk. But it was a great opportunity to showcase the Kia Optima, which Griffin sailed over on his way to the basket. For some reason, this dunk was criticized, but roughly 99 percent of those criticisms came from people who would fail to leap over a Kia Optima.

“I don’t know if you guys have stood next to a Kia Optima, but it’s a pretty tall vehicle, and there’s no way I was going to make it over the entire thing, over Baron Davis in the sunroof. So I opted for the hood, and then everyone was pissed that I jumped over the hood, like, ‘that was super easy,’ so it was just a lose-lose situation for me.”

No criticisms here, as I had to lower the basketball hoop in our driveway just to even think about dunking at the height of my basketball prime, after having the cars in the driveway moved completely out of the way.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.

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