Blake Griffin Admits NBA Forced him to Jump Over Kia Optima in 2011 Dunk Contest
You remember when Blake Griffin jumped over the car in the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk contest? Well, it turns out the NBA had a hand in making that happen.
To refresh your memory, Baron Davis rolled out in a Kia Optima, poked his head out of the sunroof, and held up a ball for Griffin, who jumped over the hood of the car to slam it home. It looked okay, I guess. It wasn’t anything special, really. Griffin’s original idea, however, would have been a game changer.
“I wanted to jump over a convertible,” said Griffin. “But I wasn’t allowed to. It had to be a Kia Optima. 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.”
You know how Kia is all over the NBA? Well, the Kia Optima is the league’s official vehicle. Griffin jumping over another car wouldn’t have sat well with the corporate sponsors, so the front office put an X through that real quick.
“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.”
Griffin still won the dunk contest, so he shouldn’t have any hard feelings, but he did name his son Ford. The NBA didn’t like that either.
“You know what’s crazy; I actually got an email asking about that, asking why I named my kid Ford. It seems like a pretty common American name. It’s not like I named him Hyundai or Toyota.”
I would sure hope Griffin wasn’t selling the naming rights of his child, but you never know nowadays.