Remember that old Powerade commerical where LeBron James is shooting full-court jump shots with ease? As soon as it started airing, the debate began.
Was LeBron really swishing those shots or was it all fake?
In the end, Powerade let it be known that the commercial was the work of Method Studios, a company that specializes in visual effects, and that the spot was part of their new ad campaign (which also featured a Michael Vick).
While the footage turned out to be fake, Powerade got what they wanted. They created some buzz and pretty soon, everyone wanted to see the ad to judge for themselves; was it real or fake?
Well another NBA star may have taken a page out LeBron's book.
On Thursday, Kobe Bryant's website, KB24.com, released a video in which the Los Angeles Laker pulls off his own ridiculous stunt.
As the video begins, Kobe holds up his newest signature shoe, the Nike Hyperdunks. Bryant then laces up his sneakers while teammate Ronny Turiaf tells him that what he's about to do isn't a good idea. "Don't worry, I got this. Come on, bring it down!" shouts a confident Kobe.
Then it happens.
A silver Aston Martin then comes flying onto the screen at fifty miles per hour and Bryant jumps. He lets out a roar and completely clears the car.
"I told you!" he yells to Turiaf, "March 31, 2008, baby! That is how you jump over an Aston Martin boy, that's how you do it. Hyperdunks!"
The video has been slowed down, freeze framed, and analyzed by many people and nobody seems to have any evidence that the stunt is fake.
In the LeBron commercial, the ball briefly leaves the screen which caused many people to doubt the ad's authenticity. But with the Kobe video, you see everything perfectly. Hell, check out the photo above this article. Looks pretty real, right?
But let's take a second and put all video effects to the side. Hollywood magic can do some amazing things and who knows, Bryant may have spent a fortune on that spot. Rather than analyzing the video for imperfections, let's just use common sense for a second.
Would an athlete of Kobe's caliber risk injury and possibly death just to sell a few pairs of shoes? I doubt it.
One slip, one mistimed jump is all it would take for his career to be over and Bryant isn't stupid. Can you imagine what the Lakers would have done if he landed too early, hit the car, and broke his leg? Phil Jackson wouldn't be too happy.
But Kobe's mini commercial is already making noise. It's getting hit after hit on YouTube and was shown on TNT's halftime show during Thursday's game between the Lakers and Clippers.
Here's my opinion on the video: I think Bryant's jump is 100% real. He has a great vertical leap and probably could clear the car if he tried. However, I don't think Kobe is stupid enough to actually attempt the stunt. Just because he can clear the car on a perfect jump, doesn't mean he'd do it and risk injury if he were to slip or screw up.
I think the car was driven right next to Kobe so that from our angle, it looks like he's jumping over the car but really, he's just jumping really high directly beside it.
It'll be interesting to see if Kobe ever reveals if this video was real or fake but for now, you be the judge.
Did Kobe really clear the car or is this just another example of amazing special effects used to generate hype?
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