**Note** This is Part 4/5 of “coiski 101: 5 Steps on Taking a Stance in an Article” lesson. You can read the previous three here.
Jordan Brand became an entity almost 20 years ago. During that time, we’ve seen everything from a transformation in boxes to the explosion of retro sneakers come into the forefront. In my opinion, the greatest contribution Jordan Brand has made to society is the conglomerate of talent assembled on Team Jordan throughout the years. I could throw some names out to you that would definitely turn heads, such as Derek Jeter and Dwyane Wade; I mean, even the female MJ, Maya Moore, is the First Lady of the brand.
The names on the all-time roster definitely ring bells.
However, there is still the burning question of Jordan Brand’s marquee athlete. Yes, the roster would hold its own, if not completely dominate, any other sneaker brand roster. But who is the face? Of course, there’s Drake who is an entity of his own, but who is the athletic torch carrier in mass media? Jordan, the sneaker, has transitioned from basketball shoe to lifestyle sneaker for the most part, but at its heart – at his heart, rather – Jordan is an athlete.
In the pantheon of Jordan Brand athletes, there is one that sticks with his subtle but impactful camera presence. His dry wit and sense of humor seemingly came out of nowhere, but it is usually delivered with the flawless timeliness of a seasoned comic. That star is none other than Blake Griffin.
Blake Griffin burst onto the scene in 2007 with his rare combination of size and athleticism. After missing his first season with a broken knee cap, Griffin won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2011. That season’s high point came during the All-Star weekend when Griffin put on a spectacular display during the dunk contest. If you don’t remember…
And just like that, a star was born. Blake became the front man for Kia, which is an official sponsor for the NBA. This partnership led to a bevy of hilarious commercials that showcased his offbeat personality, which is seen often during NBA broadcasts. Before this, we hadn’t known too much of Blake Griffin’s off-court demeanor. This match made in advertising heaven allowed Blake’s deadpan, Isaiah Amir Mustafa – better known as the Old Spice Guy – like comedy to shine through.
Griffin just seems to have a comfort level in front of the camera. His post-game and late-night-show interviews have garnered some memorable moments. One of the first times we became privy to Griffin’s light hearted acting prowess was during an appearance on Sports Show with Norm McDonald back in 2011 (see below) when he executed the portrayal of terribly, out of shape basketball player with no issue at all.
Blake tapped his comedic reservoir again during the opening skit of the 2014 ESPY awards where he engages in a battle of supremacy with emcee, and veteran actor and fellow Jordan Brand compadre, Drake. However, comedic talents are not the reason I believe that Griffin is the most marketable athletic talent to ever be sponsored by Jordan Brand. Those talents help, but the true reason is because Blake is a natural. He’s witty. You never know if he’s being serious or joking. And, he’s crushed every role he’s been asked to play both on the court and off. I mean, my man performed stand-up comedy, one of the most difficult things to muster the courage to do, and was actually good at it!
Couple this uncommon knack for saying the right joke at the right time with his otherworldly basketball talents, and Blake Griffin has the unquestionable traits of a megastar. A megastar that could, and should, be the star of the rumored, almost mythical, Space Jam sequel. Seeing that he is a Jordan Brand Athlete, MJ is sure to sign off on the inclusion. LeBron is the biggest basketball star on the planet at the time. No disputing that. However, the on camera charisma and impeccable timing of Blake Griffin make him a more viable Monstar foe, and a better candidate to carry a movie as legendary as Space Jam. It’s probably more likely that James gets the starring role, and Blake plays one of the Monstar characters, in which he will steal the show and be the most memorable character anyway. Either way, I’ll be back to say that I told you so.
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