Many of you have undoubtedly seen the recent commercials from Leroy Smith, “the man who motivated Michael Jordan.”
For those who haven’t, check out the YouTube clip below and check out Smith's Web site.
We got in touch with a guy who spoke to a girl who knew where Leroy could be found and we conducted an interview with him.
Darren: You beat Michael Jordan out in the 10th grade more 30 years ago. How come we are just hearing from you now?
Smith: For the longest time, I’ve refused interviews and shunned any publicity. I wanted to make sure my contribution to the game would be recognized as a gift to the world and beyond. But after getting ignored by the Hall of Fame, I decided that I could stay silent no longer. Plus, it took me a while to transfer my drills from VHS to DVD.
Darren: Your basketball spinning skills are the best we've ever seen. How have you not been on the Globetrotters?
Smith: You have to understand, my motivation is a higher calling. Could I have worn those funky red and white shorts and spun balls in front of millions? Sure. Could I have been an astronaut who spins dehydrated ice cream at zero gravity? Without a doubt. But that wasn’t my destiny. I was born to be a motivizer.
Darren: You call yourself the world's most influential influence on Michael Jordan. Who's your influence?
Smith: Every day I am truly inspired and motivated more and more by myself. The amount of motivation I have to offer me is boundless.
Darren: Has Michael Jordan given you permission to use his name?
Smith: Would Apollo ask Zeus for permission to save Mount Olympus?
Darren: You seem to have amazing drills. But do the videos come with the yellow gloves, the blinder goggles, the big bullseye target and a dragon costume?
Smith: No. But there is a separate video that teaches you how to make all those products using ordinary household items. The drill DVDs come with a headshot of me, a pack of Shazamalicious bubblegum and a soldering iron.
Darren: What's the key to spinning broccoli and why isn't Get Your Cooking On sold separately?
Smith: There is long tradition of vegetable spinning in the Smith family. We have unusually flat fingers. I can spin any type of vegetable, except bok choy. And that’s just a personal preference.
Darren: Any reason you haven't trademarked the word "Balltastic?"
Smith: Actually, it is trademarked in the Philippines. You owe me seventeen centavos for asking that question.
Darren: It seems like you are giving a lot away for free. You are giving away free motivational phrases on Twitter. We just saw this one "Always shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars or some other planet and hopefully that planet will have oxygen." Then you are giving away your "Moti-Bacon" recipe for free. How can you do this?
Smith: Motivation is meant to be shared with the world, freely and aggressively. What would happen if George Washington Carver just liked to eat peanuts, but didn’t like other people enjoying his delicious treats? We wouldn’t have peanut butter and Jimmy Carter would never have become President.
Darren: And speaking of Twitter, will there be a Leroy Smith Facebook page?
Smith: I’m flattered to say that someone has already created a Leroy Smith Fan page on Facebook, where I also share my motivizational thoughts. I hope you’ll sign up for it.
Darren: Let's go to today. We'll put you and MJ back in Laney High School. Who would win in a one-on-one matchup?
Smith: With the correct dinner? Me. Without? Me by fewer points. With the flu? Me by a bucket. Me with two broken legs? We would tie.
Darren: Will you have your own line of sneakers like MJ? Leroy branded kicks?
Smith: It really depends on Manny and his sewing skills. He’s got so many orders to fill for our motivational wristbands, especially with summer basketball picking up, that it’s asking a lot. His fingers can only move so fast.
Darren: Do you give private Mastivator sessions? If so, how can I sign up?
Smith: I stopped doing private sessions in the 90s. Now I’m all about mastervating the masses. Like the old saying goes, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach those who can and do so once they’ve taught, they can continue to do and teach, then they can motivize the world.”
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