Behind the Scenes of "The Leap"
So back in… August, I want to say? Maybe a little before that. Late July. I could’ve edited this out but I didn’t. What are you gonna do about that? Exactly. Nothing.
Anyway, I was finishing a Legacy Deep Dive on Anfernee Hardaway, and I got hit up by the Ringer (probably my favorite editorial site on the internet, and also my favorite podcast network) and asked about possibly doing some work together. After some getting-to-know-each-other stuff, we decided we’d do a series called “The Leap.” A series about 'the NBA’s next generation of could-be stars…’ that would cover Jamal Murray, Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown and Josh Jackson.
I honestly can’t say a single bad thing about the project. Overall I think we did about 45 minutes of total video, deep diving on each young player and what it would take for them to ascend a level, into the all-star discussion in the NBA. Here are the videos, spare the Jamal Murray one, which hit a copyright snag on YouTube. Maybe it’ll see the light of day someday, again.
First one was about Brandon Ingram. Some notes: I think Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande broke up like a few days after this came out. The Lakers still aren’t running any pick-and-roll with LeBron and Ingram, which baffles me. Laker Nation really showed out for this one, and they were very nice, to me. 👌 Thanks y’all.
So, a fellow from the Ringer named Collin suggested that I do some recurring segments for the series. Sort of like the CompCloud but unique to this. After we realized that each episode would feature a segment about an underrated aspect of a player’s game, Enough Ain’t Been Said was born. Basically what I did on that was, I made a quick little R&B loop that was more or less “Let’s Stay Together” but reverse engineered, I sent the backing track to Kendall Elijah Robinson and said “all I need you to do here is sing the words ‘enough ain’t been said’ and do it as bombastically and soulfully as you can,” and that’s exactly what Kendall did. Genius.
Next came Josh Jackson. Full transparency: after I’d gotten three or four days into the research and Josh, I texted one of the Ringer producers and said ‘this guy stinks.’ I’d had limited chances to watch long stretches of play from Jackson, but of the three Leap guy, I think he has the least chance to be an all-star. The footage of him shooting long twos after four or five dribbles was giving me an ulcer.
Some behind the scenes: for the rendition of “Field Goal Wasteland,” I found an amazing karaoke version of “Baba O’Reilley” and had my buddy Zach come over and sing that section. He did such a good job that I think some people didn’t even notice that it was different from the original. At least that’s my theory.
Brown was fun to write about, because he’s such a dynamic personality. Very bright, very multi-faceted, very cool. I mean, his middle name is Marselles. You don’t get through life with a name like that without being at least somewhat cool.
While I was finishing the video on Jamal Murray, I’d planned to have a little snarky section where I brag about Kentucky basketball for a moment. Had a clip of Jamal banging a three in Rupp Arena, shot of Cal shaking his butt at the camera, the usual beats. Yeah, well, Kentucky took an all-time epic ass whipping from Duke the night before this video went live, so that didn’t happen.