Apple’s advert for the new iPhone is insane. It took me three or four takes to truly believe after first seeing it.
If you think I’m describing Stephen Curry’s half-court shot – for the record, he made 3/3 during filming for the commercial – I’m not. But we’ll get to that.
The latest iPhone 6S ad, which premiered in the USA late-October, showcases reigning NBA MVP Curry impossibly attempt to bury a shot from half-court, following a game, while being filmed by a team-mate. The rest watch a few feet away.
Not going to happen.
Still, the Golden State Warriors’ imperious floor general, 27, tries.
His shot goes up. Curry then outlandishly turns his back to the basket and back to his buddy shooting the scene before the ball crunches all net and makes every hopeless hoops heart on the planet wince at its absolute beauty.
Not since Beyonce walked that walk or since Brad displayed that physique. Phenomenal. In every sense.
Then, I see it.
It can’t be.
It can’t be!
I fling open my laptop. I’m on the sofa and it’s getting late. Supper’s nearly done and my wife’s favourite TV show is about to start.
I hastily Google, ‘Steph Curry half-court Apple’, and instinctively click on the YouTube link to watch the advert again.
I watch again and shout out to my wife.
She’s not listening. Cooking supper correctly and her show starting any second are more important.
It’s Michael Ojo!
It’s the Michael Ojo I know, congratulating and warmly embracing the reigning NBA MVP in the commercial’s closing group shot.
I shout out again, louder this time, to my wife.
She’s still not listening.
The terrifying thought then comes to me: I could tweet it.
After viewing and reviewing the crucial moments of the commercial for the umpteenth time – which, for the record, is way more social media followers than I can ever hope to have – I’ve done it.
Oh well, I had a good run as a beat ‘ball writer.
‘Going nuts or I’m over excited,’ I begin on Twitter. ‘Is this Michael Ojo on new Apple iPhone ad?’
I embed the YouTube video, so people can at least make up their own minds.
— Glenn Bryant (@GlennMBryant) November 29, 2015
A friend on Facebook, Steve, who reassuringly began watching basketball before it was invented, quickly replies: ‘Well spotted Glenn.’
I’m not going insane.
Ojo himself responds to a Direct Message.
‘Haha,’ he laughs. ‘Yeah, that’s me.’
Who is Michael Ojo?
Michael Ojo is a 26-year-old, 6ft 5in shooting-guard out of Los Angeles, California.
He graduated from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania in 2011 and he spent the first two years of a professional playing career appearing for Plymouth Raiders in the BBL, the UK.
Ojo moved to Cyprus and Apollon, where he lifted a championship, for a season before a toe injury has limited him to only 20 games for three clubs from 2014-15.
In chronological order, they were Eco Orebro (Sweden Basketligan), Apollon Patras (Greece A1) and, this season, La Briosa (Italy Serie A2), who released him after only four appearances on November 10.
Ojo is currently back home in LA, waiting for new employers from Europe to call. They should.
Ojo can really play – and on both sides of the ball. He’s also a great guy and, even though I haven’t seen him since he left Plymouth and the UK, late-spring, 2013, we’ve happily kept in touch.
You got it. He’s my 1 follower on Twitter. Lol.
How did Ojo get involved in an Apple advert featuring the crazy talent and heady presence of Stephen Curry?
Sadly, for legal reasons, Ojo can’t fully say, but, when I asked him how unbelievable the whole scenario was, he said: “It’s mind blowing, to say the least.
“I didn’t understand the magnitude of it until I got back to the States (mid-November) and kept seeing it. Everywhere.”
Ojo continued: “Previously I had never met Steph Curry. However, this past summer his brother and I were team-mates in the Drew League.”
So, what’s Curry like?
“Steph is incredibly fun to be around,” says Ojo. “He’s a very humble and down to earth person. It’s refreshing, extremely refreshing.”
Is Curry the best player on the planet right now?
“Steph Curry is currently the most skilled and talented player in the game,” says Ojo.
“Based on his numbers (at the time of writing, Curry is both the most efficient and most prolific player in the NBA, averaging a league-high 32.0 points per game), I can’t say there’s anyone better.
“Obviously LeBron, KD, Westbrook and Harden are in the discussion, but right now I’ve got to place Steph at the top of that list.”
Do you know what the really scary thing was?
Supper got burnt during all that excitement. And my wife got mad.
Steph – eat your heart out. This is what you call transition defence.