In the locker room before a recent game, Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson asked me if I knew the secret to Jeremy Evans’ leaping abilities. Fortunately, I didn’t guess Shape-Up shoes, because I would’ve been wrong.
Me: “That explains Evans’ ability to go popping off the floor.”
“It’s true,” Watson continued. “He eats popcorn from the time we get here until the time the game starts. It’s crazy. It’s the weirdest thing ever.”
I’ve heard of weirder things, but we’ll discuss Kyrylo Fesenko later. Watson then asked if I thought Evans had a chance to make the Slam Dunk Contest, citing Evans’ “unreal” dunk percentage, talking about how Gerald Green got in despite not playing much and giving ideas of what The Pogo Stick/Jumping Jeremy/Elevator Evans should do in the contest.
Forget dunking over a Camaro, Watson wants Evans to jump over a band or a drum line with a cool beat going on in the middle of the lane because, he said, “That would be tight.”
Watson then talked about the viral campaign of Evans’ video that showed him dunking over the 6-1 guard. “Bang. And we’re pushing it—Twitter, Facebook.”
Evans interrupting: “Everything, you name it.”
Watson talking over Evans: “Website.”
Evans interjecting again: “Photo Bucket.”
Watson: “We sending out text message pictures.”
Evans: “I’ve been on Photo Bucket.”
Watson: “We’ve got G-Time putting it up on Butler highlights on the JumboTron at Butler.”
Evans: “Even D-Fav’s Georgia Tech. We’ve got all that.”
Me: How cool would it be to make the Dunk Contest?
#LetJeremyDunk: “It’d be crazy.”
Me: Do you watch the Dunk Contest?
Evans: “I never watch it.”
An alarmed Watson to the young Jazz forward: “That’s not the right thing to say.”
Evans’ self-proclaimed dunk agent to me: “He’s been watching it since he was a kid … It’s been his lifelong dream.”
Gordon Hayward to Evans: “Earl’s not going to be right there answering for you all the time.”
Watson: “I can’t be there every second.”
Hayward: “He can’t answer the questions for you.”
Watson thinking like an agent: “I need a percentage. We’ve got to talk a percentage split first. I’ll be right there. I’ll answer every question. Tell him what it’d mean to you.”
Evans: “Growing up, I watched it some, highlights especially, but I never thought I’d get in it.”
Me: Your favorite dunk?
Evans: “Something between the legs. I like the 360, too.”
Me: You going to unveil that in a game?
Evans: “Maybe. If I get a little tick.”
Watson: “You won’t get a tech for that.”
Evans: “I said get a little tick.”
Watson understanding: “A little tick.”
Me not understanding: “What’s a little tick?”
Me: “Ah, thank you. I’m slow.”
Me to his client: “Favorite dunk?”
Evans: “A couple of them I like.”
Hayward and Alec Burks: (Laughing and snickering at Evans)
Evans to his teasing teammates: “Is he asking me the questions?”
Evans: “Blake Griffin did the spin move and just took off in the game. And, of course, you’ve got Jordan from the free-throw line.”
Watson: “What about Big Al’s tip dunk?”
Evans: “Knees sky high? In Denver?”
Big Al while walking by: “You talking about when I hit my knees on the rim?”
Evans: “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. All-time favorites.”
Me: “So, what’s up with the popcorn anyway?”
Evans: “Eat it before every game. We all been on it, me and my boy Burks and G. I like popcorn.”
And, yes, this is where I end the conversation with a corny line about it making sense because it is his jumping pop secret. (Where’s Watson’s drum line? I need a rim shot.)
Bonus videos to make up for my bad joke:
The Charge Worth Making Dunk:
And, finally, the dunk that got dissed on ESPN because Evans made it look like an 8-foot rim: