Thursday, March 8th, 2007 at 2:16 pm  |  35 responses

Lil’ Penny: The Profile of an Icon

“I know my spot, fool!”

By Jake Appleman 

I was surfing around on Youtube a few weeks ago, and I searched for all of the classic Lil’ Penny commericals. I found ‘em so I figured I’d share ‘em with ya’ll.

The Lil Penny Classic

Vintage line: “He kills me off the tee, but I get him on the green.”

Big Pool

This ad may be my all-time favorite, if only because the music in the background always made me run outside to go play ball. Once I was outside, I’d have the loop stuck in my head when I was shooting. Just great times all around. Also: The phrases from the Lil’ Penny doll that I have are from this commericial.

Vintage line: “Hey Tyra, you left your toothbrush at my house.”

Double Action

Vintage line: “It was Penny’s fault!”

Frozen Moment

This is probably considered the best of the bunch. If I wasn’t biased towards “Big Pool”, I’d probably concur.

Vintage Line: “You guys remind me of my shoe closet: I got one Penny and a bunch of loafers.”

Superbowl Party

Vintage line: “(Kid from Jerry Maguire) Nice party, Lil’ Penny!”

Griffey for President

Vintage line: “Now that moose could be a liability.”

(Nice magazine that Nick Anderson is flipping through.)


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  • http://slamonline.com Lazy Lew

    heard he was an bumhole. its always a dirty shame when an injury take down a great-yes, i said it- player. this makes me be so much more thankful that STAT came back just as good as before the knee surgury(s).No homo, but no watching stoudemire play ALMOST made me not want to watch the suns play.

  • http://www.bcbarbershop.com Ben Couch

    Wooord. This takes me back, all the way to the days when my best friend thought he would be rooting for the NBA Champs of the next 10 years … until Nick Anderson missed those free throws. Good look, Jake.

  • trouc

    Surprises me how little regard people have for Penny nowadays. I remember watching him as a kid while he just killed people. Goddamn knee injuries

  • Tom

    That Miami series he played right before the injury was absolutely incredible, they could not stop him

    I think Livingston was becoming that type of player, maybe not as strong a scorer though, and hopefully after some tough rehab he’ll still get that chance.

  • http://slamonline.com mutoni

    love those ads. great stuff. my favorite penny highlight of all time remains the step-back-spin-fadeaway move he pulled on vashon lenard. vashon is still in therapy for that one…

  • http://mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Max Airington

    Can’t we still have Lil’Penny even though Big Penny’s gone? Put him in Kobe’s commercials maybe people will like him more. As long as Lil’Penny doesn’t play him too close on that jumpshot, I think they’d get along.

  • …J..R…

    lil’ penny in a comercial with sheed. how awesome would that be.

  • http://www.bcbarbershop.com Ben Couch

    That’s Max Airington, everyone … take a bow.

    Ouch, dude.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I know Penny doesn’t have a chance in hell, but can Li’l Penny be inducted into the Hall of Fame?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    And “Double Action” is doubly awesome because it features a RIDICULOUSLY young Kevin Garnett. Now, to look up the Fun Police ads…

  • Mike

    Man I must be getting old. Those commercials take me back to a time when I was able to run the floor without getting tired, play real full court pressure D, and sometimes, when the stars and moons aligned, dunk on a breakaway. Then I went to university, turned legal drinking age, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since.

  • Mike

    Sidebar: can people stop using the “no homo” phrase please? It’s time to just let that one go away. If you’re not gay, then you’re not gay, and if you are, you are. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    So basically you followed the same basketball arc as Penny, just lower.

  • Mike

    Russ: I prefer to compare it to the lockout year, when so many elite stars saw their careers rapidly decline. Ex A: Shawn Kemp. He started drinking and doing “other things” during the lockout and his career derailed. University was my lockout. Except for the cocaine and the endless bastards.

  • http://mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Max Airington

    Russ if you find that Fun Police Ad, you’re my hero. I swear I looked for that thing for like two hours.

  • jay n

    Tom:I just watched those Penny games from the 96-97 playoffs the other day when he killed the heat for back to back forties.They had nothing to stop him.I miss Penny.

  • Chris

    Anybody else notice that the title of Jake’s column is the same as John Ameachi’s book? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jake Appleman

    Chris: Tyra Banks actually noticed it first. The night she left her toothbrush at my house, she got a glance at my laptop–at that point I was acting as a man in the middle–between her and the sheets.

  • M.K Petrik


  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I couldn’t find them.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dakidobf Dblizzy!

    “The only time you guys yell box out is when the donuts are finished” That’s classic.
    I think by far Penny had the best signature shoe, next to MJ. I actually liked his better than Jordans. Everyone of his kicks were hot, even though due to his lack of a long career he only had I think 5 models!

  • Clay

    Penny was the man… I still rock my black away Penny jersey when I play some street ball.
    Damn shame those knees didn’t hold together, damn shame… *head shaking*
    And Chris Rock is a crack up!

  • thesubwayconnection

    Did anyone else notice Nick Anderson reading SLAM in the “Griffey for President” ad? Damn. Y’all are legit. Fun Police next? Word, Russ.

  • dre

    there you go… teams should not pick tall skinny all-around point guards. they “knee”d to learn. word to shaun livingston.

  • Mike

    I think it was the second Penny signature shoe that was the nicest. I’m thinking of the white with the blue trim. Those were nice. But the first Grant Hill Filas were the best shoes I’ve ever owned. They looked tight and they’re the only shoes I have been able to wear for a full year without so much as tweaking an ankle. The Converse Kevin Johnsons were inhabited by ankle demons. Myself and two teamates had broken ankles one year while wearing those.

  • dre

    nba teams should stop drafting tall skinny all-around point guards. they “knee”d to know better. word to shaun livingston

  • http://www.zio.ch Darksaber

    Actually Sam, “The secret service couldn’t guard me” was the best line of the pool spot. Ahh, i miss the days of scouring the planet so i could be the first to score one of the penny shoes. Special kicks those, and the white/royalblue editions i wore wayyyyyy back are still in a box in my cellar. grimy, misshapen and all. i don’t throw classics out, no sir

  • http://www.zio.ch Darksaber

    Oh.my.lord. Tyra Banks was (is?) sizzling. Überbabe. Thanks for the ride down memory lane, slammers

  • Sam
  • http://www.TheLibrarianist.com The Librarianist

    Hey guys –

    We have a funny “lil Penny” comic running on our site, http://www.TheLibrarianist.com for the next week. Give it a peek and let me know what you think!

  • http://kickrocks.com Zee


  • http://kickrocks.com Zee

    There was also a dope penny commercial with Phil Hartman that was hillarious.

  • http://truthismygame.blogspot.com/ truthismygame

    def the best commercials ever.. fun police ones were nice too, i still have the shirt somewhere..

  • Fresh

    MAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN!!!! I am so glad somebody found these joints! This has to be one of the greatest ad campaigns EVER! Lil’ Penny was too funny and casual fans will remember him more than Penny. True heads will always remember Penny as the great one he was for those few years. Damn those knee injuries, he really was “the second coming”, Jordan said so himself.

  • Zweet

    I miss Penny!!! Loved watching him play.