Quantcast
Friday, July 15th, 2011 at 12:47 pm  |  12 responses

How Larry Johnson’s ‘Grandmama’ Character Came To Be

Ever wonder how the hell Larry Johnson somehow became the infamous Grandmama character? In this week’s print edition of Sporting News, LJ talks about how it all started—and it turns out the commercial was supposed to involve Magic Johnson and Larry Bird: “I thought I was going to be a Nike man. I sat around all summer waiting for Nike to call. When Nike finally called, they were straight up. They said they weren’t going to sign me. Nike flat-out told me they didn’t think I would have a good pro career because of my height (6-6) playing power forward. Then Converse called. They said, ‘We’ve got a great idea for a commercial. We’re going to put you in a gurney, cover you up. We’re going to have Magic Johnson and Larry Bird operating on you. They’ll say, ‘Oh, We did it. A perfect basketball player.’ Then they say, ‘We’ve got to name him.’ Larry says, ‘It’s got to be Larry.’ And Magic says, ‘It’s got to be Johnson.’ They go back and forth. ‘Larry.’ ‘Johnson.’ ‘Larry.’ ‘Johnson.’ Then I raise up off the gurney. I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m signing.’ … Six months later, they come back and say, ‘Are you ready to do the commercial?’ I say, ‘Yeah.’ They say, ‘We’re going to put you in a dress, put a wig on you.’ I’m like, ‘Yo, what happened to the gurney and those guys?’ They say, ‘No, no, we’re going to do this.’ I had already taken the million and bought my mom a house. So that’s how Grandmama came out.”

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , ,

  • http://zogs.com zogs

    Man this is some funny sh*t rite here
    weird how much coverse brand has changed from then to now…

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    I KNEW ABOUT HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MAGIC AND BIRD, BUT I DIDNT KNOW THEY HUSSED HIM LIKE THAT. ’ I had already taken the million and bought my mom a house.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbAd5IEUTUg Chris Mullin’s Accent

    Tyler Perry stole Madea from Larry Johnson.

  • http://www.walshsportsblog.com Darren

    They changed from the Magic/Bird idea when Magic made his announcement I believe.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I heard this story before. Woulda been a dope commercial.
    And you know, at least Nike called him up to tell him they weren’t interested. They probably don’t even bother to do that anymore.

  • Remo Williams

    that wouldve been a dope commercial… but grandmama is a classic

  • Hay

    “I had already taken the million and bought my mom a house. So that’s how Grandmama came out.”
    That’s funny as hell :) )

  • giogolo

    turned out well..just as classic as the bird and mj commercial. what about the barkely round mounof rebound commercial. i totally forgot the product but i remeber it reffered to taht nick of his.

  • haslem

    I’m like, ‘Yo, what happened to the gurney and those guys?’ ROFL

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    SO are converse going to approach Chris in Miami and get him to do a ‘Mama Bosh’ advert now?

  • http://kobebeefnba.com LDR4

    I always enjoyed Grandmama. LJ was one of my favorite players rowing up.

  • Angel Jose

    In issue 77 of “Slam,” the tenth anniversary issue,they did a story on Larry Johnson.The story mentions how Converse originally had the idea of Bird and Magic as scientists creating LJ.The story said that Converse dropped that idea when Magic announced that he was HIV positive.”Sporting News” might feel like they got a scoop,but “Slam” reported this 7 years ago.

Advertisement