Desire to Motivate
Leroy Smith is the MVM (Most Valuable Motivator).
At this point, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Leroy Smith. The self-proclaimed “master motivator” has made a name for himself in recent weeks as the man who motivated Michael Jordan to become the greatest player of all time.
As Leroy tells it, he beat out His Airness for the final spot on the varsity squad at Laney High School during Jordan’s sophomore year. Now, on the eve of MJ’s induction into the Hall of Fame some 30 years after those cuts, Leroy has thrust himself into the public eye through his series of DVDs, commercials and a website, getyourbasketballon.com, in hopes of getting his just due and maybe even a spot in Springfield. SLAM had a chance to talk with the man behind Michael’s success about his story, an upcoming feature film, and some special recipes.
SLAM: So I hear you’re the man who motivated Michael to be greatest, huh?
Leroy Smith: The greatest basketball player of all time.
SLAM: And that’s you behind it?
Leroy: The master motivator. Hopefully, when this conversation is over, I will have motivated you.
SLAM: To do what?
Leroy: To reach your fullest potential in life, whatever that may be.
SLAM: So when was the last time the two of you spoke?
Leroy: I’ll put it to you this way: He and I speak constantly, ‘cause I’m always on his mind.
SLAM: You wanna tell me a bit about your three pillars of success?
Leroy: Oh, yes, my three pillars of success: Motivize, Pulverize, and Realize. These are the three hallmarks of Leroy Smith’s motivational technique.
SLAM: So what does “pulverize” consist of?
Leroy: Pulverize consists of bringing out a person’s warrior spirit. You see, these guys, they want to compete, but they don’t got the killer instinct. After I train you with my skills in the art forms of pulverization, then you become one of those people who can just go out and pulverize your opponent to the fullest potential.
SLAM: People have been seeing a lot of you recently but no so much over the last 30 years since you made that varsity team. What have you been up to?
Leroy: Well, since then, I’ve been traveling the world motivating people.
SLAM: So why did you decide to come into the public eye now?
Leroy: Well, I felt as if it was long overdue. And, the simple fact that Michael Jordan’s career is at a point where he’s about to be honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame, it became brutally clear to me that I was being overlooked unless I stepped my game up and let everyone know that there was a man behind the man. And the man behind the man was Leroy Smith.
SLAM: In terms of your videos, some of the drills require props. How can I get my hands on the dragon for the Dragon Attack Drill?
Leroy: Oh, it’s all included. I’m not versed on the prices myself, but if you go on the website, getyourbasketballon.com, any information you need to know about merchandise or getting in contact with me, Leroy Smith, will be right in front of your face.
SLAM: In the videos, I’ve seen you smash a broomstick, pop a basketball, and break some blocks of wood with your bare hands. What’s the biggest thing you’ve broken thanks to pulverizing and motivizing?
Leroy: With my bare hands?
Leroy: I would have to say… at one point, that was Michael Jordan. You see, in order to build someone up, you’ve got to break ‘em down. See, you don’t realize that I used to make Michael jump over garbage cans that were set on fire, and he would have balloons in his hands filled with gasoline. As I think you’ve noticed, Michael Jordan has never been burnt. He’s known to have one of the greatest vertical lifts in the history of the game—thus the name Air Jordan. In fact, the whole Nike Jumpan logo is in commemoration of Michael jumping over garbage cans on fire with balloons filled with gasoline in his hand. Little known fact. Nike doesn’t want to put the garbage can on the logo; they just want to use Michael. However, in reality, a garbage can is between his legs and flames is lifting up towards his loin.
SLAM: There’s a movie in the works about you and Mike, right?
Leroy: I’ve been working on it for about seven years now and it’s almost finished. This movie is to show the world where Michael Jordan’s humble beginnings began and who was there at that moment and who took him under they wing and molded him into the greatest.
SLAM: Do you think it’s gonna be a bigger hit than Space Jam?
Leroy: Well, Leroy Smith wasn’t in Space Jam. So that should answer your question.
SLAM: What would you have told the Magic to help motivate them to win the Finals?
Leroy: Well, first of all, we would have had a discussion about using firearms on the basketball court, because I don’t think they had a chance. It was unfortunate to see what took place between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers, who are now the NBA Champions. And that team is comprised of Leroy Smith’s students and pupils.
SLAM: The Lakers?
Leroy: Oh, yeah. I motivated Michael Jordan to become the best player in the history of the game, but half of the NBA has been motivated by Leroy Smith. Everybody can’t be the greatest, though.
SLAM: Through your videos or one-on-one motivation?
Leroy: Both. It depends on my availability. Kind of like Emmanuel Steward, the boxing trainer. Sometimes, he can be motivating Klitschko all the way in Russia, and the next thing you know, he’s motivating Mayweather in Vegas within the same 24-hour time span. But what people don’t realize is that even Emmanuel Steward is motivated by me.
SLAM: Don’t you think that your natural talents as a motivator lend themselves to the coaching profession?
Leroy: Well, I look at it like this: everyone is not worthy of being in the position that Leroy Smith is in. That’s why all the coaches in the NBA, I let them do they thing, and Leroy Smith does Leroy Smith. At the end of the day, they all gonna have to get on one knee and look up and say, “Leroy, you are truly the Mastivator!”
SLAM: Have you copyrighted that term yet?
Leroy: Copyright it?
SLAM: Yeah, you know. Trademark it? Make it your own?
Leroy: Why would you have to copyright or trademark your God-given name?
SLAM: Guess you figured you wouldn’t. So, do you have any other DVDs or drills coming out soon?
Leroy: Right now, we’re still focusing on this first wave of Get Your Basketball on series. Once the public has been thoroughly inundated with that, then we’ll come with the follow up.
SLAM: Can you maybe give me a little taste of what I could find in Get Your Cooking On?
Leroy: Get Your Cooking On is all kinds of recipes. A lot of people get up in the morning and they throw bacon and eggs in their body and all this grease and start their day out all tired, but with the Leroy Smith Get Your Cooking On book, you will learn how to wake up in the morning, drink some water with a little bit of salt, and get it moving. You will be motivated all morning to make it to 12 o’clock so you can have lunch. Now that was trademarked by Leroy Smith: water with a little bit of salt. So if anybody wants to try to steal that recipe, I’ll see you in court.
SLAM: Why did you decide to make an application for the iPhone?
Leroy: Well, that’s all about reaching the young people, because they’re the ones that need motivation the most. And who is running around with an iPhone? Young people! You don’t see people with white hair with iPhone; they don’t wanna touch that. I knew with an application on the iPhone, I’d be reaching into the minds of young America.
SLAM: Do you have any final motivating words for our readers?
Leroy: As always, Leroy has motivating words for the reader. I will say this: reach out, and reach for your highest potential in life at all times. And, if for some reason, you are having problems with attaining your highest potential, then you can come to getyourbasketballon.com and talk to Leroy Smith. For a small fee, I will change your life for the better!
SLAM: Thanks and good luck with the Hall of Fame, man.
Leroy: It won’t be a thing of luck, my friend. I deserve the Hall of Fame and luck has nothing to do with it.