By now, you've probably seen the viral video making the rounds of the web. At least, Nike hopes you have. Goaded by a teammate, NBA star Kobe Bryant appears to jump clear over a speeding Aston Martin DB9 Volante droptop (MSRP about $180,000). Though circulating the internet as if it were a home video, the piece is actually a carefully choreographed Nike commercial, an attempt to sell the shoemaker's new "Hyperdunk" line of basketball shoes. And the automotive press is unanimous: the stunt was faked.
Jalopnik says "We're skeptics," thinking the stunt was "all a slickly edited fake."
Autoblog thinks "Kobe really jumped (his leaping ability is not in question) as the car simply drove by beside him."
Britain's Top Gear comments, "If he thinks we'll believe that's for real, then he knows about as much as we do about basketball."
Pennsylvania NBC affiliate WCAU-TV was so unsure, they "contacted Drexel University physics professor Dr. David Goldberg and asked him if a grown man could jump over a speeding car." Goldberg's conclusion? "He says watching the video, you notice that Bryant is not leaning forward or back and is jumping just straight up and down which would allow him to rise above the car."
Bryant himself hints that the stunt was faked. The St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that, when a reporter asked him "How'd you jump over that car?" Bryant responded, "Hollywood, baby!"
Not to mention, as the Los Angeles Times points out, it would probably be a contract violation. "Jumping over a moving vehicle has got to be a no-no on some level (even if that specific activity isn't expressly prohibited in Kobe's agreement)."
Charlotte Observer columnist Langston Wertz worries that "People will try things they see on TV or the internet, particularly when it's done by a guy like Bryant, who is idolized by millions. … I can only hope no foolish young person is planning to 'just be like Kobe' and have his buddy come flying at him in a silver Corolla tomorrow."
Watch the video if you're unsure, but we're pretty certain we see Bryant's shadow on the car as it passes, meaning he's beside it, not over it. And frankly, we doubt he'd do it. The injury risk is just too high. No one would risk hurting a perfectly good DB9 like that…
Can't afford a DB9 yourself? Read about less-expensive alternatives with U.S. News' rankings and reviews of affordable sports cars.