Podcast Episode 62: Myree Bowden - The Underground Dunk King
Meet slam dunk specialist and new Team Bodybuilding.com athlete Myree Bowden. This wide-ranging interview includes the training secrets that have allowed him to keep growing his vertical jump even as he gets older.
Listen To Podcast Episode #62
Podcast Episode 62: Myree Bowden - The Underground Dunk King. Meet slam dunk specialist and new Team Bodybuilding.com athlete Myree Bowden. In a wide-ranging interview, he tells his story of life on the court, walks through the process of performing a slam-dunk moment by moment, and shares the training that has allowed him to keep growing his vertical jump even as he gets older. Of course, he also shares his all-time top five favorite dunkers.
Publish Date: Monday, April 8, 2019
Behind The Scenes Photo:
Ep. isode 62 Transcript ▼
Nick Collias: Excellent, welcome to The Bodybuilding.com Podcast, I'm Nick Collias and my vert is, let's not talk about that. It's about as high as this tiny, little espresso cup. But the other day, I'll have you know, I did do a wicked, two-handed, reverse slam on an eight-foot hoop.
Myree Bowden: Eight-foot...
Heather Eastman: Yeah!
Nick: Eight-foot hoop. I was over at the elementary school and I always gotta test myself, I'm like, can I still jam on that thing? I can still jam on the eight-foot hoop.
Myree Bowden: Still jam. Isn't it like an adrenaline rush? It kinda just puts you over the top for a couple more...
Nick: Exactly, exactly. Heather Eastman, our co-host, how are your hops these days?
Heather: Uh, non-existent.
Myree Bowden: I mean, I can jump, like I'm not gonna lose a challenge, so...
Nick: Like over an earthworm.
Myree Bowden: Well, like if someone says, can you jump on that box? Like, I will muster...
Nick: Or die trying.
Myree Bowden: ...you know, muster the ability to jump on top of a box, one time, but that's about it.
Nick: I'm really excited to talk with our guest today, not just because he's given me the chance to spend the last half of a work day looking at old footage of slam dunk competitions.
He's Myree Bowden, aka "Reemix," a legend in the world of slam dunking and one of the new Bodybuilding.com team members. Myree, thanks for coming man.
Myree Bowden: I appreciate it, it's all a dream. I always thought about Bodybuilding.com but now the collaboration...
Nick: Well, that's the thing, it's a really interesting collaboration, yeah. It's not something that you go, obviously, like slam dunk legend, Bodybuilding.com, those two go together, but I think it does.
Myree Bowden: It does, it really does. I mean, I definitely was a big fan before I even thought the collaboration would happen. I mean, Bodybuilding.com is something I used to check out and dream about like, wow, that physique, or how to work out, but then...
Nick: Well, you've got to have the arms when you're in the tank top out, you know what I mean? Like guys like Larry Johnson, those guys, their arms are part of the package.
Myree Bowden: You have to look the part! You don't look the part, you don't get the extra hurrah, you get the boos.
Nick: I'm totally showing my age by referencing Larry Johnson.
Heather: Yes, I wasn't gonna...
Nick: 1989, 1992.
Heather: I wasn't gonna point it out, but...
Myree Bowden: Grandmama, you know what I'm saying?
Nick: No, I say you're a legend because you have some accomplishments back in the day as a dunker, like you won the NCAA dunk contest in what, 2002, 2003?
Myree Bowden: 2004.
Nick: 2004. You won other competitions. You were on the Harlem Globetrotters, but you're also a guy who, you have kept going, like you're an underground dunk legend. You look around on YouTube, you see this guy he keeps putting out, keeps putting out. You get into your 30s, you're still putting out these things. The comments are like, "I remember Myree back in the day, seems like he's jumping higher now than he was when he was like 22 years old."
Myree Bowden: Right, right.
Nick: I want to ask you about that because it's kind of unbelievable, but I also just want to talk to you about dunking because it's a really fascinating skill. This is going to make me sound super nerdy, but it's a little bit like a golf swing because there's so much that happens in such a short period of time. There's like only so much you can think about but it all comes together and it's really fascinating to watch.
So, bring us back to when you were a little kid to start, were you just crazy dunking on the little plastic hoop growing up?
Myree Bowden: Oh man, taking way back. As a youngster, the biggest thing that I kind of grew up having to, I was challenged. I had an older sister and she was always taller. She was a great basketball player.
Nick: Just rejecting you over it.
Myree Bowden: Oh, my gosh, those backyard battles were horrible for me but great for her, and that ignited the competitive nature in myself. So, I've always had to beat somebody out and she was definitely taller than me.
Nick: But you had the backyard hoop, that's a big, that's a big start.
Myree Bowden: Had a backyard hoop and then we had a park down the street. Wherever we go, even if it was just a trash can, she was always competitive, and I always wanted to beat her. But the thing about it, I couldn't go around her, I couldn't go past her, and the only way was to go over her.
So, the one thing that I was doing as a youngster was, I was always fast, I could always jump, but had to use athletic ability to kind of give me the advantage.
Nick: Just to take the one opportunity you had, there's only one... So, was this like an 8-foot hoop or a 10-foot hoop in your backyard?
Myree Bowden: Well, it started off, it was a little Fisher-Price court. It was awesome because I wasn't dunking on it but then I was always shooting towards the top, you know, grabbing the rim, and it was even a couple of times that the rim actually fell on me, a couple of times. It's a little Fisher-price, it's not sturdy.
Nick: No, I mean that happened to my seven-year-old the other day. He like got pinned underneath it. I just hear this crash.
Heather: Growing up at the time that we grew up, the toys were not as safe as they are today.
Nick: Those kid's hoops, they're like full of sand, you know? There's not that much in it. It's not attached to anything in particular.
Myree Bowden: Right, right. But at the time, instead of having to buy an actual official court, we just put up on a platform. The higher it went, put up on a platform, maybe on a chair, and then we stacked the chairs, as high as we could get it. And so every time we got so used to a certain height, we just kind of upped the ante a little bit and just boosted even higher to the point where now, I still have the mentality where it's like, okay, now I'm 10 foot, it's great, but I need something a little bit higher, you know? So, it's more the things of, how high can I get?
Nick: See, and people don't think about that but yeah, I remember Dwight Howard, in one of the great dunk contests, he dunked on a 12-foot hoop, and nobody could believe it at that time. There's some series on YouTube now where it's like guys dunking on higher things, they're like we're gonna bring it up to 11 and a half, see who could do it.
Nobody ever thinks about going higher than 10, but you actually will do that?
Myree Bowden: I would do that. I mean it's all about how you limit yourself. 10 foot is definitely the standard.
Nick: It's honorable.
Myree Bowden: It's very honorable.
Nick: Is it wrong if you can only jam on a 10-foot hoop?
Heather: To me, what's crazy is you're not just dunking, part of your thing is you're actually going over people, so I want to bring it back to that story with your sister. I mean, obviously, you have a natural ability, but at what point did you realize like, ok, this is a thing?
Nick: All right, I'm getting up.
Myree Bowden: This is what, and my sister she'd tell it the same way–she exaggerates a little bit, but–she's been kicking my butt all the way through, we're four years apart. So, when she was a senior in high school, I was eighth grade going into being a freshman. She was kicking my butt, it was like, wow, I'm not finding a way to actually compete with her. I mean, she's 6' 1" already and I haven't even hit the growth spurt, I'm still like 5' 4".
Nick: So you're like Spud Webb at that time.
Myree Bowden: I'm Spud Webb at that time.
She goes off to college, she went off to the University of Minnesota, she played for the Golden Gophers.
Nick: She's got some skills.
Myree Bowden: Yeah, I'm not talking about... No, she was a hooper. She was a hooper, so she goes off the Minnesota, she works out. The year between my eight grade and freshman year, I grow 6 inches, so now, I'm not 5' 4", I'm like 5' 10", and now it's like, okay, I'm starting to feel myself a little bit. I'm at the gym, I'm playing summer league, my competitive nature is having to rise up because now I'm playing against bigger and older boys, now I'm having to work my game, my strength is going.
So, season comes around, I play my freshman season, I was bumped up to JV. They bumped me up to varsity my freshman year to play playoffs. Talk of the town, my confidence is up. My sister comes back from college... She comes back from college, the off season, summer, and she's like, "Come work out with me." 'Cause that's one thing...
Nick: She wants a piece of you at that point.
Myree Bowden: But unbeknownst to her, I've been working on my game and it's all for you.
She comes down, after we run our wind sprints and she's like, "Let's play a little bit of one-on one." That's usually how it ends. I'm the one that usually, I'm crying, running back home to mom and telling her how she cheated, and this and that. But this time, I'm nonchalant. I check the ball up-top, I give her a nice little in-and-out, I remember it like yesterday, she gets beat a little bit but she recovers which is at an angle. Well, the angle that she was coming at was my one-two step to take off, so she recovers, jumps, and then I just jumped over her. I just dunked on her, and the look...
Nick: Did you actually jump over her at that...
Myree Bowden: No, I gave her contact.
Nick: The full-on, the poster...
Myree Bowden: She felt it all, right? She falls, she's on the ground, it should have been a charge, but you know, it's a family thing.
Nick: There's no charging in family basketball.
Heather: Who's refereeing your one-on-one with your sister?
Myree Bowden: Oh, we're not refereeing. All those elbows I took? No.
Nick: Right, exactly. It's all fair game.
Myree Bowden: So, I dunk on her and you know, it's a new thing to her, because she's so used to... she would usually block that shot, so after dunking on her, it was like a new-found respect. Like, hey, I'm not a little boy no more, like...
Nick: This is when he knew he'd arrived.
Heather: For the bigger sister, there is a special moment when your brother finally outgrows you...
Myree Bowden: Oh, my god.
Heather: And you realize it and you're like, oh shit!
Nick: So dunking was not new to you at that point, you knew that that was something you could do. At what point were you like, "Hey, not only touching the rim or jumping close to it is something I have in my abilities here, but I can actually get up there, I can do this"?
Do you remember the first time that you actually jammed a basketball?
Myree Bowden: The first time I actually jammed was during my summer league. Actually, it was during my stint between my eighth grade and ninth grade year playing summer league. It was an amazing feel because I played JV and then I played a couple varsity games and in Bakersfield, basketball has a rich culture. It's pretty small but you have some greats that come out of Bakersfield with basketball.
We're playing against one of the top schools and I'm playing varsity on South Bakersfield and we're one of the top schools and it just so happened, one of my teammates shoots the ball and it comes so perfectly off the rim, and I jump up, I barely tip it in, but I hang on the rim. Before I could realize what I did, the crowd goes wild, and that was a gift and a curse because after that I just totally went away from every basketball skill and just worked on dunking from that point on.
After that moment, I was able to just build on that. That was a real energy boost that I...
Nick: Just knowing, one, that you could do it.
Myree Bowden: Then the crowd, they didn't help out, because I wanted that feel like when they was cheering and yelling. It was almost like... there's no other feeling like it.
Nick: Was your game, up to that point, really just going in and going straight for the basket though? Were you a perimeter player or were you always, the ball is in my hand, I'm going to go straight for the basket?
Myree Bowden: Yeah, I had no jump shot at all. I was just really athletic. I could run fast and jump high so my whole thing was, they called me a slasher, I get the ball and I'm going to the cup, so I wasn't really a skilled player. I was a really athletic player, so everything I did was athletic.
Nick: You did a great video recently breaking down Zion Williamson as a dunker.
Myree Bowden: Oh, yeah!
Nick: I thought it was great, it was like you're a slam dunk analyst now. I think that's a great niche to have, you know? And part of it was watching a whole bunch of his high school dunks, which are unbelievable.
Myree Bowden: Oh, my gosh.
Nick: But there's one of them that stuck out because you can just see this look in his eyes and he's like, here I go! And you hear his coach going, "No, no, no, no!" And then he just does this massive windmill.
It made me think like, was there anybody giving you any resistance? Were they like, "Myree, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, don't do that!"
Myree Bowden: First of all, Zion Williamson is a different beast. Oh, my gosh, you talk about... He's doing things that I was doing, maybe even better, but 100 pounds more.
Nick: He looks like Karl Malone out there doing that stuff. He's huge.
Myree Bowden: Something in the water. There's something going on because you wouldn't even imagine him at that size being able to get up that high with power and finesse. I definitely enjoy him now and what he's going to be later because he's potentially going to be a very remarkable player in the NBA.
But yeah, I had a lot of resistance when I was in high school playing basketball, to the point where you had a target on your back. I definitely developed a target because I was able to... I mean, playing about the rim at that level wasn't as common. You probably had one or two players who can do it, but those one or two players really dominate that league because they were able to go to another level that other players couldn't follow.
Nick: There's no defending that in high school.
Myree Bowden: Yeah, you cannot defend that, so you do get a lot of resistance. You do get... I had a lot of coaches that really reverted back to the dirty play and double team and contact.
Nick: Oh, okay, so they're really going for you.
Myree Bowden: Oh, they was really going after me every night. But the thing about being a good player is that you learn to adjust, you know? You have a weakness? If you're weak, you gotta get strong. If you don't have a left hand, you gotta work on that left. So, it worked out because I was one of those players, I wanted to be great and whatever they threw at me... If it was successful that time, it wasn't going to be successful the next time 'cause it was all about adjustment.
Nick: But that's in-game.
Myree Bowden: That's in-game.
Nick: Outside of the game, are you really starting to work on like, what am I capable of? Can I bring the ball? Can I work on my windmill? Can I get it around my legs? Can I... Were you practicing all that in your free time?
Myree Bowden: I hate to say it... The reason why I hate to say it because now you have that whole classification. You have a dunker, you have a basketball player, and I do both. Just to be 100% honest, I mean I've been honest, just to be 100% honest, I don't work on it. I'm not one of those guys that can go in the gym and for hours just work on a certain move behind the back, under the leg.
Nick: But even back then, you didn't?
Myree Bowden: No, no. It was just that I was in the air long enough where if I wanted to do it, I'll do it. If I saw it, I'll do it. The things that I wasn't able to do, I kind of go away from. I mean there's still some things as far as like maybe the behind the back, I'm just not seeing that, the coordination's got off. But as far as everything else, I'll go in, I have to play a couple games of hoop, get the blood running, adrenaline going, and then I just feel it. You just have this feel where you can just fly, you know? When I start to jump after a game and everything is going well, I start to try things in the air.
So, my dunk sessions are pretty consistent, my dunk sessions are probably maybe 10, 15 minutes at the most. But you do have some... There is a culture now where people just dunkin' like crazy and their skill is up there. You do have some that be in that gym like two or three hours, right? Just doing that repetition, repetition. That's awesome for them, but it doesn't really sit well with me because I'm a basketball player, so instead of doing the dunks, I know that there's more to the game. I respect the game, the dribbling, the shooting, the getting in shape. Those things are really important to me. The dunking is fun but I'm just the type of guy that I'll dunk for a little bit, but I really want to work on the game because that's the passion.
Nick: I guess what I hear in there also is like, you don't necessarily always go up in the air knowing exactly what you're going to do then, right?
Myree Bowden: That's it, yeah. It's improv. I have a thing where I like to bounce the ball and go and get it and when doing so, you don't know where the ball gonna bounce. Left or right, behind you, in front of you, you make it up as you go, and that's the beauty of it. That's why it's like an art because now you just don't know what's going to come out of it and now that you have social media and the videos, now when you look at it afterwards, you're just like, wow, that was pretty awesome, that's pretty great.
Nick: And it only lasts a second, that's the other thing. It's not like a trophy, a championship thing, or a painting or something like that. It happens and then it's gone.
Myree Bowden: Then it's gone, right. It is gone.
Nick: So, let's talk through that moment, because it takes like, whatever, three to five seconds, the whole thing from when you're 10 feet away to the basket. I kind of want to walk through what you're thinking and what your body is doing through that process.
So, you're like, 10 feet away from the basket, you know you're gonna go up and do something, what're you thinking when you're out at the free throw line at that point?
Myree Bowden: Well, my mind is clear. The one thing that... I mean, I have a rhythm. I have certain things that I... If you ever notice in my dunk videos, and before I go I'll give a little hop, and that hop is for accelerating really fast. If I have that hop, that totally puts me into ‘go' mode so that's the one thing that kind of clicks on. It's almost if like you're not always in that mode, you're not always in that dimension or what have you. A lot of elements kind of play the part. Sometimes I do it outside, the wind is blowing, sometimes I'm in the gym and the floors not bouncy, so many things that can play into it. But once I start that hop, it's almost if like, now I'm zoned in. My body just kind of comes together, it gets into where it needs to be in order to perform the jump.
Nick: Okay, then what about, like, as you're just about to leave the ground. One foot or two foot, what are you thinking at that point?
Myree Bowden: Where's the ball? Where's the ball? It's a real... you blank out. And I hate to say it because it's kind of like a contrast to what I said earlier about practicing it, but I've done this motion so many times to the point where you don't have to think about it. That's the best thing about repetition is that you don't have to think about it. If you do this then it's a part of you and I feel like dunking has become a part of me to the point where if everything is going right, if I get into my mode, the performance is going to be up to par.
Nick: So then as you're getting up, your head is close to the rim, maybe above the rim, are you still blanked out at that point or how do you decide then what to do? Does your body decide?
Myree Bowden: I'd say my body decides, but depending on where I catch the ball, I definitely do have an idea of what I want to do. I love the windmill, so catching it in that motion, if I'm high enough or higher I can kind of extend and over exaggerate it, or if I know I didn't get up high enough then I have to really speed it up and expedite it. What's going through my head is just that... are you high enough? And that's like the rim check and I'm known for getting my head at the rim so if I'm eye level with the rim then I know this is about to be... I feel it, like this is about to be crazy. The great part is like, even before hitting the ground, if I'm in a real great atmosphere, you just hear the crowd, this oh my... you know what I mean? And it's almost coming down like, that was awesome, I know, I know I got this.
Nick: What is it about the windmill that you like so much? Clearly, it's an iconic way to dunk a basketball. When I think of windmill it's like, Dominique Wilkins and stuff, just like those monster windmills, or Vince Carter. What is it about that that really speaks to you?
Myree Bowden: It's authority. It's about imposing your will on the dunk. It's about just being able to throw it down. It's such a great feeling, it's almost equivalent to maxing out on a bench or to getting a PR in the hang clean. You get this feeling like not many people are doing this and to be able to perform this, it's like you're doing it with aggression, authority, like you're putting your stamp on it. It just feels great. You've got a lot of people who are just grazing the rim, people are just tipping the ball in and wishing, but now you're not only dunking, you're taking some time in the air and really throwing it down. I can't even explain it. You just have to do it. You have to do it.
Nick: Okay, that's it, I only need to do it.
Heather: You just have to start dunking, Nick.
Nick: Okay, so you go to college, you have success in dunk contests, but were you thinking... What were you thinking at that point in terms of your dreams of basketball? Clearly you don't just like dunking, you said you love basketball.
Myree Bowden: I do.
Nick: What were you thinking after you got out of college?
Myree Bowden: I wanted to play on. I wanted to play professional. I wanted to... Everybody, that's the whole ultimate dream. I mean, college was great. I always look past and always to the next step and the next step and wanted to go to the NBA and I wanted to get that real stardom where now you're playing sold out arenas, like 20 thousand fans, and you're on TV, you're getting paid the big bucks, you're great.
My overall game, I really feel that something I had to, I really work on. I didn't really realize that dunking was going to be my niche. I really, dunking's great but even the coach, it's not always looked down upon, but yeah, you can dunk but you're probably gonna get maybe one, maybe one if you're lucky. Maybe two, if you're having a good game, and even then, those are only two points. So, you know you go up to the coach be like, "Hey, I'm one of the best dunkers in the world", they're gonna look at you like, "Yeah, but can you dribble to the..."
Nick: "How many points is that worth exactly?"
Myree Bowden: And so, with that, you kind of, I kind of put it in my back pocket. I mean, I love to do it and, it gave me that boost and encouragement, boosted my ego. But at the same time, it was like, if I wanna be great in this game, I'm gonna have to work on everything else. So, dunking wasn't really the emphasis on it until, until I do the NCAA Dunk Contest, and that's like, I didn't even know the magnitude of it, I'm just like hey, they have a dunk contest and they invited me. I'm like, "Oh yeah, I'll go do it, that'll be great."
And then I walk into the arena and then that's all we're doing. We're just dunking I mean, usually it's a game where you're not just dunking you're doing everything else but they just came to see the dunk. And I'm like, "Okay, we can embark on this."
Nick: "I'm home!"
Myree Bowden: So that's where it really set in, because after dunking, and this is way before you have the whole social media we barely had Youtube, not to give away my age but...
Nick: You can find it on Youtube but it's clearly shot on like an old camcorder.
Heather: Your age is easy to find.
Myree Bowden: But it's also if like, I didn't really grasp it. Of course, the crowd went wild, and by the way I didn't win that dunk contest I lost by 0.2 to Andre Emmett, he plays for Texas Tech and went on to play. But 0.2, if you look at it I think I got robbed but y'know I'm not gonna go there.
But as far as, that didn't really resonate that didn't really set in until after the Dunk Contest, after my phone started blowing up, after you see it on TV, after you're walking around town and people walking up to you and they're like, "Hey, I've seen you doing this and that", and then all of a sudden you realize that, "Wow, this dunking thing is bigger than I thought." And not only that, now people started playing into it like, "Yo, you get people six foot and under a chance, this and that." And I'm looking like, "What?" Like wow that's an amazing feel, so now not only are you being entertaining, you're being inspirational. You're inspiring and now you have kids walking up to you, "How can I do what you do?" And even older guys who wanna jump high, "What're you doing differently in your workout, your diet?" "Well, this, this and that." So, all of a sudden, you're just like wow, this is bigger than just a dunk.
And that's when my personality and my work ethic and everything started going into it to the point where the dunking is going to get the attention but once they understand that, it's a lot more that goes into it than just putting ball in the hoop. Now you can make it your own, and that's where it really started.
Nick: Because yeah, you think about, there are a lot of good college basketball players. There are just a lot of good basketball players period, but if they get out of college and they're like, "Alright, there's not a obvious route to the pros here," they just go around the rest of their life, right? Yeah, they might still be that guy that can throw it down at the Y, but they're not really cultivating that skill. Even you, you had kids after college, you had a job, you're a teacher, and you kept cultivating this. You were jumping higher. That's the thing, I hear people say, "Myree used to jump like 45, I swear he's jumping 53 now." And it was 10 years after college like, what was it about that that still just, even when the rest of world is maybe giving you a message like, "Yeah, you're not going to be like a basketball player." You're like, "No, I'm gonna do this man."
Heather: Yeah for the record, the first thing I pulled up on you, it had a quote that said, "He's basically old as shit in the dunk world." And that was a couple years ago!
Myree Bowden: Oh, my gosh, yeah.
Heather: And you're still doing it I mean, you were doing it just the other day outside our building, so yeah.
Myree Bowden: It's amazing, and I haven't even grasped the concept of being too old yet. I just love doing it, it's an amazing feeling. But it really has played a major role in life. I mean I know dunking is not really, people don't even take it that serious and that's the one thing about life is like whatever, what means something to you, for you to protect it and definitely. I mean it's yours.
Nick: I like that. I mean you protect it, it's not just like you're like, "I don't wanna do this." No, it's you're thing you gotta protect, you gotta cultivate it.
Heather: And I guess that's what I'm kinda curious about and, for the record you're not old you're in your 30s, okay. But to all these young guys in their 20s and their teens who are doing this like, you seem like you're ancient to them but you're only in your 30s. And yet there has to be something that you're doing and that's what I'm really curious about because it's very clear from the condition that you're in and the fact that you're still doing this is you take care of your body off the court. And I guess that's kind of where I'm curious as a lifter and as an athlete. What does that look like? What have you kinda figured out that, to Nick's point, that some of these other guys that get outta college and they don't really know what to do so they don't take care of their physique.
Nick: Getting the hops is hard, keeping it has gotta be the hard part.
Heather: What are you doing that's kinda different and how can you share that with someone listening?
Myree Bowden: Well, I'm a very, very, very spiritual person, first and foremost. So, I'll just give you the whole spiel on it. I came out of college and ya know I was jumping high, dunking, and got the opportunity to play for the Harlem Globetrotters for two and half years and was traveling the world and dunking.
Nick: They appreciate a dunk.
Myree Bowden: Oh, they appreciate the dunk, that was...
Nick: I just saw them last when they came to town, I hadn't seen them since I was a kid. They get it. It's just a fantastic fun experience.
Myree Bowden: Oh, my gosh it was, the best part was being on the court, because you're an ambassador for basketball. So, playing for them it was awesome, it wasn't NBA but it was professional. It was something that I love to do and it kind of again, emphasized on the dunk. So, it was like, I mean you do need to dribble but it was like all the other skill really doesn't matter as much, you just want me to dunk so. I played for them for two and a half years and I ended up breaking my shin, or I broke my shin. It was a stress fracture, it wasn't as bad but it was painful and I shouldn't have been playing on it. About the time I was getting paid and depending on the pay, so I used to pain kill, painkillers, pop 'em, and continued to play. So, I went from a two-foot jumper to now I gotta start jumping off one because my other leg isn't working as much. I didn't tell anybody just kept playing and ya know, jumped off one now. I'm still performing still being able to do all the requirements.
And then all of a sudden, my other leg goes out, another stress fracture. So, now both legs are just in pain, like there's no way that can even, I mean I'm walking around, my shins are swollen. I'm having to do different things and maneuvers to stop the blood from rushing to it and try to maintain. It got to the point where I just couldn't do it anymore, I couldn't do it anymore I had to give it up as far as like, stop jumping and dunking. It was just painful so it took me out for a while. I was let go from Globetrotters, I couldn't perform.
Nick: They didn't even just trade you to the Washington Generals at that point?
Myree Bowden: That would've been awesome, they're probably would've cut me, too, because I couldn't even run. I could barely walk, man, it was so painful. I never felt that pain ever from jumping, but I really had, after being let go and the time off, I really dug deep inside myself like, "Why is this happening to me?" I mean, many times on my knees asking God like, "Hey, you gave me this gift and I don't think that I've done enough with it like why are you taking this away from me?" So, I really blame it on this lifestyle that I kinda embarked in. It was a very unhealthy lifestyle, like I didn't take care of my body, I went out a lot, I partied. I ate the wrong foods, it was almost like I was living that rogue life and not knowing what got me there.
So, it came down to, okay, I understand now, like this is why: I'm not appreciative, I'm not protecting what that gift that God's given me. I'm not doing my part, I'm almost as if putting all the workload on God like, "Hey, you got me."
Nick: And you're asking, "Why, why'd you do this to me?" Not, "Why did I do this to myself?" It makes perfect sense, man.
Myree Bowden: Right, so what ended up happening is I made a promise, I made a promise to God and myself. I was like, "Man, if you allow me to jump again, then I'll protect this gift. I'll make sure that I'm gonna get the most out of it. I'm not gonna stop, I'll continue to jump." And say about, it was like three to six months, I was just bedridden, like I couldn't really walk, I had to keep my feet planted a certain way so it wouldn't aggravate the shins and, oh, it was horrible man. It was horrible but after I was released from the doctor, little by little I went out to the court to go dunk and I couldn't even jump over a phone book. I wouldn't even happen and I'm hurt, I'm discouraged and hurt and this, this and that.
But something told me to keep going, I keep going. So, little by little I'm just doing little workouts, I'm eating right, I'm doing research on bones and the muscles around it that try to protect the bones and keep it healthy and how to recover. So, all this stuff is accumulating, all this information, and now it's habit of just... It wasn't even habit it was more like gaining control like, "No, I'm not gonna eat that. No, I'm gonna get up at six o'clock in the morning and go work out. I'm gonna do the exercises that are the right exercises." Everything started to get to the point where I started to go away from everything that was so easy, which is just like living normal. I'm not a normal person, so I went away from eating bad food and sitting around and doing nothing, to the point where now I built a habit where I'm working out. I'm getting proper rest, I'm eating right, I'm doing the research on how to jump higher and how to protect your body, your muscles and this and that. And it just got to the point where it just became me.
And that's where the whole "more than a dunker" came in, because I realize that this is what I want to do, this is mine. So many things have been taken away from me in world and I've seen so many things that I don't have any control over but this right here is like, this is mine. It's mine so what're you going to do with something that's yours? You're gonna make sure that you take care of it. It's yours. So, the work ethic is there, the eating right is there, the discipline is there and that's all because it's been taken away before.
I've seen the life without it and not that life isn't great but that life was hard. Not that it's any easier now, but doors are opening, blessings are always coming down, and not only for me but I get messages still today where people are like, "Dude, I watch you every day. You inspire me to get back into the gym." People from 50 years old asking me how do I get it back, to kids who are 13, 11, 12 asking me how do I get it, or people who are injured can relate to me like, "What did you do for your injuries? This, this and that." And it's like once you see that, now not only are you practicing this lifestyle for yourself, you're practicing this lifestyle for everybody. This is a gift that you're gonna continue to gift out, it's not mine, it's everybody's and it's just working through me, so I don't know if I answered the question.
Nick: No, I think it's great.
Heather: That was an excellent answer to the question.
Nick: It's really interesting to hear you say that too, because okay you're out of the Globetrotters at the point. It's not, you know, you're not gonna win the NBA Dunk Contest, you're kinda just doing it why, at that point? Just because it's like, is it really at that point, doing all the studying, you're a teacher right. Are you just doing it because you just love the thing so much? Even if nobody's watching I'm gonna still be the best at this?
Myree Bowden: That's the thing. Even when nobody's watching, somebody's watching.
Nick: I mean your kids are watching.
Myree Bowden: Oh yeah, my kids are watching, they're a bunch of computer nerds. No, they are, in fact my son Noah he runs track now. He's 13, he's fast as heck, and it's almost as if I see myself, and I'm like, "Dude, you're gonna be great. I can see the fight in you." But now, you have the blueprint. There's no such thing as going out there, having to guess. And not even to go way back into my story what so have you but, everything I did I had to go and learn the hard way. But now he has a blueprint where he can just ask questions and you're gonna get the right answer. Watch and you're gonna see how it's done. So, you're right, I'm not going to win any NBA Dunk Contest, although every time there's an NBA Dunk Contest and my name pops up like, hey...
Nick: I'm sure it does. I'm not talking about right now. I feel it would be good to see right now doing it. Back then, you'd have to have been wondering like, what is the future with this?
Myree Bowden: I had no idea. The funny part was, like I said, doors opened up. I mean, after the Globetrotters I got back in shape, was still playing, then something pops up with Slam Ball. And Slam Ball, I don't know if you've ever heard of Slam Ball, but it's this crazy sport that they mixed, with the trampolines in the floor.
Nick: Yeah, I was gonna say, I think I remember that.
Myree Bowden: Yeah, I mean it's a mixture of football, basketball, hockey and gymnastics. And it was like...
Myree Bowden: Yeah, chaos, but when the promoter hit me he was like, "Dude, you would be perfect for this." So, that opportunity popped up and I'm like, "I don't know what I'm doing out here." But I got good at the sport and was a Rookie of the Year that year with the third-leading score, and it was like, wow, this is amazing as a far as an opportunity. But things of that sort popped up.
The next year after that, I was put on as an NBA All-Star recruit and ambassador where what we did was we travel to the major cities, maybe like five months out of the year, and put on the NBA All-Star experience where they had me out and I wasn't competing with the NBA Dunk Contest contestants but I was considered All-Star and doing my own thing out there where I was on display for the experience. And then during the NBA All-Star, I'm sitting next to Lebron James and Kobe Bryant and Darryl Dawkins, rest in peace.
Nick: Darryl Dawkins, backboard crasher.
Myree Bowden: Oh, my gosh, that was my guy, man. We was on tour for about six years straight and when I say that he was like a really great friend to me. But I'm sitting next to the greats, NBA greats, for dunking. So, I continued it because not only was it an inspiration to most, it was putting me in where I wanted to be. I wasn't playing against these guys, on TV, I was actually playing against them, but I wasn't playing against them on TV, but I was in the realm. I was playing next to these guys, being affiliated with them, going to NBA showcases, meet and greets, sitting next to them, interacting with them and it was like, wow, it's a blessing. So, no I didn't make it to the NBA but, I was in the NBA.
Nick: But you never know. I think there's a really important message in there. Like, when you protect your abilities, you protect your body, you don't know what doors are going to open. And it could be something that's completely different than what you would have anticipated. If you came to you at age 17, you're like, "Alright, this is what it's gonna look like" you're like, "Okay, I guess."
Heather: Yeah. You're going, "Okay, if you say so," yeah.
Myree Bowden: You're right. I mean, stay ready so you don't have to get ready, that's the thing. And that's one thing about, that's why this whole experience with Bodybuilding.com is a blessing. Just because I love working out, I love working out. And we all know, well not everybody knows, but the thing about working out is like, you can work out all your life but if you don't know what you're doing you're not going to get any results. So, even before I even thought of Bodybuilding.com, I was on Youtube checking it out. And even though the guys were looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman and I'm nowhere near it.
But it was like real fascinating to see how they're showing how their diet is, they're showing what exercises they do and how their body adjusts to that. And it's almost like, I can go in the gym I can do it just like this and my body will like, I'm mean of course I'm not gonna throw on a hundred pounds, but you're going to get results from this. They're giving free information, Bodybuilding.com is giving free information. To the point where if you didn't, at the time, like I said I wanted to stay in shape and do the right things and stay ready. It was like if you're not in that realm, if you're not a personal trainer, if you're not in the atmosphere of everybody working out, if you're just at home and you don't have no idea, where do you get your information from?
Nick & Heather: Right.
Myree Bowden: Now we have BodyFit Elite which is awesome, but now you have like the blueprint which is accessible to you. You can go there and you can get anything you need, whether you want to build your biceps, build your back, or now it's getting to the point where maybe you don't wanna hit the waist. Maybe you wanna do yoga, or maybe you don't wanna embark on the whole bodybuilding or the yoga, maybe you wanna do CrossFit. But now, not even that, maybe you wanna be athletic. So, now we're at a point where we're giving people the antidote to... to keep continuing their dream of what they do.
Nick: Oh, the conversation is getting larger, for sure.
Myree Bowden: Oh, man, yeah, it's...
Heather: Your story especially, and Nick kinda touched on this. I feel like NBA would've just limited you. You know, that was just such a small goal and what you focused on instead was your own abilities and because you focused on that, like you said, all these doors started opening up of sports that didn't even exist. It was almost like the sports came to you to meet your abilities.
Myree Bowden: Yeah, that's crazy that you say that. Because just the other day I was just like, I don't wanna be put in a box. You're so right. It's crazy because I'm like, man, even though basketball's great and it's looked upon by many, and not that I'm going away from it, but it's a man-made sport. We still don't know what we're doing here on Earth. But we have these abilities where we can perform whatever we put our minds to. I'm not even gonna quote because I don't know the actual quote but I heard a saying that we only use 10% of our brains. We haven't even embarked on what we can actually do with our bodies. The giraffe, his neck grew long because there wasn't enough food down here, so he evolved. That stuff you start looking into where it's like, wait, I'm not just gonna limit this to just putting a ball in the hoop and running fast and I mean, what if? What if? What if the hoop was 12 feet, would people adjust to having to jump 12 feet to dunk or to play on that? Why limit yourself to something that was a standard?
So now, it's like, I'm just in awe because I do appreciate the whole basketball driving me and awakening that part of me.
But at the same time, I'm a little upset because I spent the majority, not the majority, I'm a little older now, but back in the day, I spent a lot of time working on just that sport. And that was just, for one, it's entertainment purposes. No matter how competitive it is, at the end of the day, we're buying tickets and we're watching; and for two, it's a sport. It's man-made.
Nick: And eventually, that sport will outgrow you. Like, you look at a guy like Dwight Howard or Steve Francis; they were great dunkers. But then they're like, "They're basketball players."
Myree Bowden: Yep.
Nick: And eventually, they're not necessarily remembered as great dunkers. They're remembered for whatever the last thing they did was, which was maybe they were in the league for, like, five years too long, and they made all this money. But they gave up a lot, right? By focusing, you're actually able to have a little bit more control, maybe, than somebody... yeah, you're not gonna make two hundred million dollars, or whatever it is that Dwight Howard makes over the course of his career.
Myree Bowden: Right, right.
Nick: But he gives something up by doing that, too, you know?
Myree Bowden: You right. No, you do. I mean, it's amazing, you're absolutely right. I mean, what are you gonna do with it? It's a tool. I've learned that it's a business. I mean, not bitter about it at all, but when you're unable to do it... you don't have no collateral.
Nick: And then those guys fail on the biggest stage imaginable, too.
Myree Bowden: Oh, yeah.
Nick: I think it must be so hard for them, too, you know?
Myree Bowden: Very hard if you have nothing to fall back on. But that's why I commend LeBron James, you know? And a lot of other... Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. I mean, Kobe's writing children books. I mean, you think that if he didn't play ball that he wouldn't even get the opportunity to build that name. I mean, that was the tool, basketball... here we have Michael Jordan, who is... he's doing his shoe business. I mean, it wouldn't be no Air Jordans if he didn't play ball, but like you said, ball is over, but what are you doing after that? I mean, that opened up the door.
I mean, LeBron James has the actual, the I Promise school, you know? He's taken his lifestyle, what he's done, what he had to go through, and he's using basketball to change others who are in similar situations, for the better. So, it's like... it's a business. I mean, if you have an ability to do something, that's your collateral or that's your gift to use to actually be you; to put you on a pedestal, put you on a stage and let the world see you.
Because at the end of the day, like you said, I don't know... my last jump could be in the next session.
Nick: Ten minutes from now, yeah.
Myree Bowden: Could be done, but what have I built on that? What's to come out of that?
Nick: And I do wanna talk a little bit about how you train, too, though, because I watched some videos; you put a couple of them out there, just showing the way you do power cleans and RDLs and stuff like that. I'm wondering, as you learned more and as you got more serious about, like, "Alright, I'm not just doing this ‘cause I don't want to be injured; I'm doing this because I want to take care of myself. I want to do it right." What are you trying to train there? Aside from just, "I'm gonna get strong," what abilities are you trying to train in yourself in the weight room?
Myree Bowden: I broke it down, I broke it down to the jumping. It's a very athletic ability, very athletic movement. It's not an isolation movement, it's not just a body movement with the plyos; it's a mixture of everything that has to be put into it. It's a very athletic movement.
So, I really broke it down, as far as the whole jumping motion... so, let's say I explode, okay? So, with the explosion has to be some sort of reaction, had to be some sort of movement that's gonna ignite that explosion... So, I'm trying to find what muscle groups are involved in working to create that explosion.
So, I went in... and this, I can go on a whole story back in the day, but I'm not gonna drown y'all... but I went in and I filmed me jumping, me dunking. And I just broke down frame, from frame, from frame... like, what's going on at this point? What's going on at this point? Okay, what movement is happening? What... the takeoff, what's the last... So, I'm looking at it, and upon looking at it... the vertical, the jump? You're not in the full squat, or you're not in a full deadlift. You're not doing the curls, you're not doing the one-legged press... like, you're in a certain movement that is just for that motion or that... I want to say that move.
So what move simulated that in the weight room? And that was the one thing that I went to the weight room, was doing a little bit of study on it. So, I was like, well, I remember in college, when I went from junior college to Division 1, and I worked with a guy named Todd Smith; he was just a mastermind. I say he's my angel, you know? Because he had this imagination of working out, it was like you didn't know what the heck you was gonna get into, like as far as coming into the weight room.
This'll give you a little insight on him. He had these squat racks, right, that... they would hang on the bar. So, when you're going up in the squat, you might have three plates, 315 on, and as you're coming down in the squat, the way the bottom of those pillars that was on each side worked... was that they would hit an angle and they would drop off, and then you would explode up. So, it's like you're coming down in a squat to the point where you mind is tricking you; you got 315 on you, and then you have to get up. But as you're coming down, your up has no weight, so your explosion is, like...
Myree Bowden: So that's the type of stuff... but he built this. He went to a welding company, and he built this, he manufactured... that's just who I was working with for those two and a half years. So, that was like the scientific method, or mindset...
So, going into the weight room, we did these things called power cleans.
Myree Bowden: Deadlifts, hang cleans, hang snatch... but all those motions were, they weren't basketball motions; of course, they got you stronger. But going into a full squat where your butt is almost hitting the ground? That wasn't the vertical. You're not in that motion. Or the hang snatch where... a lot of those motions aren't involved in the vertical, you know? It's no way, on the hang clean, where you're catching it and you're coming back down, and then you're coming up... unless you're doing multiple jumps, but we're working on the explosion.
My training method was to modify those, just for explosion, just for everything to be coming down and up; and not only that, you're not overemphasizing on the movement, you're more in lines of simulating a jumping motion. So, going in, I modified the deadlift to the point where you're not going... well, a lot of people told me different variations of it, but... you modify a little bit with a little bit of bend in the knee, just a slight bend.
As far as your back, you're adjusting your back to the jumping motion. If you ever look at jumping, it's a complete deadlift, but it's modified to the point where you're not rounding your... well, if you round your back, you have bad posture... but you're not going all the way in debt and to the full range of motion. You're going to the motion where you ignite that explosive muscle, which is the hamstrings, which is the glutes, which is the lower back, which is the abs... like, once you ignite that muscle, now all of a sudden you use that to move the muscle.
Nick: Okay, now is this when you pause down at the bottom there? I feel like I was watching you do these Romanian deadlifts, and you get down to that point... you pause, and then you explode up.
Myree Bowden: Right, see the pause is because you have to make a conscious connection. You have to connect with that muscle. A lot of people do these workouts, and if you don't really focus on that muscle and its movement, and really get the contraction and the force and the power out of that... you're not working that muscle. You might nick and hit it every now and again, but you're not getting the full effect of that muscle. So, that pause is allowing you to become one with that muscle group, to know exactly when that muscle or that muscle group is triggered; then, all of a sudden, you explode and move the muscle.
Nick: That's like in that point when you're going up to the hoop, and you do your little hop? You're like, "Alright, we're loaded here!"
Myree Bowden: Yes.
Myree Bowden: We're loaded. So, now, in my jumping motion, when I'm going to jump, I can feel that... I can ignite that... I can feel those muscles work, and I know that I'm using that. And then if I'm not jumping high, I can pinpoint why I'm not; like, "Oh, okay, I wasn't low enough" or "Back with the [...] my abs weren't tight" or... I can feel that, and once you make connection between the weight room and whatever you're doing... mine is jumping. Now, all of a sudden, it's not a guess, you're not guessing if I'm gonna jump high this time. You're not guessing if I'm working on that muscle. Hopefully it's improving; no, I know it's improving now, because I've done the research. I made the connection, and I know exactly where I need to be in order to...
Nick: Okay, and now with the power clean; how do you modify that to really replicate that jumping explosion?
Myree Bowden: The power cleans come from off the ground, and it's more of a bend in the knee. The one thing about the power clean is that I'm not coming down; it's just the explosion. I'm still catching it in the shoulder... adjustment, I wanna say shoulder flip, or you know, catch.
Nick: The catch? Yeah.
Myree Bowden: Yeah, the catch was real difficult; although if you're not good at that, you can just revert to just the high pull. But I'm throwing that weight up; it's not coming down. It's more on the lines of, "I'm throwing it up, and I'm catching it for safety, and then I'm dropping it"; opposed to, what a real power clean is... you're exploding the muscle up, you're flipping the shoulders, you're getting under it.
Nick: Right. You lock, right.
Heather: And then you're locked in.
Myree Bowden: And then you're coming up again, which is cool. I still do those, but I know if I want to just really work on that one explosive movement in jumping, I'm going up. I'm not coming down.
Myree Bowden: So, it's explosion, boom, and I drop.
Nick: You get off the ground pretty high with those, too, it seems like.
Myree Bowden: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Nick: It's not just, like, "Oh, I'm up on my toes."
Heather: When you're off the ground, yeah.
Nick: It's like, "Boom, I'm six inches up in the air, at least." You know?
Myree Bowden: Yeah, it's that connection. I mean, what are you doing? What are you doing it for? You're jumping. My mind, I'm jumping, and the kicker is that if I did it enough, I can trick my mind into thinking every time I'm in that motion, I'm pushing 315.
Myree Bowden: So, if I'm pushing 315 every time I'm in that motion, when I get on the court and I got 29.5... don't quote me... 26-ounce basketball, and my mind's thinking 315... it's gonna be some smoke in the city, you know?
Nick: And did you find that doing this paid off pretty immediately?
Myree Bowden: It did. My vertical... I went from a 34-, 35-inch vertical between my sophomore year of college to my junior year when I worked with Todd Smith, to a 44-, 45-inch... in one summer. And just from those exercises, and then from that... I mean, that was cool, that was great, but then after the Globetrotters and after really getting into it, getting back to a 45... it was like, "I wanna go higher."
And getting in there and adjusting it and modifying it... I mean, this program, or what I put together, has been in the works ever since... I mean, it's really for me. I really wrote it down for me where I can go in and know exactly what I'm gonna do every day. But I've been doing that... I mean, I've had this put together for a while, but only I can understand it. Like, how can I get it out there where everybody else can understand it?
Myree Bowden: But that boosted my vertical from... I mean, like I said, when I was able to jump again, it was like "I'm not gonna limit this." So, it boosted my vertical from the 45 or 46 that I was at, to the 50s, and then all of a sudden, I measure it and it's 53.
Myree Bowden: I'm like, "Wow, this is amazing!"
Nick: And you're not a 19-year-old anymore.
Nick: You're doing this in your 20s and your 30s, you're jumping 53.
Myree Bowden: Yeah.
Nick: That's pretty powerful.
Myree Bowden: It's crazy. It's crazy, because I don't really know what I'm doing... no.
And there are some special human beings out there, we know that. That can definitely... that's just the thing, is it... like, we can blame it on my athletic ability a while ago. You know? You can say, "Oh, you was just really athletic. That's great." But I got a lot of miles on this truck, you know? People start to decline in athletic ability a long time ago.
Myree Bowden: So, to still be able to do it, and still keep that work ethic and continue to live by what I've been doing, and showing no drop off and by all means, improvement... what more do you want?
Nick: It's clean living, man!
Myree Bowden: That's where it's at!
Nick: Alright. So, before you go, if you're here, I gotta ask you who your top five all-time favorite dunkers are? Is Darryl Dawkins on there?
Myree Bowden: Myree, Myree... no, I'm playing. Darryl Dawkins is definitely top of my list, just because he's... he had personality.
Nick: He was one of the first ones to really announce the dunk as an expression of personality on the court; in-game, even.
Myree Bowden: In-game!
Nick: The game will stop!
Myree Bowden: Oh, man, he talked so much! I didn't really know he was such a trash talker until we got to sit down and have lunch. Oh, man!
You know he has a name for every dunk, but he has to be top five, if not number one. That's doesn't have to do with dunking; it just has to do with what he did for the dunk game. He put his personality in it. Man, even if you take away dunking, you look at Darryl Dawkins like, "Dude!" He's an amazing dude, he's an amazing guy, so he's top five. Vince Carter, you can't go away from that!
Myree Bowden: Vince Carter's crazy.
Nick: And talk about somebody's who's ageless, too.
Myree Bowden: Oh, he's ageless! He's still doing some of the...
Nick: Still doing it!
Myree Bowden: In fact, his name was still surfacing as far as like, "Hey, we can get you in the dunk contest this year."
Nick: Oh, my God!
Myree Bowden: It was like... that would be the kicker. That'd be amazing to see... you know, you put on this dunk contest... was it '08, I wanna say? Not to quote, but... He put on this dunk contest that was just... he brought it back. It's when the dunk contest was dying out.
Nick: See, we need the master's dunk competition with you and Vince Carter.
Myree Bowden: That'd be crazy. I wouldn't even compete; in fact, I would just be like, "Yo, I'm not even worthy."
Nick: Whatever, you show up there, you know you gotta do it.
Myree Bowden: Oh, yeah, he's gonna get the business, man. But yeah, that'd be awesome. Mind you, he's 6'6", wingspan crazy...
Myree Bowden: But if you look at his... I looked at some of his college dunks, and his end game dunks are better than his dunk contest dunks. So, definitely top five. Dominique Wilkins is amazing. Dominique Wilkins is where the power and finesse comes from.
Nick: He could get off the ground like nobody back then.
Myree Bowden: He got off the ground... and I got to sit down with him and talk to him.
Nick: Oh, really?
Myree Bowden: He came on tour. Sit down, I was talking to him and he's still... he's still the best dunker in the world, to him. Like, he talks about all his dunk contests, and was talking about how he went up against Ralph Sampson in a European dunk contest, and Darryl Dawkins... So, you had Darryl Dawkins here, you had Dominique Wilkins here, and they was just talking smack back and forth.
"Yeah, you remember when we was in China? Yeah, I kicked your ass on that one! You don't remember that one!" So, it's like... these dunk wars and it was like, "Wow!" But he had personality; he brought a different style to the dunk game. Even though he lost a couple times to Michael Jordan, man, this guy was powerful.
Nick: Yeah, but his most iconic dunks... in terms of how popular they are, how much people love them... they're right up there with the great Jordan dunks, for sure.
Myree Bowden: Oh, yeah! If people wasn't an Air Jordan fan... I think everybody's a little biased, just cause "Air Jordan"... Dominique Wilkins definitely had better dunks.
Nick: Yeah, in the 80s, I remember that. You were kind of a Wilkins guy or a Jordan guy, back then in the late 80s.
Myree Bowden: Yeah.
Nick: I mean, I like Michael Jordan as much as anybody, but Dominique Wilkins was like an alien, the shit he could do!
Myree Bowden: Oh, yeah. He was amazing. He was crazy.
So tough, because... I mean, I love a lot of dunkers, just because they had different styles, but there's no way you're gonna go without saying Michael Jordan. I mean, Michael Jordan... He's the reason why there is a dunk contest, still. He's the reason why people are out there still trying to simulate that.
Nick: He's the reason why there's an NBA, to a certain degree.
Myree Bowden: Yeah, he did it. He made it. He's the one. It's Michael Jordan. Nobody's gonna forget about that free throw line dunk. They not gonna even forget about him dunking on Patrick Ewing. That's like, "Wow!" And it wasn't even... I respect him, because people don't understand... dunking, yeah, you can do it for entertainment, but dunking is cause you're trying to force a score.
Myree Bowden: You know, you're trying to score. Sometimes when, especially... you know, Michael Jordan rules; you know, back in the day, they had the Michael Jordan rules against the Pistons.
Nick: The Jordan Rules, right.
Myree Bowden: Jordan Rules. It was no way they're going in there soft. It's no lay-ups in there. So, you have to dunk. So, that's why I respect him, because he's not just doing it for the show. He's going to go through you with everything you put up against him, and still dunk the ball. So, he's definitely top. Then there's...
Nick: You got one left.
Myree Bowden: Got one left... that hurts. That hurts so bad. That hurts so bad. That's crazy. Shawn Kemp.
Nick: Oh, I love it! Shawn Kemp... see, people don't...
Myree Bowden: Shawn Kemp!
Nick: I have a Shawn Kemp jersey at home.
Myree Bowden: Get out of here! Are you serious?
Nick: Yeah, I bought it, like, 15 years ago for $1.49 at this thrift store.
Myree Bowden: Oh, my God!
Nick: And I kept it. I mow my grass in my Shawn Kemp jersey, I love that thing! People don't think about him. They think about him as a big man, but he could fly!
Myree Bowden: Yeah. Oh, my gosh, man, Shawn Kemp! I can't even... I don't even want to explain him. You just have to go back and watch his videos, because... I mean, you're right. He flies. He flies. He flies; can't say anything. This guy... he definitely had Gary Payton on his team, who kind of threw those assists, and it was amazing, but when you see him coming down the lane, he's taking off from any position... any type of coordinated position, any movement... you don't know where he's coming from.
Nick: He had a wicked haircut back then.
Myree Bowden: He had the Gumby, man, we call it the Gumby.
Nick: Coming up at an angle!
Myree Bowden: We don't know how it happened, man, he's bald all the way until his... no, but... "Just give me the 1 and just give me a 2 on top," but... he's an amazing player.
Nick: So, these are classics, I like it! I like it! I mean, there's some great dunkers now, too.
Myree Bowden: There are, but you know what? There's always an origin, I always feel like it's nothing new under the sun. I mean, these guys are... even myself, I mean, I'm doing some pretty extraordinary things, but it's nothing that I haven't been seeing these old guys do. And I really feel, I really have to pay homage to the people who definitely started the motion or the movement; I mean, this stuff has been done. They been doing the stuff, and we just didn't have the social media, YouTube and stuff back then, but...
Nick: The dunk scholar here, that's what you are.
Myree Bowden: Oh, man!
Nick: There are worse things!
Alright, well, Myree Bowden, thanks so much for coming and talking with us, man. It was great to have you here.
Myree Bowden: Thanks for having me.
Nick: How do people find you online?
Myree Bowden: My social media, definitely on my Instagram, is "reemix05". It's pretty awesome, so make sure you go.
Heather: Yes, check it out!
Myree Bowden: I might give you little snippets of what I do, as far as improving my vert, and I might throw down some interesting dunks.
Nick: You wanna see some interesting dunks?
Myree Bowden: Interesting dunks, and then YouTube... I haven't... probably got a control on that, but people post my dunks on there every day; I even go back and watch it.
Myree Bowden: It's kinda my Netflix and chill-type thing.
Nick: You don't have to go to his YouTube channel...
Nick: ...in order to see him dunking; just put his name in.
Heather Eastman: Just type his name in, you'll see plenty of things.
Nick Collias: Alright, well thank you so much, man, great to have you here!
Myree Bowden: Appreciate you guys, thank you.
Former Harlem Globetrotter and dunk phenom Myree Bowden takes us to school with the five moves that raised his vertical jump from 45 to 53 inches.
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