By now you’ve probably seen it.
Kyle Singler’s voice comes over the Duke Blue Planet logo, “This is Kyle Singler,” he says, “and I approve this message.” The senior makes a 3-pointer after explaining that, while he likes winning, he still really likes “getting buckets.” And, after that intro, there’s a dizzying array of trick shots reminiscent of the famous Larry Bird and Michael Jordan H.O.R.S.E. commercial, albeit a little more realistic.
It’s called “Kyle Gets Buckets,” and it’s the brainchild of Singler and Dave Bradley, Duke’s recruiting director and manager of the Duke Blue Planet website. It includes shots taken from halfcourt, Mickie Krzyzewski’s seat and the rafters of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
And it took about as long for the video to hit viral fame as it did to film.
Bradley uploaded the video to YouTube on Friday, and by Monday, it was on the front page of Yahoo.com. A day later, Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser discussed it on “Pardon the Interruption.” Both were enthralled by it, giving it an “A” in their “Report Card” segment of the show. That night, it led the highlights of Duke’s game against Miami of Ohio on “SportsCenter.” As of yesterday, it is considered a “trending” video on YouTube, with well over 400,000 hits in just a five-day span. By the time you read this, it may have a half-million views.
Bradley thought the video had a chance to be popular. But the fact that the video is already Blue Planet’s most popular ever surprised even him.
“I’m overwhelmed,” he said.
The first shots in the video take place in the Mike Krzyzewski Center for Athletic Excellence, Duke’s practice area. Associate head coach Chris Collins walked in during the filming of those scenes, talked over the shots that Singler planned to take and watched him attempt a halfcourt heave. He told Singler that, if he were to put this online, he’d have to admit how many takes it took before he was successful.
“I told him that the only thing I wish is that he would have to come clean with the shots,” Collins said, laughing.
Collins would most likely have never expected the time taken to be so short. Depending on whether you ask Singler or Bradley, the video only took either one or two hours to film. Singler said it all averaged out to about 20 to 30 attempts per shot. The coup de grace of the video, a shot Singler takes from the Crow’s Nest, high up in the rafters of Cameron, even came under a serious time limit.
On the shot, nicknamed “The Dickie V,” Bradley said that Singler’s first try was to go for the swish. Cameron’s banners got in the way, though, so Singler then focused on trying to bounce it off the court and onto the backboard. The women’s basketball team was about to take the floor for practice. On either the 15th or 16th attempt, having limited himself to two more shots, Singler tried again.
“You just kind of have to place the ball in the right places,” he said. “But I mean, pretty much, they’re all lucky shots. There’s a little skill involved, but it’s pretty much all luck.”
Lucky perhaps, but also beneficial to Duke’s program. In addition to the increased exposure given to Duke’s best player, the YouTube smash also showed a side of Singler not many fans have the access to see.
In the YouTube comments underneath the video, Duke fans expressed their admiration. Even opposing fans, including those from North Carolina and Butler, showed begrudging respect.
“I am a butler fan, and used to live walking distance away, and hate duke with a passion after last year, but I gotta admit, that was pretty sweet,” rowley94rowley wrote.
“That’s the side we all see here of Kyle,” Bradley said. “You don’t see that on the court, but he’s got this fun-loving, kind-hearted, goofy, adventurous side. The video just gets to show that personality.”
Will there be a sequel to “Kyle Gets Buckets”? Bradly said that other trick shot videos may be in the works, and he’s explored the idea of a Kyrie Irving dribbling video. Collins said he thought Seth Curry, the son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, has probably spent enough time in locker rooms to “have some shots up his sleeve.”
Until the sequel comes, though, Duke’s fans will have to stay content with “Buckets”—Duke Basketball’s first viral sensation.