You have never heard play-by-play commentary quite like this. We promise.
"One dribble, tween cross tween, curl cross, snatch, one dribble, spin move," he says, before singing, "layyyy," as a street-ball player kisses the ball off the backboard for an electric bucket.
The voice behind that play-by-by call? Well, that would be Filayyyy Movement founder Jesse Jones, who has built a loyal fan base of over 145,000 followers, including Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving and Cam'ron, on Instagram for his colorful voice overs to sports highlights, especially hoops.
Jones' commentary has gotten so wildly popular that LeBron James has hash-tagged "#Filayyyy" and Carmelo Anthony has mimicked his play-by-play, even singing out the end, as the Filayyyy Movement has become a favorite social media stop amongst NBA ballers and beyond.
BET.com recently caught up with the Irvington, New Jersey, 24-year-old, who balls himself and is pursuing a shot to play overseas, and chopped it up how the Filayyyy Movement first came about and caught fire on social media, in addition to his favorite catchphrases. "Skip through that lane ... filayyyy ... yeaahhhh!"
How did this movement start?
Basically how this started was I was in my room with my girlfriend two years ago and I was like, "How can I have my own words that I could work on or just have my own words, so when I play in a game I can say my own thing?"
Two years ago in the [NBA] Finals, Steph Curry did a move on [then-Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew] Dellavedova. He did a hezzy (hesitation dribble) behind the back, step-back.
That's where filayyyy came about. I was thinking about filet mignon, but I didn't say mignon. I just kept the filet going. I was like, 'Yo, that sounds good.' My girlfriend was like, 'That sounds good.' So, I played it back. I posted a video and got a lot of comments.
I'm like, "Yo, people really like it." So, it died down a little bit, and I didn't pursue it because I didn't think it was gonna really be as big as it is. My senior year, coming to my last couple of months before graduating, people were like, "You should really push this, bro."
I really thought about it and that's when I really started to push it. I started to make videos every day, started to really promote my content. Then, I got apparel. After I got apparel, that's when it really got big. This summer, it really got big. It has just grown from me just being me, singing, dancing, having fun, inspiring, motivating people and bringing that livelihood to basketball. And that's what I'm doing. So, that's how it basically came about.
The Instagram thing, people started to see it and say, "Who is this kid? Who is this guy?" That's when [websites like] House of Highlights re-posted, Bleacher Report re-posted. That's when I got where I'm at now. And it goes on and on. Like you guys emailed me.
How do you decide which play to do a voice over on?
If it's a video that got a lot of moves or a video that I could really sing on or interpret my stuff on, then I'll do the video. It depends on the video. It can't just be any video. A lot of people think I just do my videos on Kyrie, but I don't.
He's like the person who does the most moves. Him, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard ... so those are the highlights I get, because they do a lot of flashy stuff. I just recently expanded doing other types of sports.
If they send me a big-time highlight video, I'll do it if it's on Bleacher Report or House of Highlights and it's a really good move.
People send me the videos. If it's a clear version, I'm going to post it. I'll do the video.
We understand that Russell Westbrook and Kyrie are fans of yours.
Kyrie [follows me on IG]. I know [Westbrook] commented on a dunk I did in a game and I thought, "Wow, for him to comment is crazy."
I don't think anybody would argue that Kyrie Irving has the nastiest handles in the NBA right now. So, for you to do your voice overs on his moves and for him to follow you, what does that mean to you?
It's crazy because for one, I didn't know that he was following me. And two, that's somebody that I look up to in this basketball thing. It's crazy because imagine you look up to somebody and they actually give you credit and recognition for what you're doing. When someone messaged me and said, "Kyrie Irving is following you," I was like, "forreal!?" When I actually seen it, I was like, "Yo, this is crazy." I've been doing videos for a while and then he finally commented. It's a blessing. It's a great feeling to even have NBA players watching my stuff.
For someone who's never seen you play, how would you describe your basketball skills?
I'm more of a shooter, attacker, aggressive. That's what most people say I am. Some people compare me to Westbrook, because I'm passionate, with anger on the court, and play like I got a chip on my shoulder. I'm more of a combo guard, but I'm working on being a point guard now, so when I go overseas, I'll be better in that position.
What are some of your favorite catchphrases to use in your voice overs?
I say, "Skip through that lane." A lot of people love that. I say, "Hezzy." I say, "Dime." I kind of sing one like, "Woo, woo, woo, woo." I do that one a lot. Certain people understand, certain people think it's funny, because you would never think that you would say that in a game.
Besides ballers, who else has been a fan of your voice overs?
Cam'ron comments on my videos all the time. G-Herbo follows my main page and comments on the videos as well. They do it consistently. There are probably more people who watch it, but those are the ones who comment.
How far do you think you can take the Filayyyy Movement?
Worldwide! Take it to where I could take it. Once I seen that people started to love the movement and follow the movement, the next move was to get the movement out there. After that, the next movement is to get the movement to an actual brand, like a Nike. I want to push kids, mentor kids and let them know that the movement isn't just about singing and dancing, it's about inspiring yourself and being you. You can't limit your talent.
(Photo: Johnnie Shooter Photography)
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