The GOAT meme: How ‘Jordan Jamming’ became an overnight hit

  • Staff Writer
  • Joined ESPN in 2018
  • Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000

Jared Gaon knew the clip had potential the moment he saw it.

Sitting in his parents’ New Jersey home, Gaon was watching Episode 10 of ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary series “The Last Dance.” On Gaon’s screen, Jordan was sitting in the back of the Chicago Bulls’ bus, listening to music — an unreleased song by Kenny Lattimore — on a Walkman.

But what if Jordan was listening to Natasha Bedingfield or Drake or Avril Lavigne, instead?

“It was like, ‘Wow, this is perfect just to change around and add music,'” Gaon said. “I didn’t think it would take off, but I just went with it.”

On Monday morning, the 23-year-old Gaon created the Twitter account @JordanJamming, and superimposed The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” over the video of Jordan nodding his head to the music.

By that night, the account had gained over 8,000 followers. Four days later, it had gained over 40,000 followers — including major sports team’s accounts.

“I’m not going to say I expected it,” Gaon said. “But I felt it was such a meme-able thing that related to so many people.”

Gaon, who is a Brooklyn Nets fan, says his personal favorite was Jordan seemingly rocking out to “Jumpman” by Future and Drake. The video that garnered the most engagement, he said, was Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”

“I think that’s because it’s so not something you’d expect Michael to jam out to,” Gaon said of “Unwritten.”

“But it is a great song!”

Up-and-coming artists have also reached out to Gaon to attempt to have their new music featured on the account.

Gaon, a University of Maryland alum who works for an advertising agency in New York, said he hopes to fold the social media traction he’s getting into his work.

“Obviously, it would be a dream to be an influencer full time,” he said. “I don’t think I am there yet. I would like to pivot this somehow and continue to make memes relatable to people on a daily basis, I think it’s definitely something I could do for a big portion of my career in addition to my job currently.”

MORE: How “The Last Dance” changes how we think of MJ

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