Matt Lauer as Michael Jordan
Everyone wants to “Be Like Mike” on the basketball court, but for news program host Matt Lauer, it’s just part of the job. The NBC morning program TODAY has a quirky feature called TODAY in History, in which the staff attempts to recreate some iconic photos in world history. On Monday, Matt Lauer posed as a barefoot Sir Paul McCartney in the legendary Beatles album cover for Abbey Road, but yesterday, he got to lace up in some of the most cherished pieces of footwear as he attempted to duplicate one of the most memorable photos in history – Michael Jordan in mid-air after taking off from the free-throw line. Not only was that photo, originally taken by Bill Smith, one of the most significant moments in sports history, but Michael Jordan himself considers it as one of the illustrative images of his entire career. Not that it needed to be said, but the task of recapturing one of Michael’s aerial maneuvers was much more difficult than walking across a street with a blue suit.
Matt, NBC, and Bill Smith teamed up to tackle the assignment of making Matt Lauer, who is just under 6′ tall, appear like Michael Jordan in his prime. A system of harnesses, pulleys, and fishing wire held Lauer up in mid-air for over ninety minutes, but the crew finally arrived to their destination – with the help of smoke, mirrors, a crisp pair of White/Cement Air Jordan IIIs, and good ‘ol Photoshop. A photo of Lauer as MJ was delivered to Michael himself who appeared to be impressed, so it appears that TODAY’s mission was accomplished. Take a look at the enter video of TODAY in History: Michael Jordan below and let us know if you’d be able to pull off your own free-throw line Dunk like MJ did at the ’88 All-Star Game!