Kornet explains origins of Stromile Swift-inspired dunk celebration


If you watched the Boston Celtics pulverize the Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden on Monday night, you might have a question: Why did Luke Kornet flap his hands like a bird after throwing down an alley-oop from Marcus Smart in the third quarter?

Well, there's a backstory, and it involves Grant Williams, Stromile Swift and one of the Celtics' trainers.

"It was an homage to Stromile Swift," Kornet explained after Boston's 140-105 win. "Grant is the original Stromile of our team, but we share it around."

The No. 2 pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, Swift earned a reputation as a thunderous dunker over his nine-year NBA career who would often celebrate his slams with the same bird celebration that Kornet busted out Monday.

According to Kornet, the Celtics sarcastically compared the relatively-vertically-challenged Grant Williams to Swift last season after Williams tried to show off his hops -- with slightly different results than Swift.

"There were a couple times last year when Grant was just elevating on guys, Kornet said. "So, we drew the comp to Stromile Swift. There’s some alternate nicknames (too)."

Kornet, who credits team trainer Paul West for first making the comparison, didn't want Williams alone to have the Swift celebration. So he adopted it as his own in a similar self-deprecating manner.

"It’s a great celebration," Kornet said. "... Grant, for one, has some similarities. But I felt like, I myself, it was like looking in the mirror. Today I deemed it appropriate."

What qualities do Kornet and Swift share, you ask?

"Explosive athleticism. Next question," Kornet deadpanned.

While Kornet has no problem poking fun at himself, he's played an important role in the Celtics' hot start. The 7-foot-2 big man tallied nine points and eight rebounds off the bench Monday night and has helped mitigate the loss of Robert Williams, who is sidelined until at least Christmas with a knee injury.

Time Lord actually deserves some Swift comparisons, but for now, Kornet is doing his best to help the Celtics spread their wings.

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