Xavier Woods recounts the battle between Kofi Kingston and The Miz on the basketball court
Editor’s note: This is a chronicle of what transpired between The Miz and Kofi Kingston during a confrontation at a local basketball court, as told to WWE.com by Xavier Woods.
The Miz challenges Kofi Kingston (Greatest Of All Time #GOAT) to a game of basketball
Before I begin to recount the events that occurred on June 9, 2015, I would like to state that I have removed all bias from this account and that everything written here is true.
On June 9, 2015, I was about to leave the locker room of the gym when, A-list movie star and Hollywood mogul The Miz passed by me with a huge grin on his face. He started to talk to himself about how he started his day off right by crushing the best local middle school child in a game of basketball. As the gloating continued, Miz explained that the children weren’t even a challenge, saying things such as, “I crossed a child up so bad that even his friends watching on the sidelines fell over.” He added, “I’m pretty sure that with my performance out there, the Cleveland Cavaliers will make me an offer next season. I told the kid that if he works hard maybe he won’t get embarrassed as bad next time.”
The other men in the locker room were disgusted with the comments that The Miz was making, and these men were also stunned due to the fact that The Miz was literally talking to himself the entire time.
As The Miz continued his rant, Kofi Kingston walked into the locker room. June 9 was leg day for Kofi, which could be seen by the way that he slowly entered the room. Kofi still had his weight belt on, wraps on his knees, was covered in sweat, and was breathing heavy. In short, Kofi had just put all of his energy into his workout and was completely exhausted. Miz — still talking to himself — continued his tirade, not realizing that Kofi was slowly getting angrier at every passing comment. Eventually Kofi slammed a locker shut and told Miz that he should stop ruining the lives of children and play against a man. Miz — who saw that Kofi was clearly in no condition to play basketball in his current state — then challenged Kofi to a game right then and there. Kofi immediately accepted against my advice.
Kofi told me, “You won’t understand until you’re as old as I am. Sometimes you just have to shut people up.”
We then proceeded to the basketball court. Miz entered first (wearing sunglasses) — making children open the double doors for him as he walked in — and there was a resounding BOOOOO from the group of children who saw him play earlier. Miz then picked up a basketball and explained that since the child he played earlier was no challenge for him, there is now a new challenger. Kofi entered slowly and the children began to cheer. Immediately, the children formed something that can only be described as a soul train line and held their hands out for high-fives as if to give Kofi their energy for the upcoming game. As Kofi walked through the line, he seemed to begin to move faster and his legs seemed to regain feeling as the children cheered his name. Miz and Kofi then agreed to play a half-court game to 15, with “make it take it” rules. One of the children then blew a whistle it in order to signify that the game had begun.
The Miz had the ball first and immediately attempted to maneuver around Kofi but Kofi stole the ball and hit a beautiful layup. The children roared with happiness as this happened again and again. Kofi scored seven unanswered points in a row.
Kofi, 7 – Miz, 0
It looked as if The Miz wasn’t going to score. A child looked at me and said, “The Miz is getting obliterated, pretty sure Kofi is gonna shut him out. This is embarrassing, just embarrassing. A grown man easily asserting his free will over another. Shameful. The Miz should be ashamed of himself.”
Suddenly Kofi scored two more times.
Kofi, 9 – Miz, 0
It was now 9-0 and chants of “KOFI, KOFI, KOFI!” were echoing through the basketball gym as the children yelled in unison. His face turned beet red, The Miz looked around at the children, and he began to scream that he would show them. The next play began as Kofi went to make a move and The Miz stole the ball, immediately shot, and scored. The children in the gym stopped chanting and now began to make a sound that seemed as if they were all hissing like a herd of cats. And it was all directed at The Miz.
Kofi, 9 – Miz, 1
The Miz looked as if he was starting to find his pace. He scored on Kofi twice more and the children grew even angrier.
Kofi, 9 – Miz, 3
On the next play, as The Miz brought the ball in, he attempted a spin move, which Kofi countered, then used that momentum to score two more points. The children were ecstatic, chanting, “Miz you suck, Miz you suck!”
Kofi, 11 – Miz, 3
Suddenly, Miz’s demeanor changed, as his body relaxed and his arms hung at his sides while he swayed left to right. His eyes seemed far gone and uninterested in the game, as if his mind had traveled to another realm. He stood like this in front of Kofi as the next play began. But then, when Kofi attempted a jump shot, Miz seemed to jump higher than he had the entire game and smacked the ball right out of the air. Then Miz, somehow got to the ball, and with blinding speed, passed by Kofi to score. Kofi was wincing when he walked. The fatigue from his extremely difficult leg workout was beginning to take its toll.
Kofi, 11 – Miz, 4
As Miz brought the ball back into play, he seemed different. His movements were effortless. He flowed like water, moved with quickness like I had never seen on a basketball court. His dribbling was incredible. Every time the ball hit the ground, the sound reverberated through the gym as if it was going to break through the floor. But his eyes had no life behind them. The Miz then scored four more times. As The Miz drove toward the basket again, he noticed that Kofi’s legs had become heavy and he wasn’t moving as fast as he had been previously. So The Miz dribbled the ball left, then right, then left again and as Kofi tried to keep up, he had too much weight on one leg. So Miz switched right again and Kofi was already on his way to the ground. The Miz took advantage of this and made a quick layup. As Kofi slowly got up off of the ground, I realized The Miz was “in the zone”.
Kofi, 11 – Miz, 8
The Miz, with his new found momentum, took complete advantage of Kofi’s fatigued legs, using spin moves and crossovers to get where he wanted to score three more points.
Kofi, 11 – Miz, 11
Kofi stood in front of The Miz as the next play was about to begin and gave everything he could muster to make sure that The Miz would not score again. But unfortunately for Kofi and for the children watching, Miz stood still and made a jump shot directly in Kofi’s face. Kofi was unable to jump due to his legs being completely wiped out. As the ball went through the net, Miz stood staring at Kofi and said nothing. This was a first — he simply stared at an exhausted Kofi almost as to say “this game is now over.” The children in the gym became quiet. The atmosphere changed, as the children began to doubt that Kofi could win. There was an eerie silence in the gym.
Kofi, 11 – Miz, 12
With his head hanging low, Kofi began to breathe heavily and one of the children screamed out “Kofi, don’t lose!” Then the rest of the children began to chant “Kofi! Kofi! Kofi!” Kofi started pacing slowly and eventually got faster and faster until Miz finally came at him. Miz faked left and Kofi read the move and stole the ball. The children cheered in happiness! Kofi then began to move even quicker and more fluid than Miz had been moving. His dribbling got faster and faster as he tried to move around Miz. Kofi dribbled the ball left, then right, then left again and as Miz noticed that he had too much weight on one leg, Kofi then dribbled right again. Miz knew what Kofi was trying and was prepared for it. He shifted his weight quickly to position himself right in front of Kofi, but then — almost magically — Kofi dribbled left again and The Miz was unprepared. Miz fell to the ground in slow motion and all of the children in the building lost their minds. Some kids ran away laughing and screaming in delight while others just pointed and howled. I heard a child somewhere in the distance scream “Got ’em!” Kofi then shot the ball and scored. Kofi looked at Miz and said, “The game isn’t over until I win.” And that’s when I saw that Kofi was now “in the zone,” too.
Kofi, 12 – Miz, 12
For the next few minutes, I saw some of the most amazing one-on-one basketball that I have ever seen. Both athletes were giving it their all and everyone was in awe. It was like watching two basketball geniuses go back and forth. The children were watching with their mouths agape. Grown men were leaving their workouts to come watch the end of the game. People were screaming for Kofi, people were booing The Miz. The crowd had grown exponentially. Both men were now playing with an intensity not yet seen, and after both scored twice, it was now game point.
Kofi, 14 – Miz, 14
Kofi’s possession nearly started with a disaster as The Miz tipped the ball and it flew out of Kofi’s hands. But Kofi regained possession first. He turned up the dribbling and then attempted to dribble the ball through Miz’s legs, but Miz shut that down and gained possession. As Miz dribbled around the court, he attempted to cross Kofi up, but it did not work. So Miz attempted a pump fake and Kofi jumped. Miz smiled, then shot the ball once Kofi was out of the way. As the ball sailed through the air, the children were clutching their book bags and completely crushing their lunches inside. When the ball got closer to the net, Kofi and Miz both ran underneath the net as a precaution. The ball hit the back part of the rim, and it shot into the air again but it was still coming down toward the net. Everyone in the gym was holding their breath minus two men. Two men were staring straight up at the ball to see what it would do. That ball began to fall and it looked as if it was falling directly into the net … but it bounced off the rim again!
This time, it fell toward Kofi and The Miz. Miz seemed to have grabbed the rebound, but Kofi — in mid-air, mind you — snatched the ball away, turned 180 degrees, and dunked. The gym exploded with cheers. Adults and children were high-fiving and singing the praises of Kofi Kingston. The Miz was on the ground in a puddle of his own sweat and wallowing away in his loss. He slowly crawled back to the locker room as children hissed at him. Suddenly, the child that The Miz beat in basketball earlier that day ran up to Kofi with tears in his eyes and said “Thank you.” The child began to weep in happiness. Another child screamed “Kofi is the greatest!” Another added, “Greatest of all time!” Then again the child who was defeated by The Miz earlier in the day said, “Kofi is the Greatest of All Time!” This is how Kofi gained the moniker “Greatest of All Time" #GOAT.
And that was what I saw occur on June 9, 2015.