Story Behind Luke Kornet, Celtics’ Unique Alley-Oop Celebration

'It's a Cornish game hen'


Nov 28, 2022

No team in the NBA is having more fun than the Boston Celtics, and some of that fun can be contributed to Luke Kornet’s new dunk celebration.

You may have noticed Kornet, who had an incredible performance off the bench in Boston’s blowout victory over the Charlotte Hornets, breakout the celly after one of his many dunks in the contest. The most obvious instance came when he caught a Marcus Smart alley-oop to put the Celtics 31 points.

The ensuing moments saw Kornet floating down the court with his hands forming in the shape of wings. As he fluttered his fingers, Grant Williams and the rest of the Celtics bench joined him in unison.

Of course, Celtics fans needed answers about where the celebration came from, which Kornet was happy to oblige.

According to Kornet, via The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, the celebration is a shoutout to former Memphis Grizzlies center Stromile Swift — who made the celebration famous during the early 2000’s. Kornet made sure to (jokingly) add he and Swift, who have very little in common with one another, were “basically the same player.”

Why? “Explosive athleticism. Next question,” Kornet said postgame, per The Athletic’s Jay King.

Kornet has provided the Celtics with great energy off the bench this season, becoming a full-time part of their rotation. In 15 games this season, the 27-year-old has averaged 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He added nine points and a season-high eight rebounds to his totals Monday night.

“I love it. It’s a Cornish game hen,” Blake Griffin said of the celebration postgame, per NBC Sports Boston’s broadcast. “The Cornish game hen. He gets up. He’s a high flyer now.”

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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