— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 13, 2013
Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t back down from a challenge.
Two-year-old Titus Ashby starred in a viral basketball trick-shot video last week that has received more than 7.4 million views in 10 days, not to mention national coverage and a flood of positive and negative comments.
Last week, Ashby and his family made the rounds on the morning talk shows. It was his appearance on the "Today" show, which featured a string of misses that caught the eye of Kimmel.
"He stinks. Boo," Kimmel said during Thursday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” "He finally made one in the fourth hour of "Kathie Lee and Hoda."
Joseph Ashby, Titus' father and the producer of the original YouTube clip, felt the need to defend his son's performance like any dad would. But he wasn't quite sure how to go about doing it and spent a few days consulting his wife, family and friends while deciding whether he wanted to respond.
The answer was "yes." Titus, through his dad, challenged Kimmel to game of H-O-R-S-E via YouTube Tuesday.
Once Kimmel became aware of the offer, his answer was “yes,” as well.
— Joseph Ashby (@JosephAshbyShow) February 13, 2013
"We did the response because we thought it was funny," Joseph Ashby told Playbook Wednesday. "Every time I explained the concept to someone over the past day, they laughed out loud. I can't resist a good joke."
The rules of the Titus Challenge are simple -- young Titus hits a shot from three-times his height, about 10 feet, while Kimmel would have to hit a similar shot from three times his height, or “25 feet.” That might be a slight exaggeration in Kimmel’s size since he the host stands a bit shorter than 8-foot-4.
“Then we’ll see who needs editing to look good,” Joseph Asbhy adds. At the end of the clip, young Titus puts some spice of his own by saying (with some considerable help from his dad) "Jimmy, you're going down."
"Our first thought was to explain why Titus missed the shots he did on the “Today” Show. We're so close to the situation that we had to remind ourselves that it's a joke and we shouldn't care," Ashby said. "After we were able to laugh at it, we thought, 'Why not fire back?'"
Titus started watching NBA games with his father on-line last NBA season and picked up his shooting skills from there. His family lives in Derby, Kan., and he and his father are Miami Heat fans. As far as his inability to shoot 100 percent on the "Today" show or his viral stardom, Ashby said his son is blissfully unaware of all it. "Titus loves shooting baskets. I don't think that he's aware of that's he's entertaining anyone or is doing it on cue."