The Story Behind The Push-Up Challenge & How Kendrick Perkins Helped Make One Tall Vegan! (Stupid Stuff Guys Do)

by Kenny Eller on June 6, 2012

Getting in that work via the Push-Up Challenge!

If you follow me on Twitter (@KennyEller) or have liked my Facebook page, you’ve probably seen me mention the push-up challenge over the last couple of weeks.

Thank you to those of you that have partaken in the fun!

Simply put, I pick a player that I think will score the most points during an NBA game and commit to doing 5 push-ups per point scored.  20 points = 100 push-ups and so on.

Well, that’s the modified version anyway.

The Story Behind the Push-Up Challenge

The original push-up challenge was born in 2008 during the NBA Finals.

I would routinely have my brother and a couple of friends over to the house to watch games.  With me loving challenges and competition (Are you ready to play yet MJ?) I wanted to make the Lakers vs. Celtics series a bit more interesting since none of us really had anything more in the game than just a love for hoops.

At the time, McDonald’s was running a special on cheeseburgers on certain days during the week for something like 59 cents each.  This will be relevant in just a bit…keep reading.  Oh and yes, back then I ate fast food much more than I do now! :-)

So as the guys got to the house, I announced something like, “Let’s have a push-up challenge!”

Of the four of us there, everyone was really into it, except one, so they asked what the challenge was.

On the fly, I explained that we would all pick a different player and do 5 push-ups for each point that player scored.


To make sure that we all pushed ourselves, the person who picked the weakest player would be penalized every single quarter.

The penalty was, if your player scored the fewest points, resulting in you doing the least amount of push-ups, you had to eat a McDonald’s Cheeseburger at the end of each quarter.

Also if your player finished the game with the least amount of points scored, you had to eat another cheeseburger.

So if we all picked strong players, we all had a chance at the penalty, on top of a lot of push-ups.

That was the goal anyway and it started out just as planned, for 30 seconds.

My brother called out, “I’ve got Kobe!”

I said, “I’ll take Pierce.”

Another friend said, “Give me Garnett.”

Kendrick Perkins?

And then Karol, who stands a legit 6’5” (I’ve measured him with tape measure) and who vehemently detested push-ups (he does have long arms), let us know with a laugh that he was taking Kendrick Perkins.

During the 2007-2008 NBA Season Perkins averaged 6 points in just over 24 minutes per game.  He ended up mirroring that in the playoffs.

Kobe on the other hand averaged 28, Pierce 19 and Garnett 18 in the regular season and their numbers only improved in the post season.

Can you see where this is going?

You got it, that night my good friend; the other “KG”, did just a few push-ups, but ATE 5 CHEESEBURGERS!!!

Seeing him get up for each “cheeseburger penalty” at the end of every quarter and then at the end of the game was one of the funniest things ever!  We all had a good laugh about it!

Who knew that would be the last meat he’d eat?!?!

He immediately thereafter went vegetarian and then later vegan and while I’m sure he’d give that night a lot of the credit as the turning point in his dietary ways, we can’t forget about Kendrick Perkins!  For without Perkins, who knows what Karol would be eating these days?

That was the last night we included the cheeseburgers in the challenge.  I think it was more due to them not being on special, than Karol’s unwilling indulgent experience, but for whatever reason we kept the challenge to just push-ups.

That’s the story behind the push-up challenge.

OK, there’s a game tonight!  Who’s In?!?!


Connect:  Twitter (@KennyEller) and Facebook Fan Page.


If you’re new to the site, I set out in August 2010 to get a game of 1-on-1 vs. my childhood hero Michael Jordan.  This site is about that journey…through every valley, to every mountain top of triumph!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

justin June 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm



Kenny Eller Kenny Eller June 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Yeah, it was really funny! Haha!


Jay Yurkiewicz June 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Yeah, Kenny – I’m joining the challenge because I love burgers and I hate push ups pick for tonight is Boris Diaw of Spurs..I’d better get ready for lots of burgers :-)


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller June 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Hahahahahaha! Jay, enjoy those burgers! Can you at least do like 10 push-ups. Hey…you can pick Perkins like Karol did, haha!


Karol Gajda June 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Jay, I don’t know if Boris Diaw is a starter, but that was also a rule. The player had to be a starter. :)


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller June 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Good point! So true! Step up JAY! Haha!


Barry June 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

That’s fricking hilarious! the only sad part is that the last meat the guy ate was MacDonald’s instead of a decent steak or rack of ribs or something.


Kenny Eller Kenny Eller June 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

Haha, great point! Both the steak and the ribs sound great right about now!!!


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