Tag Archives: Nike

LeBron Makes a Commercial

I haven’t made much headway in my whole Every NBA Commercial Project endeavor, but the new LeBron Nike spot from the famed Wieden + Kennedy advertising agency is obviously already a basketball commercial Hall of Famer.

I’ve been pretty baffled about why everyone has felt the need to make LeBron into some sort of monster this summer. He has been a bit of a naive douche of late, perhaps, but the whole “he ruined his legacy [at 25 years old],” “he’s scared to be the man” and “MJ or Kobe never would have played with Wade” stuff is just completely silly to me. Who cares? New era with new era players who want to win title with their friends.

Seriously, not a big deal.

And that’s what makes this Nike spot so brilliant. It acknowledges all the silly rhetoric that talking heads have been saying for months now and just exposes it all as being totally silly. By the end, the only thing a rational basketball fan can realistically see is, as Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm noted in an email, “a dude that switched jobs and did it in an obnoxious manner.”

That’s all the ever really happened. Calm down. (Cleveland fans can keep being pissed — I get that.)

Meanwhile, the “Hi Chuck” part is one of the best moments in any commercial ever and the kid actor voicing young LeBron who says “should I give you a history lesson?” sounds like Randy Wagstaff from The Wire.

The Top 50 NBA Commercials of All Time

mars blackmon

In the Spring of 2007, I was just a young pup in this NBA blogging world. Since then, I have accumulated literally dozens of readers and made untold tens of dollars writing about the NBA, but back then the only people reading this blog were me and Drop Dead Fred. (He didn’t even like it … I just spammed his Gmail account with links to my posts.)

Then, on April 4, 2007, I did a post called “The Top 50 NBA Commercials of All Time” that got linked to from Henry Abbott’s new ESPN version of TrueHoop and a cavalcade of other NBA blogs that probably don’t even exist anymore and, like, 40,000 people showed up. Since my previous high in any day was somewhere south of 4 unique users, it was pretty cool.

Unfortunately, within the year I switched hosting companies and perhaps-due-to-nonpayment (who remembers really?), I lost pretty much all my old content in the transfer. It seemed like a bummer at the time, but honestly the commercial thing and like three other posts were probably the only not completely terrible things I ever did. Still, losing stuff sucks.

HOWEVER, through the miracle of the a tech-smart friend of mine, I was recently able to recover some stuff. And so, mostly because I want to put it back in my archives, I’m re-posting it as it was originally posted verbatim in April, 2007. (Thus, forgive the omission of any spots from the last three years that warrant inclusion.)

Additionally, this may as well be the formal launch of “The NBA Commercial Project,” which will be an attempt to gather links to video for every NBA commercial ever made. We’ll start with just these 50 and build on that. And that’s where I’ll need your help. Head over there and drop links to videos in the comments.

Just do it (wocka, wocka, wocka).

Check the full, original Top 50 after the jump.

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Leroy Smith, The Mastervator

get-your-basketball-on

Those now-useless LeBron/Kobe puppet spots were highly mediocre. But fear not, consumers, Nike had something way better in store for us the whole time anyway.

Meet Leroy Smith.The Master Motivator of Michael Jordan. The Mastervator. (Tip o’ the hat to Ball Don’t Lie)

In tenth grade, I beat out MJ for the last spot on our varsity basketball team, igniting a fire that inspired him to greatness. Since then I have motivized countless people with my inspirational DVD series and workshops. Now, with the launch of my revolutionary website, I’m finally able to motivate the world, including Canada.

All you really need to know is that Leroy is played by a mustachioed Charlie Murphy in a George Jefferson-with-a-mullet wig, and his website has highlights that include a commercial for his “Get Your Basketball On” DVD series, the audio single “My Gift to the Game” (with the 8-bit Butterscotch Remix B-side), a bacon recipe from his “Get Your Cooking On!” DVD and a 2-on-2 challenge where you get to square off against Leroy and Manny in an NBA Jam rip-off.

All in all, it really is fantastic stuff.

So if you’re going to spend only 20 minutes this year watching a behind-the-scenes mockumentary on the Hall of Fame ambitions of the guy who beat out Michael Jordan for the final spot on the Laney High varsity basketball team, I fully recommend you make it this one.

Here is the whole thing in four parts: Part 1: Leroy Smith Exposed, Part 2: In the Recording Studio, Part 3: Motivation in Action, Part 4: Behind the Scenes of Leroy’s Biopic.

Or if you can’t commit to all that, at least check out the ad for his DVD series.

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