Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers (and Bryant himself, no doubt) would have probably preferred to see No. 24 participate in actual games rather than be featured in a commercial commemorating the snoozefest that was the 2002 NBA Finals.
Still, it's a pretty cool dunk.
And even though that freeze-the-shot-and-pan-around style of cinematography hasn't been particularly novel since The Matrix came out, it does make it easier to appreciate the hops Bryant possessed in bygone days.
Actually, come to think of it, Bryant proved this past season that he's got a reserve tank that allows him to occasionally elevate for highlight dunks:
But the NBA's latest ad gives us a glimpse of the old days, when the guy who wore No. 8 made trips into the stratosphere part of his nightly scoring routine.
In the 2001-02 season, the Lakers secured their third straight championship, and Bryant averaged 25.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. It's safe to say he's adjusted nicely to his diminished athleticism as the years have gone on, as he put up averages of 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists this past season.
It's also nice that MacCulloch is getting a little shine from the video, although he'd probably prefer to be featured in a different way. Nobody wants to be remembered for a play in which he was basically a prop in a dunk contest.
Fortunately, the plodding big man has reinvented himself by taking up (and dominating) a new career. This is old news (trust me, all news is old news when it comes to MacCulloch, who has been out of the league since 2003), but the 37-year-old retiree is actually a really good pinball player:
World pinball finals today -- at ex-NBA/Husky center Todd MacCulloch's house. Really. His house. tiny.cc/iy5ofw— Jim Caple (@jimcaple) June 10, 2012
No, seriously. Like, really good:
Ex-Sixer Todd MacCulloch is now a world-ranked pinball player: bit.ly/PinballingTodd— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) August 16, 2011
So it looks like everyone involved in the ad landed on his feet. Well, except for Kerry Kittles. What ever happened to that guy?