After getting passed over by the Portland Trailblazers for the first pick of the 2007 NBA draft, the Durantula is finally getting his due. He’s the No. 1 pick of the Seat Pleasant 2:35 p.m. draft.
The newest Nike commercial features Durant in a hot, sweaty gym in Maryland, waiting to be drafted for a 5-on-5 pickup game. The ad was spotted by Sean Highkin of USA Today and features Jay Bilas and some local analysts on the scene attempting to answer the biggest question of the draft: Who will the “Shirts” pick?
Will it be Kevin Durant, who left his home in Seat Pleasant to play college hoops at Texas and become a four-time NBA All-Star, or will it be Anton Barrels, the local guy who’s been moving up the pickup ranks with his unique ability to project himself like a human cannonball and his unrivaled mean-mugging?
The shirts choose Durant, naturally, but the Internet is still wondering about that Barrels guy. How is no one capitalizing on this opportunity?
How is Anton Barrels still available?— Mark Cuban (@FauxMCuban) June 28, 2013
The suns need to pick up Anton barrels he balled last year— Roger James Ball (@rfada59) June 28, 2013
Celtics should trade up for anton barrels— Cam Connors (@camconnors_6) June 28, 2013
From an advertising standpoint, the commercial delivers on a number of levels.
First, the spot is hilarious. Barrels is sitting there with a tie knotted over a tank top, and he drops the line “He can’t ball, he just tall.” Odds are good someone drops that at your next pickup game.
Furthermore, the commercial is relatable and reaches its target audience. If you’ve ever played a pickup game of basketball, there’s always one stubby guy who’s fighting like a pitbull for every possession and somehow scores points.
All in all, an A+ job for Nike, which showed everyone that Durant is still balling in the offseason—and he’s playing against playground legends.
We are all witnesses to Anton Barrels.