Power Ranking the 25 Greatest Commercials in NBA History
COURTESY OF BPMMAGAZINE.NET
What makes a commercial memorable? What makes us remember a commercial for years to come? It needs to make us feel something. Whether it makes us laugh or inspires and motivates us, a good commercial will always spark some sort of emotion.
However, it is quite rare that we see a commercial that we would actually choose to watch.
Normally, when the commercials come on, we find something else to do to kill the time. Whether it's the latest episode of America's Next Top Model or Jersey Shore (I don't know what you crazy kids watch these days), we always rush off to do something else when that crazy guy appears trying to sell us a solution for tough stains and dirt.
However, the NBA has seen some of the best commercials in all of sports. Some are funny and others are inspirational, and in this list I have tried to assemble the best commercials featuring NBA stars.
So, without further ado, here are the best commercials in NBA history.
Note: Feel free to let me know if I've left any out, and I might just add them to the list.
Honorable Mention: Nike, "No Excuses"
I'm not going to ruin the video for you because the element of surprise is crucial in this commercial.
Matt Scott doesn't play in the NBA, and that is why this commercial doesn't make the final list, but this is one of the greatest basketball commercials I have ever seen.
If this commercial doesn't inspire or motivate you, then you must have a heart of stone.
25. NBA on TNT
What would "Shaq" be like as a teacher?
NBA on TNT is always awesome to watch. Their commercials are pretty good too.
Here is one of a series of commercials in which the superstars of the NBA find themselves at school all over again. Some as teachers, some as students.
This one, featuring "Diesel", is one of the funniest of that series and opens the list.
24. Gatorade: Dwyane Wade
In this hilarious advertisement for Gatorade, we see Dwyane Wade arguing with his "good" and "bad" sides about what kind of play he should make.
Seeing the two mini Wade heads on either side of the big Wade's shoulders was enough to make me crack up with laughter.
23. Adidas: Tracy McGrady Is Unstoppable
Not even hundreds of miniature "soldiers" armed with grappling hooks, driving mini SUVs and flying mini helicopters could hold Tracy McGrady back.
Visually, this commercial is awesome.
This was a part of Adidas' "Impossible Is Nothing" series.
22. Nike: The Second Coming
In this commercial, we see some of the NBA's top talent walk out to an awesome soundtrack to play a game of basketball in an aircraft hangar, where they showcase the skills that made them famous.
The players in the commercial include Steve Nash running the court and Kobe Bryant in the post.
21. Nike: Hyperize
Can you name any good rappers that have come out of the NBA?
If any of you even think "Shaq", you must be crazy.
Anyway, this commercial sees Iguodala, Durant and others pay homage to 90s rap videos to promote Hyoerize.
I don't think I've ever seen Durant and company do something like this, and so it was refreshing to see these new faces promote a Nike product.
20. NBA 2K10: Kobe Bryant Takes over
The NBA 2K series has given us some of the best basketball games in recent years.
The trailer for NBA 2K10 saw Kobe Bryant battle the best players in the league, and even mascots, on his way to the hoop.
19. Adidas: Gilbert Arenas Shows Us That Impossible Is Nothing
"Another reason that I wear number zero is because it lets me know that I need to go out there and fight everyday."
Gilbert Arenas was underrated at the start of his career and in this commercial, which was a part of Adidas' "Impossible Is Nothing" series, he addresses that issue in another of the NBA's greatest commercials.
18. TNT: Ali G Interviews the Stars
In this series of commercials, we see Sacha Baron Cohen's alter ego, Ali G, interview some of the stars of the league.
Ali G asks a bunch of infuriatingly stupid questions and the results are some of the best commercials we have ever seen in the NBA.
In this one, we see Ali G mistake Richard Jefferson for Thomas Jefferson.
18. TNT: Ali G Interviews the Stars, Continued
"How many springs does an official ball have in it?"
"There's air in this room; how come this room ain't bouncing?"
18. TNT: Ali G Interviews the Stars, Continued
"No disrespect but you is Canadian, so you don't even speak English".
"Can't understand what you saying; you speaking in Canada".
17. Reebok: Shaquille O'Neal Gets Schooled by Four Legends
"Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk."
In this commercial, we see the rookie Shaq being tested by four of the greatest centers ever to play basketball.
16. McDonald's: LeBron James and Dwight Howard
This commercial is a remake of the classic Mcdonald's advert featuring Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
In the original, we saw Bird and Jordan compete against each other by making some impossible trick shots.
Meanwhile, in this advert, we see James and Howard perform some mind-boggling and absolutely insane dunks.
15. Air Jordan: Michael Jordan and Spike Lee
"It's gotta be the shoes!"
Spike Lee plays "Mars Blackmon" in a series of commercials promoting Air Jordan.
In this one, we see "Mars" ask Jordan what made him the player he is. Is it the dunks, the haircuts, the shorts or the shoes?
Which do you think it was?
14. Nike Basketball: Lebron Rise
The infamous "Rise" commercial.
Let me remind you of what went down before this commercial was released:
LeBron James had just appeared on a one-hour special entitled "The Decision" in which he stated that he would take his talents to the Miami Heat.
From the moment this was announced, criticism poured in from all over the world. LeBron addresses his critics in this commercial with a barrage of questions. Most notably, "What should I do?" and "Should I be who you want me to be?"
This is straight-up powerful.
13. Nike: MVPuppets
How do you make a series of commercials about two of the greatest players of the modern era that appeals to all ages without actually having to pay millions upon millions of dollars, and further, doesn't actually feature the two players in-person at all?
"Puppets" is the answer you are looking for.
Here, we see Kobe and Lebron, in puppet form, in a series of advertisements promoting the Nike brand.
12. Gatorade: Michael Jordan vs. Michael Jordan
"You reach, I teach."
"Coulda dunked." "You should've dunked."
I wonder how they made this commercial.
The message that I took away from this commercial was that the experience and wisdom that come with age will always triumph over youth and athleticism.
Or, it is simply a commercial that sees a young Michael Jordan going one on one with the older and more experienced Michael Jordan?
Either way, this is one seriously cool presentation.
What do you think?
11. Nike: The Fun Police
Who better to star in a commercial entitled "The Fun Police" than one of the scariest men to play the game of basketball?
In this commerical, we see Kevin Garnett grill Cherokee Parks with a load of accusations, including the notion that Parks' facial impressions when he dunks are very limited.
This is one in a series of commercials which also feature Penny Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning.
10. Nike: Kobe Bryant Is "The Black Mamba"
This is without a doubt the most visually impressive commercial on this list.
In order to promote his new shoes, Nike went all-out to produce a seriously good commercial.
In a dark and gothic world, Kobe Bryant stars as "The Black Mamba" who battles a series of villains who want to acquire Kobe's signature kicks.
Explosions, fight scenes, slick basketball, Danny Trejo, Kanye West and Bruce Willis. What more do you want? The only way that this could have been any better was if Jessica Alba was in it.
9. NBA: Where Amazing Happens
There was something captivating and touching about the "Where Amazing Happen" commercials.
Maybe it was the slow motion, the beautiful piano soundtrack and the witty catchphrases that made this one of the best series of commercials ever.
8. Marvin Gaye and the USA Basketball Team
In this commercial, we see the USA basketball "Redeem Team" training for the Olympics with a soundtrack featuring Marvin Gaye singing "The Star Spangled Banner".
This is one of the very rare commercials that sparks a sense of patriotism and is very moving to watch.
7. Nike: Lil Penny
Lil Penny was a miniature figurine voiced by Chris Rock.
Again, this is one in a series of commercials, and this is one of the funniest advertisements in that series.
In this commercial, we see an injured Lil Penny hurl abuse at the players on the court, and what happens next is hilarious and made this commercial one the all-time greats.
6. NBA: The Playoffs
Winning a Championship is what every player in the NBA strives to achieve.
In this commercial, we see some of the league's best players describe seeing the legends before them win it all.
We also see the players talk about respect and why it is important to them.
5. Nike: "Let Your Game Speak"
No words were spoken in this commercial, and yet it has a powerful message behind it.
Here, we see young athletes emulate the very moves that made Jordan famous, from his signature dunk, to his jump shots and post moves.
This commercial gives us an indication of how much of an impact Jordan had on the game.
Jordan knows this too. He appears at the end of the commercial and smiles as a kid sinks a three and imitates "The Shrug".
4. Nike: Freestyle
Okay, so by now, it should come as no surprise that Nike has produced some of the most memorable advertisements ever, period.
See, I'm not sure whether this commercial had a message or not. To be honest, I don't actually care.
In this commercial, we see talented freestylers performing skills, and they seem to make a song with the sounds of basketballs bouncing and shoes squeaking on the court.
This is an incredibly popular advert. It has been parodied many times, most notably in Scary Movie.
3. Nike: Charles Barkley Is Not a Role Model
"I get paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball, [it] doesn't mean I should raise your kids".
Charles Barkley is certainly no stranger to controversy.
In this commercial, Barkley addresses the world that he shouldn't have to be a role model and that lazy parents need to raise their own kids.
I kind of agree with him, too.
2. McDonald's: "The Showdown"
Another Michael Jordan commercial. But in this one, he isn't alone. Alongside him stars another legend in Larry Bird.
In this commercial we see the two greats compete for a McDonald's meal by challenging each other to a series of increasingly difficult trick shots. The product is the greatest game of HORSE ever played.
We see Jordan and Bird make shots that mere mortals such as you and I could never even dream of.
1. Air Jordan: Michael Jordan, Failure
"I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why... I succeed."
There are lot lists that "His Airness" tops, and this is no exception.
Failure is not a world that we would readily associate with Michael Jordan, but in this case, it shows that his failures are what made him become the person and the player that he is.
Not only is this the best commercial in basketball, but I would argue that it is one of the greatest commercials ever.
If this doesn't inspire you, you should be seriously worried about your state of mind.