Adidas may not win many hearts and minds with its newest promotional tactic.
The Houston Rockets are playing the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Ahead of the game, Adidas took out an ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel addressing James Harden's quest for the Most Valuable Player award, per ESPN's Tim McMahon:
It's part of a larger campaign centered around one of the biggest athletes under the Adidas umbrella.
The MVP is coming down to a two-horse race between Harden and Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and both players have built a strong case to receive the honor.
The Rockets sit third in the Western Conference in large part because of Harden. He's averaging a league-high 36.4 points, 7.5 assists and 6.4 rebounds. With Chris Paul and Clint Capela missing time, Harden has had to put the team on his back at times, and his 40.54 percent usage rate is on pace to be the second-highest ever, per Basketball Reference.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are first in the Eastern Conference. Antetokounmpo is putting up 27.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and 6.0 per game, and he's third in ESPN.com's real plus-minus (plus-6.19). The 24-year-old is positioning himself as the best two-way player in the NBA.
While the MVP battle is still up for debate among many fans, those in Milwaukee have probably already made up their minds.