Who remembers the Y2K craze? The world was supposed to end, or at the least, society was supposed to collapse. We got a terrible Will Smith album (Or if you were a misguided soul like me, you probably liked it.). We were all planning to end up like John Cusack in 2012, flying planes through buildings and angling for tickets to some special ship. But the best thing to ever came out of the year 2000 was the Sportscenter commercial. Who remembers it? Mark McGwire smashing computers. Charley Steiner, with a tie around his forehead, yelling, “FOLLOW ME! FOLLOW ME TO FREEDOM!”
Sportscenter has released a ton of memorable ads, but for me, that particular one will always stick out.
From the days of Magic, Larry and Michael to the present, we’ve all found personal connections in commercials. I can still remember watching the MJ “Frozen Moment” ad, rubber basketball in my hands, a No. 23 jersey on my back. I still remember Tracy McGrady‘s first adidas spot, and how it felt like the world was changing because T-Mac was defying the physics of sports. And who can go on about commercials and not mention Reebok and Allen Iverson? They shut it down for nearly a decade together.
But a list of the best of the best is nearly impossible. We’ve tried, and while we’re sure a few were lost over the years, we think this is a pretty solid list on its own. Here are our 30 favorite basketball commercials ever…
30. GATORADE – “Good Vs. Bad”
Who: Dwyane Wade and the angel/devil dilemma
29. FOOT LOCKER – “The ‘Melos” & “Harden Soul”
Year: 2012, 2013
Who: Carmelo Anthony and his clones; James Harden making his R&B debut
28. JORDAN BRAND – “Blake & Drain”
Who: Blake Griffin and a young fella off the street
27. ADIDAS – Kobe Bryant
Who: Kobe Bryant before he became the Mamba
26. REEBOK – The Jump Shot
Year: When D-Miles existed
Who: Darius Miles, Allen Iverson, Jamal Crawford, Steve Francis, Baron Davis