I turned to TNT last night with the hopes that if I prayed hard enough Inside The NBA would come on. It never did. Give credit where it’s due however because Nike and its superstar endorsers are doing their part in providing damage control. In the latest commercial for the “Basketball Never Stops” campaign, LeBron James is the only person awake in a city who has long since turned it in for the evening as Frank Sinatra’s “Sleep Warm” plays as the soundtrack. We see the entertainment factor, but the blood, sweat and tears which go into ensuring the game is performed at its highest level is rarely witnessed and thus often under appreciated. Basically, it’s another brilliant move by the brain trust at Nike to keep the game with the faintest of heartbeats on the minds and conscious of the public. In fact, Nike’s done such a great job branding the players you almost have to wonder if Phil Knight will take Billy Hunter’s gig once the nightmare ends.
In regards to the specifics of this commercial though, allow me to say this. I’m not questioning Bron’s love for the game or his workout regiment. Basketball was his ticket out the projects. Plus, he’s a physical freak of nature. Still, I saw what resembled a post game and a hook shot. For the love of Hakeem Olajuwon taking David Robinson’s pride and soul on national television in Game 5 of the 1995 Western Conference finals (go ahead and add Patrick Ewing too), that better not be a facade.
Previously: A Message From Nike: #BasketballNeverStops