Thursday represents the last meaningful day of the NBA’s seeding round, as the playoff brackets in the East and West are set with the exception of this weekend’s Western Conference play-in series for the 8-seed, which will be decided once the Blazers play at 9 p.m. ET.
The playoffs will begin on Monday, with the game schedule still to be announced, but that doesn’t mean the networks that will be bringing that coverage can’t start getting ready. On Thursday night, ESPN debuted its first playoff promo, featuring Michael B. Jordan narrating their “Rise Together” video (with Logic’s “Celebration” as the background music), highlighting the players efforts on and off the court during the bubble restart in both pushing for a championship run and also maintaining focus on the social justice movement, with videos of players protesting alongside them playing in the bubble.
“We rise together, for this generation and the next,” Jordan says. “On the court and on the streets. For your city and for your team. For everything it took to get to this moment. We rise together, because together we can win it all.”
Throughout the restart players and coaches have looked to ensure the Black Lives Matter movement and pushes for social justice and reform remain at the forefront of the conversation, and the league’s TV partners have tried to do the same in their promo videos — TNT’s opening night video was narrated by Meek Mill speaking on criminal justice reform.