James Harden was officially awarded the 2018 NBA MVP award on Monday night in what was the least surprising voting decision of any of the major NBA Awards.
Harden’s season was spectacular, following up on back-to-back runner-up finishes for the MVP award with a season that left no doubt as to the winner. For his speech, Harden brought his mother, Monja Willis, up to the stage with him to make sure she got to share in some of the shine as he thanked her for everything she did as part of his journey.
Adidas followed up on that with a touching commercial featuring Willis reading Harden a letter, detailing how proud she is of him and how he’s worked for so long to achieve this dream. Willis highlights a letter Harden gave her that said “P.S. … Imma be a star,” and how for many the MVP award cementing that status but to her he was always a star.
Willis’ letter to her son makes for a great spot, coupled with the highlights of a young Harden playing in tournaments and putting in work on the driveway.
When you were born, I nicknamed you Lucky
but luck has nothing to do with it.
You created your own path.
The hours in our driveway,
paved the way to state championships.
In the desert you grew your game and you shattered expectations,
it wasn’t long until you suited up for Draft Day.
Looking back now,
you’ve always been creative.
Doing it your way,
on your own terms.
You were dreaming big then,
but when you left me that note “keep this paper Imma Be A Star,”
you were already my brightest star.
And now you’re showing everyone else.
It’s become a tradition that sneaker companies create a special advertisement that’s locked and loaded for the moment one of their athletes wins an award or a championship. Nike and Under Armour had Kevin Durant and Steph Curry championship spots ready to go the moment the NBA Finals ended, and it’s no different with adidas and Harden. They often highlight the journey, as a reminder to people that they weren’t always superstars and they had to work and grind to get there — something of a message to the consumer that you too can put in the work to make greatness happen.