a champion will rise


This is advertisement is not directly for a sports equipment or the NBA, but it will probably sell gear and tickets and ensure people tune in to watch the NBA playoffs.

I am sold, anyway.

I was already sold on Kevin Durant, I do not really care which chanel I watch basketball on (this ad is for ESPN), and the NBA has already firmly entrenched itself in my mind as being a certain way (remember, I live in Seattle). So, what did this short spot sell me on? The future.

ESPN’s  newest playoff commercial gives the best argument I have seen or heard in a long while for watching the NBA playoffs: You may get to see Kevin Durant win a championship. I will tune in to watch the NBA playoffs this year for one reason: I want to see what Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Zombie Sonics can do.

Once Mr. Durant has a championship under his belt, there will be flurry of comparisons to Jordan and everyone will start asking, “Is Durant better than LeBron James?”  Analysts will fall all over themselves to say they knew he would be the next Jordan (the only mainstream writer I know of who can honestly claim to have predicted Durant’s success is Bill Simmons). But the truth is Durant is just Durant. Most people did not see him coming because he did not make a big fuss about himself. He is the perfect teammate and player because he plays hard, treats the game like a job, and plans on making every opponent his ball boy every night.

This spot from ESPN is nearly perfect because it takes one of the NBA’s best young stars and makes his story even better.

There are no banners in OKC (they left those here, in Seattle). They do not have much of a history. But they have some of the most exciting young players to watch, and one of the best players in the league. As I mentioned yesterday, there is something quiet and understated about Durant. And this commercial highlights the somber, serious side of the fun, energetic player better than any ad featuring an athlete in a long, long time.

America did not know who Kevin Durant was on a large scale until pretty recently (his play for team USA during the World Basketball Championships was his coming out party). He does not pound his chest or show up on reality television shows or in magazines with young starlets. I would guess that he is too busy perfecting his game to bother with the other stuff.

Durant is a breath of fresh air because he is focused not on becoming rich and famous and the best in the league, but instead on dominating every player and team he faces. Winning and proving that he is the best are the only things he seems to care about, but this little video, his other televisions spots, and his interviews all prove that he can have fun while alpha-ing everyone else in the NBA.

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1 Comment

  1. jumpingpolarbear

     /  April 24, 2012

    They can actually do it this season. Can’t wait for it to start :).


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