Nike: Kevin Durant Wins A Championship, And Silences His Critics

Kevin Durant has always been a favorite of mine, going back to his lone year at the University of Texas. And now, he has a ring (and a Finals MVP to go along with it). While I would have much rather preferred him to win it in Oklahoma City, it’s still cool that he now has a championship. Nike’s post-NBA Finals commercial shows all his critics…first he’s derided as soft and defensively-challenged, then when he moved to the Golden State Warriors, people called him a traitor. But now, he’s a champion, and the critics are silenced. It’s a pretty cool ad, supplemented by Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”

Even Kevin Durant Can’t Save This Lame Sprint “Framily” Commercial

These annoying Sprint spots have been playing a lot during the NBA Playoffs. They center on Sprint’s “Framily” plan. Get it…friends and family. Ugh. Anyway, this one features 2013-14 MVP Kevin Durant. It’s also got a teenager with a bizarre accent in a treehouse, and KD exits like a rocket because it’s the kid’s dream. Whatever. And the guy’s pretty mother is played by Judy Greer.

Gatorade: Kevin Durant And Dwyane Wade Have A Nightmare Scenario

I’m realizing that I could start a blog simply featuring sports commercials. Anyway, it’s been said that dreams are a window into our unconscious mind. Some scientists believe that dreams, particularly nightmares, exist as a place to rehearse fight-or-flight situations. That certainly seems to be in Gatorade’s excellent new commercial. Kevin Durant drives to the hoop in a critical situation…and is blocked by Dwyane Wade. Luckily, it was just a nightmare. So Durant goes hard into his training (the intense training music is great.) And in the next meeting, Kevin Durant’s dream becomes Dwyane Wade’s nightmare. A twist! Adweek calls it “the Inception of salty-fruit-punch commercials.” I wonder where LeBron was in all this action.

An NBA Sunday: Kevin Durant/Sprint And Kobe Bryant/Nike

Today, the Oklahoma City Thunder head to LA to face the struggling Lakers. So this seems like a good time to mention a few commercials featuring the biggest stars from each team: Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.

This Sprint commercial with Kevin Durant is fun and silly. Nothing groundbreaking, but the visual of Durant in ill-fitting pajamas sure is amusing. Speaking of, the word “pajamas” is inherently amusing. And it turns out the wife is appreciating the fact that her husband is suddenly more height blessed.

And now Kobe Bryant for Nike. Being a Nike commercial, it’s pretty awesome, if a touch pretentious. Excellent copy that suggests counting on Kobe is like any other inevitable thing in the world. Very cool visuals, ending with #COUNTONKOBE. It’s the introductory spot to the Kobe8System, his newest sneakers.

Nike’s Ring Commercial For LeBron

LeBron James is one of the most talented and talked-about athletes in the world. He’s long had a reputation for being great, but less effective in the clutch. His lack of a championship became an albatross. But last night, the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the NBA Championship.  Minutes after the game ended, this Nike commercial premiered. It was obviously made well in advance, and there probably was a Kevin Durant one too. I didn’t see it originally (I was catching up on the DVR…), but here it is.

It’s interesting to think about how popular LeBron was 2 years ago, but his reputation was really tarnished by “The Decision.” It came across as arrogant and after that, LeBron Haterade started. It’s a little complicated for me. I’m from Ohio, where many are still bitter about LeBron leaving and will never forgive him. People actively wanted him to fail, and sneered when the Heat didn’t win the title last year. But is it time to forgive him? LeBron already acknowledged that “The Decision” was a bad decision. And since then, he’s just put up great numbers and won the MVP. I’m a Miami Heat hater, and probably will never root for them, but maybe it’s time to back off LeBron. Maybe.

As for the commercial itself…very nice work. It’s artistic, following an Akron ring maker watching highlights of LeBron’s career on an old TV. He’s working on the ring, working, working…it’s a long process. But now LeBron has won, and he’ll get that ring finally.

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