Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Mythmakers

Basketball advertising (in particular the grandiose/overly serious kind) has an astounding ability to pull at my heartstrings. Those "there are no cinderellas" commercials are a great example. As was "let your game speak." These most recent NBA playoff commercials are no exception.

I really love these commercials, and I think I will use them as an opportunity to reflect upon the players they feature (there will eventually be 8, involving a player from every team in the playoffs).

Lebron: I originally disliked Lebron. Not so much Lebron himself, but the hype around him. I am very antagonistic to the "next jordan" bandwagonning that occurs ever couple of years. But then last May I found myself standing in a Brooklyn living room shouting "I believe" and ranting to a disinterested but slightly amused girlfriend that she and I had just witnessed history. (And with surprising speed Nike released the "we are all witnesses" ads). But something in his anointment is too perfect. He's hiding something. There is a hint of court jester in his king. He wants a ring, I don't doubt that. But I feel like he's comfortable. The disinterestedness of young royalty. But one day, as the GOAT slips through his fingers, we'll see his true potential. And that, my friends, will be something to witness. But for that, we will have to wait.

KG: He has never been this close. He is nowhere yet, but he has never been this close. He is the focal point of the most storied franchise in the NBA and the man is hungry. I used to think that come playoff time the Celtics would come up short: shallow bench, no playoff experience, etc... But I don't know if I believe that anymore. Garnett doesn't have dreams. He has nightmares. Visions of no rings dancing in his head. The man is an all-too-real example of what unbridaled fury and raw wisdom can produce. Although in no way a Celtics fan, I am most interested to see KG come the playoffs. We will see deep emotions from that man. We will see him go to the edge, maybe even over. How other NBA players look him in the eye and do not feel penitent is beyond me.

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