Harrison Barnes’ actual nickname is “The Black Falcon,” which is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. That said, “The Black Falcon” does stuff Nikola Pekovic in a pine box here.
MUST WATCH: Derrick Rose cries during his shoe launch
Two things are plainly obvious to me regarding the promotional campaign for Derrick Rose’s new basketball shoe titled #TheReturn:
Derrick Rose has a lot of fans, and he’s making a whole lot more.
This is a master stroke by Adidas.
NIKE has long dominated the sneaker market on the strength of it’s basketball products. Their ad campaigns and television spots have run the gamut from powerful to funny. At the very least, NIKE’s advertisements are memorable. At best, they’re legendary.
But rarely, if ever, has NIKE been able to tap into the humanity Adidas is capturing with Rose’s Return. A lot of that has to do with the fact Derrick Rose mixes incredible, video game-like talent with the humility I hope to one day teach my future children, all the while being the kid from the “wrong side of the tracks,” who “made good” in his hometown. He’s a special person, let alone athlete.
But don’t discount what Adidas has done. Because it’s brilliant. Has a major sneaker company ever marketed their product around an injury?
When a company tries to sell you shoes by having NBA players dunking in commercials, they’re impressing you with talent. You watch amazed, because what these men can do on the court is exactly the opposite of human. It’s other-worldly.
I can’t do the things they do on TV. I can’t dunk (*anymore, because I once mashed on my friend Jeff in a game in my backyard — it was sweetness). The closest we’ll ever get to being LeBron James is putting on a pair of sneakers with his name of them.
Adidas, however, is telling a story we all know. We’ve all been down. We’ve all had to fight back. It’s wholly relatable. It’s entirely human.
Adidas’ slick, yet raw documentaries, paired with Rose’s candor, are building a real relationship between Derrick, Adidas, his shoe, and basketball fans.
I can’t wait for Rose to take the court again. Remarkably, Adidas has found a way to organically grow Derrick, and their brand, with him off of it.
Kobe bet Kyrie Irving $50,000 on a game of 1-on-1, then talked trash for “20+ minutes.” The difference between Kobe talking trash and everyone else talking trash is that it’s clear to me that Kobe gets kind of angry at the assumption Kyrie Irving could beat him in a game of basketball.
Remember how, as kids, you’d wrestle with your brother, sister or friend, and invariably, it would reach that point where it all just got a little too real? Somebody got serious, and somebody got hurt? That’s Kobe’s life. It’s all fun and jokes until Kobe starts to realize you actually think you can beat him, and then he starts really punching you in the leg out of anger.
The highlights include:
KOBE: “You’re gonna tell your dad, ‘I’m trying to bet Kobe…I know I can beat him 1-on-1. He’ll be like, ‘Son, are you crazy?’”
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KYRIE: ”You have to guard. You have to guard. You’re not gonna lock me up. You’re NOT gonna lock me up. It’s over.”
= = = = =
KYRIE: ”He thinks he’s talking to a high school kid.”
KOBE: ”You just came out of high school, kid!…You are a high school kid. You just graduated.”
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KOBE: ”You’re gonna need a pick to get me off you, son.”
= = = = =
KYRIE: ”You think you’re gonna be playing Lil’ Bow Wow?”
I actually like Kyrie Irving a lot more for challenging Kobe. Somebody needs to step up to that bastard. And before you go thinking Kobe would trounce him, click here to watch Kyrie do horrible things to Carmelo, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, and the Mamba himself, during Team USA basketball practice from the other day.