NBA’s ‘The Greatest’ TV Spot: Best Promo Ever?

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Two of the NBA’s greatest ever, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Kobe Bryant, as Lakers teammates

Many followers of the NBA say that the season doesn’t begin on Christmas Day, which the league uses as a showcase to air five or six games back-to-back on national TV. It’s also an opportunity for us to look back to what some sports fans call the greatest TV commercial ever.

This spot originally ran on December 25, 2011, following a lockout of the players by the team owners when the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract. When labor peace was finally reached, the league played a truncated season: 66 games instead of the usual 82. The season began on Christmas Day with five nationally televised games.

The two-minute “NBA Forever” promotional clip that aired on TNT uses state-of-the-art editing to seamlessly pair teammates and opponents from different eras: LeBron James vs Dr J, Earvin “Magic” Johnson dishing off to his Laker “teammate” Kobe Bryant, and so on.

Here’s our Classic Video…

Related: Stars paid tribute to Bryant who died at age 41 in 2020

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