By Ben Golliver
The NBA has entered the post-Christmas ad cycle with a strong first effort thanks to director Spike Lee, who makes Clippers point guard Chris Paul disappear in a new spot dubbed "Unbelievable is BIG."
The 30-second ad features Lakers legend Magic Johnson, Lakers guard Steve Nash and Paul seated at a diner's booth watching a game between the Clippers and the Grizzlies on television. The visual cuts between the point guard trio and the game action, which is narrated by Clippers television broadcasters Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith. Paul transports back and forth between the table and the game in rhythm with his fakes on the court.
"Chris Paul is on their side," the voice-over begins as Paul darts on the perimeter, before disappearing in a poof. "Where did he go?"
Paul reappears on a different portion of the court as the voice-over announces: "Unbelievable. He's in the right place all the time."
He then transports back to the restaurant, where Johnson asks: "Shouldn't you be headed to the hoop?"
Paul disappears one final time and returns to the game, finishing a basket at the rim. "He made that all by himself out of nothing," the broadcast team explains. Lawler concludes with one of his catch phrases: "Oh me, oh my."
The spot is paced well and it arrives at the perfect time: Johnson said recently that Paul's Clippers are the modern Showtime. Paul's skills on the ball deserve a little love from the league. He's led the Clippers to a 27-8 start and has emerged as a top-five MVP candidate, averaging 17.0 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals while shooting 48.0 percent from the field.
Lee was in front of the camera for one of the NBA's Christmas spots titled, "Royalty is BIG," in which he talked up the greatness of former Knicks forward Bernard King. Another recent NBA ad starred Thunder forward Kevin Durant and his mother, Wanda Pratt. Video via the NBA on YouTube.