Nike has released an ad hailing Kobe Bryant's "relentless drive" that coincides with his return to the court for the Lakers on Sunday. Dubbed "Kobe Comeback," the 30-second, black-and-white spot includes a voiceover narrated by rapper/actor Ice Cube.
The spot features footage of Bryant tearing his Achilles tendon in an April game against the Warriors, and shows Bryant stepping to the foul stripe to knock down his free throws before heading to the locker room in evident pain.
"If he never got up, he'd still be called a hero," Ice Cube says. "If he hadn't stepped back on the court, he'd still be a Hall of Famer. If he didn't hit those free throws, he'd still go down in basketball history. And if he never came back to the game, he'd be a living legend. But he wouldn't be Kobe Bryant."
The ad ends with Nike's "Just Do It" slogan and its Swoosh logo.
Bryant's decision to attempt the free throws after his injury was the subject of a September speech he gave to the apparel manufacturer's employees at the company's Oregon headquarters.
“When I first did it, right there, I was trying to feel if the tendon is there or if it’s gone,” Bryant recalled, in comments recorded by Nike. “I realized it wasn’t there. I was literally trying to pull the tendon up so hopefully I could walk and kind of hobble through the last two and a half minutes and try to play.”
Bryant finished with nine points (on 2-for-9 shooting), eight rebounds, four assists and eight turnovers in 28 minutes during a 106-94 home loss to the Raptors on Sunday.
L.A. fell to 10-10 on the season with the loss. Toronto improved to 7-12 with the win. Video via YouTube user NBillets