Cavs vs Warriors: Who has the best commercials?

The Warriors may have won the NBA title, but which team will win the real prize: best TV commercials.
Publish date:

The Warriors may have defeated the Cavs in the NBA Finals, but the battle for ad revenue is still going strong. There is no shortage of endorsement deals between the two of them, which has made for an abundance of great commercials over the years. KD’s Nike "Debate This" ad took the cake the other night, but let’s see which team gets the crown for best TV commercials over the past few years.


Draymond Green: Beats by Dre

This ad has all the makings of a great commercial: a superstar endorsement, an undeniably cool product, and a well-documented history of making bad ass ads. 

This one is no exception. It is, in fact, decidedly cool.

However, the premise of this spot is that Draymond Green maintains a composed, collected, even demure disposition when dealing with the media-- a concept rooted so deeply in fantasy that it borders on fraudulent.

A commercial might be able to get away with such fallacies in some other two-bit power rankings, but honesty and integrity still mean something here.

Good ad, but a stretch.

Grade: B-

Klay Thompson: Chocolate Milk

(Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, I think it is important to begin my analysis of this advertisment by saying that I do not like milk of any kind or flavor. As a journalist who strives to uphold a particualr ethical standard, I did my best to avoid letting my own personal bias impact my review.)

You may be asking yourself: “why would anyone be more likely to buy chocolate milk from Klay Thompson?” 

Allow me to answer that question with a few of my own.

What makes decorated naval officer and war hero, Cap’n Crunch, qualified to sell cereal? Why have Americans been buying cheeseburgers from a terrifying red-headed clown in a yellow suit for decades?

Klay Thompson pushing chocolate milk isn’t great, but it works.

Grade: C

Kevin Durant: Nike


Grade: A

Steph Curry: Brita

Let’s break down this ad line-by-line to try and get a better idea of what Steph and Brita are peddling here: 

“You might think all water’s the same…”

The spot opens up with Steph reminding us of how the vast majority of people think and feel about water— that it is typically uniform in nature. This is true. I do tend to think that all water’s the same, but I get the feeling that Steph is about to surprise us somehow.

“but some water can dribble…”

Also true.

“...rain threes…”

Kind of true. Water can definitely rain, but whether or not it can rain threes remains to be seen.

“...even drain a buzzer beater.”

Definitely not true. Water cannot drain a buzzer beater.

I’ve seen enough.

In an attempt to sell water— a biological necessity for the continued existence of all living things— Steph and the Brita team somehow failed to entice me into buying their product (again, a product that I quite literally cannot live without).

Overall terrible ad.

Grade: F   


Kyrie Irving: Pepsi

Not only are these the best commercials of any player on either team, they're the best commercials of any athlete ever. In fact, they may be the best commercials of all time.

All hail Uncle Drew.

Grade: A+

Kevin Love: Saxx underwear

This is a weird commercial from top to bottom. There’s no way around it.

From the slow motion shots of Love unbuttoning his shirt to the cut of him leaping recklessly into an extremely small hot tub (I was amazed at the stupidity of this stunt), the ad left me both curiously scratching my head and anxiously holding my breath.


Grade: C-

LeBron James: Kia

LeBron is an endorsement juggernaut with hundreds of commercials in his advertising portfolio. So in order to even the playing field with the rest of his competition, I chose an ad from one of his most scrutinized (read: most lame) endorsement partnerships: Kia.

“Doubt isn’t a storm. Doubt is a drizzle. Just enough to make you stay inside, or second guess yourself, or quit, or let them have it, or question your limits. But that’s only if you’re afraid of a little rain.”

LeBron manages to perfectly describe the dangerous role that self-doubt can play within the human psyche while simultaneously illustrating how he has managed to overcome that doubt throughout the storied tapestry of his career. He does so with the graceful eloquence of a Shakespearean sonnet.

As someone who has felt the deceptive, corrosive force of doubt creep into his life, and someone who has also experienced the unique thrill of getting behind the wheel of a luxurious, but dependable Kia, I could not have appreciated this ad more.

Grade: A


Similar to this year’s Finals, the Warriors— clearly equipped with more firepower at the outset— seemed poised to handle the Cavs.  

However, this series diverged from reality a bit.

With weak performances from Curry and Thompson, the Warriors were forced to make do with the always dependable performance of Green, and a characteristically outstanding showing from KD.

But it wasn’t enough to out shine the greatness of Uncle Drew and King James, despite being sandbagged by Love’s lackluster display.

While the Warriors may have brought home the real title this year, the Cavs certainly bested them in the ad game.