Ads for 2011 ESPY Awards Are Just So High School

Washington Wizards star John Wall earned something of a reputation for his dancing during his one year at the University of Kentucky, before being snapped up as the first pick of the 2010 NBA draft. The point guard, and his namesake fist-flex choreography, appear in this new, humorously self-deprecating campaign for ESPN's 2011 ESPY Awards, hosted for the second year running by comedian Seth Meyers. (Notably, Wall canceled plans to attend the show last year, despite ultimately winning for best male college athlete.) While we won't pass judgment on whether he or Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji emerges as the least awkward in the dance-off, we're pretty sure the defensive lineman would have the advantage in a fight. Other takeaways from the spots? Serena Williams, despite loving karaoke, isn't much of a singer. And Carmelo Anthony is terrified of bluegrass music. In addition to a heavy roster of sports talent, the spots were crafted by a stacked creative team: L.A.-based Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener worked with head Saturday Night Live writer and director Neal Brennan—co-creator of Chapelle's Show, as well as a contributor to Meyer's routine at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. Court Crandall, the agency's executive creative director (who also happened to write the movie Old School), says they shaped the spots by playing together in the "sandbox" of the campaign's conceptual framework: that the show is, like a high-school prom, mostly about celebrating. Hopefully nobody ends up needing a stomach pump at the end of the night. More spots after the jump.