Jordan-Sponsored NBA Players Stay Busy During Lockout

By Bob Marshall 

From W+K New York comes a new NBA Lockout 2011-themed TV spot for Nike subsidiary, Air Jordan.

Yesterday, word broke that stalled labor negotiations and collective bargaining disagreements between the NBA’s players and owners will chop another two weeks off of the 2011-2012 season, meaning that, at earliest, it will be more than a month until the league finally starts. The entire season remains in jeopardy, and while many of the NBA’s stars are signing contracts to play in leagues overseas, some are considering alternate career paths in furniture store stockroom management.


Of course, NBA commissioner David Stern is keeping a tight leash on both sides of the negotiations, to the point that anyone who even utters the phrase “lockout” following an adjective expressing any sort of negativity will be fined and punished. It doesn’t even matter if you were the league’s best player and greatest ambassador of the game worldwide. If you so much as compliment someone on the other side of the talks, it could cost you $100K (or maybe your first born child).

Sports apparel brands with an all-star spokesroster are left in a difficult position. How do you keep people interested in a game that isn’t even being played at the professional level? As W+K and Air Jordan have reasoned, the lockout cannot be ignored. Rather, it should be screamed without even being mentioned. So, here we see three of NBA’s biggest stars, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, as they get as much playing time in as possible in the NBA’s absence, even if it’s against less than competitive opponents. Why is Melo being schooled from long range by some Jewish Under 40 league sharpshooter? As Air Jordan says, it’s for the Love of the Game. And, after watching this, it’s comforting to be able to respect at least one side of the labor dispute. Now, to ask same question that’s driving everyone in Chicago to tears: Can we please have another season and not waste one of Derrick Rose’s best years on something as silly as this? PLEASE?