Russell Westbrook Gets the Best Hype Man Ever in Bravado-Packed Jordan Ad

W+K imagines the NBA star's pre-game monologue

The new Air Jordan XXX sneakers on Russell Westbrook's feet might actually be spaceships, a new commercial suggests—so everyone should probably get out of his way. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard stars in the ad for Nike's subsidiary Jordan Brand, along with a young hype man who delivers a searing introduction as Westbrook walks, in slow motion, onto the court. 

Titled "Make Space," the minute-plus ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy New York, is aimed squarely at basketball fans and packed with game slang praising Westbrook's skill at getting buckets (points), boards (rebounds) and dimes (assists). It even coins a few of its own honorifics, dubbing the NBA player "WestWolf," "The Human TurboButton" and "The New Big Bang." 

The writing is heavy with brio, and the kid's delivery is spectacular. His best line by far declares that Westbrook "ain't had a triple-double since—let me check my watch real quick—yesterday." It's a nod to the player's habit of scoring double-digit stats in three categories, and has the advantage of not being terribly far from the truth.

W+K describes the character as a personification of Westbrook's inner monologue while pumping himself up for a game—"brash, confident and a little unhinged," according to the agency. The miniature imaginary Westbrook puts it a little differently as the ad nears its end, saying of the regular-sized real Westbrook, "He's about to take off." Then the man himself finally speaks … to offer viewers "a window seat." 

The tagline flashes across the screen—"The Next Frontier of Flight"—while jet engines squeal. After the screen fades to black, a giant shoe powers through outer space. Maybe it's a subtle hint that Westbrook will play a part in a certain upcoming sequel to a Looney Tunes movie about interstellar basketball, starring the Jordan brand's namesake.

Either way, nobody can knock Westbrook—or the marketer—for being too humble.

CREDITS

Client: Jordan Brand

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York

Executive Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman & Colleen DeCourcy

Creative Directors: Caleb Jensen & Jimm Lasser

Creatives: Blair Warren & Pepe Hernandez

Senior Producer: Orlee Tatarka

Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski

Account Team: Jordan Muse, Jonathan Chu, Liz Lindberg

Production Company: Anonymous Content

Director: Mark Romanek

Executive Producer: Eric Stern

Director of Photography: Rob Hardy

Editorial Company: Spotwelders

Editor: Robert Duffy

Assistant Editor: Sophie Kornberg

Post Producer: Amanda Slamin

Post Executive Producer

VFX Company: Method Studios

Executive Producer: Angela Lupo

Senior Producer: Julia Newland

Lead Flame Artist/Creative Director: Randie Swanberg

Music & Sound Design

Song: Blockbuster Night Part 1

Artist: Run The Jewels

Sound Designer: Brian Emrich

Music Supervisor: Maxwell Gosling/Little Ears & Andrew Kahn/GEMS

Mix Company: Sonic Union

Mixer: Steve Rosen