Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 11:53 am
By Matt Moore
Under Armour has launched its first real campaign with its new stable of basketball players including Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams. The concept is built around "Are you from Here?" with "Here" being that mystical place where competition is all that matters, dribbling is poetry, and the journey is more important than the destination. "Here" is also code word for "getting your face kicked in in practice so you can be the best you can be." The ad features the new stable (Williams, Walker, along with signature athlete Brandon Jennings, and without Greivis Vasquez) in a series of grueling practice sessions in various training centers.
It's not bad, even if it's low on brand exposure for the athletes themselves. Maybe that will come with subsequent spots. It's not bone chilling, but it got a little frosty.
Here's the ad, via Dime.
Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:22 am
By Matt Moore
Don't ask us why, because it seems like the worst idea ever, to us. Brandon Jennings really wants to start some sort of feud with Kobe Bryant.
It started about a month ago. Jennings posted the picture above on Twitter of himself in a t-shirt that read "nobody likes a snake," referencing Bryant's "Black Mamba" nickname of course. Jennings also made a comment about Bryant dropping 45 and saying he needed to play wherever Bryant was playing next.
Then Jennings backed off in an interview with HoopsHype, saying it was just a joke and that Kobe was the best player in the world. OK, then. No harm done, young fella.
Except on Monday, ESPN spoke with Jennings who said said Bryant shouldn't play for the L.A.-based Drew League in thei rematch against Goodman League, or any of the other organized exhibitions, because Bryant didn't grow up in L.A.
Brandon Jennings on Kobe: "He wasnt born and raised in LA. You gotta be from LA to play for Drew. Show me a birth certificate."via Twitter / @thechrispalmer: Brandon Jennings on Kobe: ....
Jennings defended the statement on Twitter later. He's not backing down from the assertion of determining who should and who should not play for Drew League. He was adamant that he's not saying Bryant shouldn't play in Drew, just not for them in any organized competition. Far be it from me to weigh in on who should and should not play in the streetball organizations' exhibitions, it just seems notable that a third-year player who regressed last season is calling out a Hall of Famer with five championship rings. But he's right, Bryant wasn't born in L.A.. In fact, if we're going there, Bryant's more suitable to play for Italy's Eurobasket team than any team stateside, outside of maybe a Philadelphia team.
Needless to say, Brandon Jennings is taking this summer by the horns, and that brash attitude he's been known for is in full flight. We'll see if he can back it up with his play from here on out.
Posted on: August 27, 2011 6:25 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2011 7:17 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Everyone just assumed the battle for pro-am supremacy was settled when the Goodman League defeated the Drew League in Washington D.C. last week. Except there's another pretty quality league out there that's ready to throw down: the Melo League.
And they're ready to play the Goodman boys. Via HoopsWorld, on August 30, in Baltimore at St. Frances Academy, a group from the Melo featuring Carmelo Anthony (duh), LeBron James, Chris Paul, Josh Selby, Gary Neal and Donte Greene. (Interesting twist: Selby, Neal and Greene all played for the Goodman in the Drew League showdown.) Although Goodman commissioner Miles Rawles says it's not officially a Goodman team, for his group it's Kevin Durant, former Thunder buddy Jeff Green, Brandon Jennings (who played for the Drew last week) and DeMarcus Cousins. John Wall was also rumored but it's unlikely he'll play, according to the Washington Post.
The Melo is located in Baltimore (where Carmelo is of course from) and has featured a number of top notch All-Stars. The game was supposed to be Sunday but that Hurricane Irene thing sort of got in the way.
Unlike the Goodman-Drew game, it won't be streamed online anywhere, but tickets are still available. Doors are opening at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the event. Reportedly there will be a camera crew to tape a highlight reel from the game though.
This game hasn't created near the buzz of the other, but there's no doubt it's got equal star power, probably more. Durant versus LeBron? Jennings versus Paul? Melo and Jeff Green? That's some quality hoops right there.
The Melo League's got to be the favorite here. LeBron, Melo and CP3 make a pretty incredible trio. Durant and Green will have chemistry and Jennings can take over a streetball game, but that's major firepower for the Melo group. Unless of course KD decides to go all Rucker Park on everyone. Then it doesn't matter who the Melo League's got.
Posted on: August 20, 2011 10:50 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Goodman League topped the Drew League 135-134 in the highly anticipated pro-am showdown in Washington D.C. Saturday night. It came down to a controversial block/charge call that sent Kevin Durant to the free throw line where he calmly sank both to put the Goodman up one. Brandon Jennings missed a jumper with a few seconds left and Durant blocked James Harden's follow-up to seal the win.
All in all, a pretty fun night of pickup hoops during a time where any basketball at all is like manna from heaven.
And as you might expect, there were a bunch of quality plays. I mean, how could there not be in a game that featured Durant, Harden, Jennings, John Wall, Tyreke Evans, JaVale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and a couple streetball legends? So here are the top 10, compiled by Ball Is Life:
Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:06 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 10:46 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Under Armour is a well-established player in some segments of the apparal market and they've been aggressively looking to expand their reach when it comes to basketball.
Their first power play was to corner the market on young, undersized, shoot-first point guards with street cred by signing Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats. When that failed to achieve world domination, the company opted for Plan B, which apparently is to volley shots at their rivals in hopes of getting their brand name out there in any way possible.
Their vehicle for achieving brand recognition is this understated spoken word rhyme/rap poetry video advertisement that takes subliminal jabs at Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson. James and Bryant are Nike athletes; Howard is with adidas; Iverson was the face of Reebok for the better part of a decade.
"We are not royalty," the ad begins. "We don't claim crown to a kingdom we haven't earned yet."
This line, of course, is a jab at James, whose nickname is "King" and who has yet to win an NBA title.
"We don't represent the followers," the ad continues. "The ones who get bought, the Kings, the superheroes, or the snakes that get caught and wrought in something so fictional that athletes turn into actors, legacy reduced to a press conference concerning practice."
"Kings" references James again. "Superheroes" is a reference to Howard, whose nickname is "Superman" and who wore a cape while winning a Slam Dunk contest. "The snakes" is a reference to Bryant's nickname, the "Black Mamba". The press conference line, of course, recalls Iverson's infamous rant.
In case you had any doubt about the intended targets or meaning of the words, Jennings uploaded a photo of himself to Twitter wearing an Under Armour t-shirt that reads, "Nobody likes a snake." The words appear in Lakers colors: purple and gold.
This whole campaign has an obvious rap battle subtext feel. It's a David vs. Goliath tiff, as Jennings has essentially played one meaningful and memorable game in his NBA career -- the night he exploded for 55 points -- while his targets are all perennial All-Stars.
Really, this advertisement raises all the wrong questions. Which company is this for again? What's so bad about actually being an accomplished basketball player? Exactly how does a multi-channel marketing campaign entitled "Change Agents" represent a more authentic existence than the world inhabited by the game's brightest stars? Would the stars even care if Jennings is trying to make a buck off of them?
When the video fades to black, you're left picturing James, Bryant and Howard counting large piles of money, stopping briefly to dust each other's shoulders off. Oh well, I guess. At least we're talking about Under Armour for once.
A word of unsolicited advice: stunts don't sell sneakers for long.
Here's the Under Armour advertisement courtesy of YouTube user UAChangeAgents.
Top image via Brandon Jennings on Twitter.
Hat tip: IAmAGM.com and The Basketball Jones.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 3:30 pm
Posted by Royce Young
I imagine trying to check Brandon Jennings in a streetball game is sort of like trying to walk over hot coals. Eventually, you're going to get burned. He embarrassed a guy a few days ago by bouncing the ball off his head and now, he did it by going through someone's legs. Not his own, mind you.
Here's my question: Obviously the off-the-head move doesn't do you much if you pulled it in an NBA game. You'd just be seen as a showboating hotshot, which isn't beneficial. But the between-the-legs move -- that would work, right? Streetball tactics mostly don't have a place in actual games, but in some ways, I think Jennings could benefit from busting out some of this stuff.
He's one of the most creative ball handlers in the league, but he's pretty vanilla as a point guard in the NBA. Why not break out some of these nasty moves in a real game? The risk is failing and then being seen as reckless, which you don't want. But it's just like trying a behind-the-back pass or a big crossover. As long as it's not only for show and actually has a purpose, why not use it?
I think I'm just being selfish here because really, all I want is to see Jennings use that on Derek Fisher or something. Now that would be excellent.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 10:43 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Dunking after throwing the ball off the backboard to yourself has become all the rage this summer.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James did it during a charity game in Ohio. Milwaukee Bucks Brandon Jennings did it during a scrimmage in Baltimore. And now free agent guard Nick Young has done it, but with an added twist.
In the video below, Young channels former NBA Slam Dunk champion J.R. Rider by putting the ball between his legs and throwing it down after executing the off-the-glass self-pass. That's right: Young executed the famed "East Bay Funk Dunk" after collecting the ball off the backboard in mid-air.
The springy Young, who averaged 17.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game for the Washington Wizards last season, makes it look easy, but this combination takes an absurd level of leaping ability, timing and hand-eye coordination. Want to see more? Young, a California native, will bring his high-flying, high-scoring, no-passing brand of basketball to a highly anticipated exhibition game between the West Coast's Drew League and the East Coast's Goodman League in August.
Here's the video courtesy of YouTube user chumpclown.
Hat Tip: Ball Don't Lie.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 8:55 am
Posted by Royce Young
You need basketball. I need basketball. We wouldn't have it now anyway, but the prospect of not having it at all next year is a terrifying idea. That's why people have taken an odd amount of interest in players participating in exhibition games overseas.
Well, now there's going to be a pretty significant streetball exhibition and it's happening in Washington, D.C. We told you there was a possibility of this and now it's pretty much definitely happening.
The legendary Goodman League is set to take on the legendary Drew League in a showdown taking place Aug. 20. (You can watch a stream of it here.) And the rosters aren't going to disappoint.
Kevin Durant leads the Goodman and joining him will be John Wall, Ty Lawson, Gary Neal, Tyreke Evans, Michael Beasley, DeMarcus Cousins, Josh Selby, Sam Young, Donte Greene and from the And1 Tour Hugh Jones, Emmanuel Jones and Warren Jefferson.
For the Drew, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright, Brandon Jennings, JaVale McGee, Craig Smith, Pooh Jeter, Bobby Brown (Aris BC), Marcus Williams and three more players yet to be named.
Durant, of course, has been playing in the Goodman League at Barry Farms for a long time, kind of making it his second basketball home. It's sort of the place to be for good pro-am hoops on the East Coast right now. The Drew League has become the premier pro-am league on the West Coast. So it's only natural someone organized a showdown.
With a dark summer of no official basketball because of the lockout, you should be very, very excited for this. And there’s no doubt the Goodman has a major edge here. First, it’s in D.C. Second, look at that roster. KD, Wall, Lawson, Reke and Beasley are quite the core. Harden’s been tearing up the Drew (he scored 52 there a couple of weeks ago), but the Goodman roster is way better.
I mean, who the heck is guarding Durant? Dorrell Wright certainly will get the call, but the Goodman has a ton of speed. Of course, I'm hoping to see Harden on Durant for most of the game, for obvious reasons.
You can be sure this showdown will be awesome. And you can be sure I’ll be watching. You better be, too.