So Jordan Brand released a new Russell Westbrook commercial, and like most Jordan Brand commercials, and most Russell Westbrook commercials, it's pretty cool. It features a really great image of Westbrook driving a court and then taking flight for a dunk as the court turns into a runway with a wide open sky before him. It's a striking visual, and symbolic on a few levels.
What most people are noticing, however, is the tagline. "Some run, some make runways."
There are two ways to interpret this.
1. Some people just run. They move up and down the floor, and they just move. Others turn the floor into a wholly different space -- an opportunity to take flight. This is entirely about the concept of motion.
2. Kevin Durant ran away, and Russell Westbrook is making Oklahoma City his runway to take flight in his career. It seems pretty unlikely that Jordan Brand, a Nike company, would produce an ad critical of Kevin Durant, a Nike athlete. But that's the implication. If this ad was mostly produced with Westbrook and his people's input, it's certainly possible that it was part of a double etendre.
But some of this is just our projection on Westbrook. We are anticipating, and in large part hoping, that Westbrook will carry animosity for Durant's decision. The most likely scenario is that Westbrook is in large part ambivalent. Durant is gone, so he will do more. It is a personal matter that Durant A) left him, B) left him for Golden State, and C) did not even call him on the way out. But Westbrook has never given the impression that he is driven by revenge, like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant were. He's vindictive in his play (like his battles with the Denver mascot) but has never been the kind of obsessive competitor to obsess over slights.
If anything, this commercial seems more geared toward Westbrook in that he is faced with a personal challenge, the absence of Durant, and is seeing it as an opportunity to take flight. Some people run from a challenge, and instead Westbrook sees it as the opportunity to embrace a chance at greatness on his own.