By Barry Janoff
January 9, 2013: Director Spike Lee takes his second shot for the NBA's BIG campaign with a commercial that stars a bevy of great point guards, including Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson and current Lakers point guard Steve Nash.
The spot, "Disappearing Act," will break tonight (Jan. 9) during the Lakers at the San Antonio Spurs game and Dallas Mavericks at Clippers, both on ESPN, and then go into regular rotation across NBA media partners.
The first BIG spot from Lee, "King of New York," broke on Christmas Day and was an homage to Bernard King and the game in 1984 in which he scored 60 points for the New York Knicks against the then New Jersey Nets.
In "Disappearing Act," Paul is seen on the court, where he is so fast that he seems to vanish when players try to defend him. The concept, as envisioned by Lee, literally sees Paul disappear during the game and appear in a restaurant at a private booth reserved for the best point guards in NBA history.
The booth is occupied by Johnson and Nash, and on the wall behind them are photos of other great NBA point guards such as John Stockton.
"You can't sit at this table unless you are one of the premiere point guards," Lee explains in a behind-the-scenes video. "We have Magic and Chris Paul. [Chris'] moves are magical. It's like when he shakes people, he disappears. So we're taking that thinking into this spot."
Paul tries to distance himself from being called one of the greatest point guards, but Magic gets the upper hand. "I love that [this table] is reserved for only the best point guards. Don't listen to Chris — he is the best there is right now."
In the spot, Paul is seen in his Clippers uniform playing in Staples Center. The game announcer offers, "The Clippers' biggest advantage right now is the man who has the ball." As Paul attacks, we see Magic watching the game on TV. When the action returns to the court, Paul is bobbing and weaving through the defense. Then, in a poof of smoke, he is gone.
"Where did he go?" asks the bewildered announcer. "Unbelievable!"
The next scene sees CP3 appearing in a puff of smoke at the restaurant, where Magic is seated next to Nash. Paul makes himself comfortable, even taking a French fry off of Magic's plate. Johnson stares at him for a moment and then asks Paul, "Shouldn't you be headed to the hoop?"
Paul looks up at the TV screen, disappears in a cloud of smoke, reappears on the count and drives to the basket for a lay-up. Back in the restaurant, Magic flashes a big grin as the game announcer says, "[Paul] made that all out of nothing. Me-oh-my." (See the full spot here.)
"It's an awesome spot because our personalities come out," explains Magic. "The table is reserved for the best point guards ever, and [Chris] is the best in the game right now at the point guard position. there's no denying that. Don't listen to him. He belongs at the table."
In addition to directing such films as She's Gotta Have It, Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever and He Got Game, Lee has helmed several classic TV commercials, including a series for Nike's Jordan Brand in which Lee played the role of Mars Blackmon, a character he originated in She's Gotta Have It.
Nike has used the Mars Blackmon character again in spots over the past two years. Lee also hosted a Nike event last month in New York to unveil the Air Jordan XX8 kicks.
Spike Lee Pays Homage To Bernard King For NBA BIG
Back to Home Page