May 26, 2012, 5:00 PM EST
ESPN’s rafters commercials have been really good. The Kevin Durant one held the promise of future, the Paul Pierce one held the reminder of glory for a franchise that hasn’t seen a title since 2008. The new “A Champion Will Rise” commercials speak to the league’s history, and feature two of the greatest to ever play the game.
Chills, man. Chills.
It brings to light what’s at stake here. We think of champions so much in the context of the now, of this season, of this era. But that title represents so much more in the very lives of these men. For LeBron James, it’s validation, for Paul Pierce, it’s proof. For Durant, it’s a message of arrival, for Duncan, it’s joy.
The sacrifice is given in exchange for the banner, for the ring, for the title. In a month, someone’s going to have their legacy changed forever.
- Days before he faced LeBron, Paul George said Durant is NBA’s toughest cover 12
- A day later, Kobe didn’t think he played quite so bad 6
- Why question “When did basketball get so bad?” misses mark 30
- Adam Silver: NBA to consider doing away with divisions 16
- The Extra Pass: Five quick ways to improve the league; plus Monday’s Recaps 20
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (65)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (54)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (47)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (43)
- Durant tells “60 Minutes Sports” he’s still tired of being No. 2 (35)