Kobe Bryant was one of the most hated players in the NBA. So before his retirement, Nike decided to embrace the hate brilliantly.
There are very few players in the game of basketball that can ignite love and hatred at the same time. If you like them and root for them, your love will know no bounds. If they demolished your favorite player and team, your searing hatred for them will be unbridled.
Kobe Bryant was arguably one of the best ever to touch a basketball. He also fits this exact mold of a player; the type that can be loved and hated.
During his tenure, Los Angeles Lakers fans worshipped Kobe, however, rival fans could not bear the sight of him.
Kobe Bryant is the conductor in a Nike commercial
Nike loves to use athletes in creative commercial setups. They have set the benchmark for creative adverts and they have been doing this for years.
Naturally, for his final year, Nike decided to do something completely out of the left field. In the commercial, you can see Kobe do his thing and demoralize a team with a tough shot.
Nike’s farewell commercial to Kobe pic.twitter.com/vj9f2SmbCs
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 13, 2021
What follows is Kobe deciding to not just hear the haters out but orchestrate their hate. The hilarious commercial features former coach Phil Jackson on piano accompanied by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
There are also cameos from ‘haters’ and rivals Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace. While rival teams’ fans may have harbored hate for Kobe for years, 2016 was when all was forgiven.
As we look back at his life, we will also look back at some of his most iconic commercials that glorify his life and career.
— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) April 13, 2016