Issue 74: Commercial Break: NBA and WNBA Fans in TV Ads

This issue is brought to you by The Fan Project.

Want to see more women’s sports? We do too! The Fan Project is an ambitious movement that’s out to prove the demand for women’s sports and convince broadcast executives, investors, and brand sponsors to invest more in women’s sports. To do this, we’re asking fans to share their social media data so researchers can anonymously analyze it and write a hard-hitting report that proves fans want more women’s sports.

To thank you for your participation, The Fan Project is giving you a free #SHEDIDTHAT shirt, tote, or the chance to hang out (virtually) with one of their incredible athlete ambassadors. Pau Gasol, Laurie Hernandez, Abby Wambach, and Andy Dalton are just a few of the athletes who will be hanging out with fans who donate their data. To learn more about The Fan Project and donate your data, visit the link here!

As long as there’s been basketball, there have been things to sell. And pro players are more than willing to jump headfirst into a commercial to shill their favorite products (or at least make a ton of money shilling a product).

Of course, not all commercials are created equal, so let’s take a look at five of my favorites. We’ll be covering local commercials in a future issue. For now, enjoy the finest national spots. 

Bobi and Tobi Go for the Handful

I’ve been singing the praises of Boban Marjanovic for quite some time. The man is a national treasure and bona fide movie star. 

He also has enormous hands, and uses them to great effect with his pal Tobias Harris. This duo has such an enjoyable chemistry already (no wonder they have their own online web series), and when you add Goldfish Crackers to the mix, it’s a winning combo.

And now I want some Goldfish Crackers, but I imagine that’s unrelated.

There are two spots in this video below, and I cannot decide which one I like more between the two. What’s your favorite?–C70bM

Chiney Ogwumike Dropping Rhymes for DoorDash

Chiney Ogwumike is a certified baller. She played in three Final Fours at Stanford, won the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 2014, and has made two WNBA All-Star teams. She’s also Vice President of the WNBA Players Association, has a sweet endorsement deal with Adidas, and hosts a national radio show for ESPN.

On top of all that, Ogwumike has some impressive rhyming skills. Thank goodness DoorDash saw that and let her show them off in this commercial.

We see Ogwumike dribbling around a basketball court that is just full of traps. A door pops up near halfcourt; she rings the bell to deliver some tacos al pastor and goes on her way. Floating ice cream scoops and the court turning into pad thai noodles are navigated with similar grace.

My favorite rhyme here is “deep dish, the net goes swish,” especially as it’s coupled with a deep dish pizza breaking seamlessly into six slices as it splashes through the net.

I grew up in Chicago, and I can tell you it is IMPOSSIBLE to cut a deep dish pizza that cleanly.

Rudy Gobert Gives High Fives to Vivint Employees

Who doesn’t enjoy a good high five? Basketball players are dishing them out all the time. But you don’t have to be a baller to slap some skin.

I’ve mentioned my pal Rutherford in this newsletter before (not his real name but how good would it be to know a Rutherford?), and we had a delightfully fun high-fiving night a few years ago.

We were sitting at a bar that had an outdoor section right up along the street. I asked him how many people he thought would give me a high five if I just stuck my hand out in a high-five manner, without actually saying anything. 

He guessed some small amount, like four or five out of ten. It probably won’t shock you to hear I proved him wrong immediately. The first eight people that walked by connected with my hand. And I’m convinced the ninth did nothing simply because he was yelling to a friend down the street.  

Anyway, the high five is regarded around the world as a way to show praise and motivate others. But when Rudy Gobert, a seven-foot man, hits up the Vivint offices, it leads to some potentially dangerous workplace environments.

The first time I saw this commercial, I audibly cackled at the “twist” ending. I hope you have a similar experience. 

Carlos Boozer Ain’t Eating Without Hot Sauce

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least 23 times: Carlos Boozer is a fascinating human being. 

Whether he was drawing fake hair on his head or accidentally punching a referee in the groin, he has no shortage of entertaining moments.

This commercial might top them all, though.

As part of an NBA on ESPN promo, Boozer is enjoying a nice meal with his pals Danilo Gallinari and Jon Barry. But after dishing out the eats, Barry delivers some devastating news.

There’s no hot sauce in this bag. 

Boozer, understandably, is distressed. And he takes it about as well as one could expect, jumping out of the door of the moving RV.

It’s very reminiscent of the equally delightful scene in Lady Bird, which is a fantastic movie. I think I’ma watch it tonight, in fact! 

Vince Carter Has a Day in the Neighborhood with His Nikes

This one has all the feel of a local commercial, but with a bit better production value (you know, because Nike is a billion-dollar company). 

We find a young Vince Carter heading to a Toronto Raptors game, though quite a bit happens along the way, all while “Brand New Day” by Joe Budden shines on in the background.

Pick your favorite move here. I’m torn between three myself. It could be Carter grabbing a cat out of a tree and then delivering it to its owner via a fadeaway jumper.

Or maybe it’s when Carter thwarts a purse thief by taking a charge (though it very easily could have been called a blocking foul).

Perhaps it’s how Carter gets ready for his game by tearing off his suit in one fell swoop. Whatever you choose, it’s glorious, and I’m glad we have it in our lives.

Share Crisp Bounce Pass with a friend and score some free stuff!

You’re an awesome person, so why not use that charm to grab some free stuff?

If you refer three people, you’ll be included as a Super Fan. Get ten people to sign up and you’ll score access to my Short Story Sunday newsletter. And if 25 people sign up from your link, I’ll send you a free mug or t-shirt.

Grab your personal referral link here:

Or use one of the buttons below. Thanks for helping spread the word!

The Betting Area

If betting is legal in your state, you can play at BetRivers and BetMGM AND score a deposit match up to $250 or $500, depending on your state.


Get an instant deposit match up to $250 at BetRivers.


Get an instant deposit match up to $250 at BetRivers.

Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Virginia

Get an instant deposit match up to $500 at BetMGM.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/PA/IL) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only) or 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789.


Other Reads and Watches

Dave Wilson: A profile on likely WNBA #1 pick Charli Collier

Yaron Weitzman: The NBA’s GM Kingmaker

Rohan Nadkarni: The trade that saved Caris LeVert’s life

Dan Devine: Third-Quarter Awards, Surprises, and Disappointments

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


P.S. Did you get this post shared with you? Subscribe to Crisp Bounce Pass here.