LeBron James is a multi-talented force of nature. On the basketball court, he is arguably one of the greatest players ever to play the game. Off the court, he's a philanthropist, building the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio for at-risk children to get an education.
James lent his voice to a new Nike commercial that premiered over the Memorial Day weekend on social media.
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The advertisement features other Nike athletes like Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Paul George, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Naomi Osaka, all coming back from adversity in their respective sports to win and triumph.
For James, it was the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 deficit to the then reigning World Champion Golden State Warriors during the 2016 NBA Finals. Facing elimination in three consecutive games, James led the Cavaliers to one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history, and gave the city of Cleveland their first championship in any professional sport in 52 years.
The message the commercial is trying to relay is a positive message of perseverance, courage, and overcoming adversity. It's a poignant message for people all over the world, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the lives of over 350,000 people worldwide (as of the date of this publication).
The timing of the commercial coincidentally aligns with the announcements across the globe that sports are slowly beginning to return. In Germany, the Bundesliga soccer league has already resumed its season, with many leagues across Europe reopening in the coming weeks.
In the United States, UFC returned in May, as did NASCAR last week. Both did not have fans in attendance. Major League Baseball is currently in negotiations between the league and the MLBPA to open its season in July, and the NBA is entrenched in conversations with Disney World in Orlando, Florida to host the eventual return of the NBA season.
If and when the NBA season resumes, James and the Lakers are one of the favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA title. In the Nike commercial, James' final words are: "We are never too far down to come back."
Those words are apropos not only for everyone in society during the coronavirus pandemic, but could also be applicable to James if he can bring the Lakers back from the brink and win the franchise's 17th NBA title in just his second season in Los Angeles.
The entirety of the Nike commercial narrated by LeBron James can be seen below: