‘Tis the Season

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Best NBA Christmas Commercials of All-Time

Christmas is always a time to make memories with friends and family. The NBA has made it a point to showcase some of the league’s best talent on Christmas, and those games have given us some iconic matchups, moments, and highlights to enjoy.

An often under appreciated part of the entire NBA Christmas production are the commercials that would promote the Christmas games and advertise NBA Christmas merchandise.

Over the years, there have been some truly creative and innovative commercials that have come along. Here’s a list of the best NBA Christmas commercials in no particular order.

1. NBA’s Greatest – TNT, 2011

First on the list is an entry created by Turner Network Television for the 2011 Christmas games. The commercial features past and then (2011) present NBA stars that have taken part in the iconic Christmas showcase.

Bringing together both past and present legends for one commercial was truly genius, as it not only connected the past generation of stars to the stars of that time, but it also allowed fans from different generations connect with each other on more personal levels.

Seeing Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson make the walk out of the tunnel in Boston’s Garden is enough to give goosebumps to both parent and child.

Wilt Chamberlain swatting away a Dwight Howard hook shot would’ve surely opened a debate among the old timers that saw Wilt in his prime versus the new generation convinced that Dwight could stand a chance.

This link between past and present, and the connections between generations of basketball, and family gives this commercial a spot on the list.

2. BIG Color – NBA, 2012

This next commercial is a short 30 second clip, but it incorporates an unique use of basketballs as instruments.

In promotion of the Christmas jerseys to be worn during the 2012 Christmas games, the NBA had stars Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Joe Johnson, Russell Westbrook, and Dwayne Wade dribble basketballs to the tune of famous Christmas song Carol of The Bells.

It was a creative use of basketballs, and the sound produced from the basketballs hitting the court sounded as close as a dribble can sound in comparison to an acapella performance of Carol of The Bells.

3. Jingle Hoops – NBA, 2013

The marketing team over at NBA headquarters provided an even better sequel to the previous years’ BIG Color advertisement. Once again promoting the Christmas edition jerseys, this time the NBA had stars Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, James Harden, and LeBron James shoot (and dunk) basketballs to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Rose, Durant, Curry, Harden, and Nash shot threes from the perimeter, with their corresponding basket tuned to a specific note in the jingle, and the commercial ends with LeBron dunking the basketball for the last note of the song.

There haven’t been many NBA Christmas commercials like this one for a while, and it’s likely one of the most memorable NBA Christmas commercials to come out in recent years. There’s even a behind the scenes clip on YouTube providing a little insight into how the commercial was made.

4. The Most Dunktastic Time of the Year – NBA, 2016

Blake Griffin is a talented dude, on and off the court. In this commercial for the NBA, Griffin is singing part of the NBA’s rendition of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Griffin isn’t the only NBA Player to get in on the singing though.

Kevin Love, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Draymond Green, Zach LaVine (he talk-sings his line), Victor Oladipo, and D’Angelo Russell (he also nearly talk-sings his line) all get some lines for the song.

The mix of both decent singing from guys like Griffin, Love, and Oladipo, and not-as-decent singing from LaVine and Russell make this commercial all the more funny and all the more awkward. For that reason, it deserves a spot on this list.

5. Ballin’ in a Christmas Wonderland – NBA, 2019

Along the same lines of 2016’s It’s the Most Dunktastic Time of the Year commercial, in 2019 the NBA gave us their remix of Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

This time, instead of having the players sing the song, the NBA hired a singer to perform the song.

The replacement of the basketball with a snowball seemed kind of odd, but understandably it was done in an effort to holidify (if that’s even a word) the commercial, so no harm done. The lyrics of the song match a basketball theme, and it’s still a great commercial in itself, even if the Raptors got humiliated on the two plays they were in throughout the entire commercial.

Christmas 2020 Schedule

Pelicans vs. Miami Heat – 12pm EST

Warriors vs. Bucks – 2:30pm EST

Nets vs. Celtics – 5:00pm EST

Mavericks vs. Lakers – 8:00pm EST

Clippers vs. Nuggets – 10:30pm EST

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