After a year of hearing critics tell him he took the easy way out, Kevin Durant responded by winning his first NBA championship. More accurately, Nike responded on his behalf by releasing a pointed commercial that took on all the haters.
Durant not only won his first title, but was named the MVP of the series. Many felt like Durant made the worst possible move by joining the team he was unable to beat as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant’s critics were not just fans. He heard feedback from former NBA greats that thought he made the wrong move. Some former players questioned his competitiveness. The move created tension in his relationship with former teammate Russell Westbrook.
The Nike commercial starts out with a clip of Durant playing for the Seattle Sonics during his rookie season. The announcer talks about how Durant is too skinny, and will be unable to compete in the NBA. It is a reference to some of the critiques of his game as he entered the NBA out of Texas.
One by one, the commercial goes through all the obstacles Durant overcame to win his first NBA championship. The middle of the commercial shows Durant signing with the Warriors. “Traitor. Weak. Gravy Train,” the critics react to Durant leaving the Thunder.
Yes, there is even a cupcake reference. The final scene shoes Durant celebrating winning the title.
It cuts to the room full of critics who are all silent. “Debate This” the text reads before fading to the Nike logo.
After winning the championship, Durant appeared overjoyed as he celebrated with his mother, Wanda Durant.
During the finals, Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists. While it may have been Durant’s first title, the Warriors have plenty of talent to think a repeat performance is possible.