For the first time in decades the NBA doesn’t have a transcendent personality. Today’s stars are very safe.
— chris palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) August 28, 2013
It’s a very rare moment when I see basketball logic I actually agree with on twitter. But this above quote from former ESPN NBA writer, & current premier basketball voice in social media, Chris Palmer; I couldn’t agree with more. It’s something that SG has been campaigning for since our inception. STOP being, safe, STOP trying to be friends, BE politically incorrect when necessary. Since “Wavey” Stern has instilled these anti-Iversonian type laws into the league, there hasn’t been a superstar personality to keep it all the way 100 in years.
The premier stars of the new generation are slowly but surely coming into their own, although none have really taken the lead as a sure shot #2 behind King James in terms of off court popularity. Each player has begun building their image through different venues. Russel Westbrook with his choices of leggings, James Harden with the Foot Locker commercials & strip club appearances. Blake Griffin’s perfectly awkward Kia ad campaign. (Dwight Howard ruined it for himself, not even in the discussion). And KD is already well on his way to being the new Grant Hill type of straight edge superstar. But the NBA still has one superstar it’s yet to capitalize on, and it’s the one who was also absent from the court the entire last season.
Derrick Rose; possibly the most talented of any of the 6 players just mentioned not named LeBron, and coincidentally the one with the least personality. Seems like the least likely candidate to become a transcendent off court presence right?
Wrong. The fact that Rose has shown no signs of emotion, humor, or charisma, ironically make him the perfect person to mold into the role of what the league is lacking right now. He’s a blank canvas. And there is an open lane for an “unsafe” superstar to arise. Although he might not be able to articulate his true personality the way a Charles Barkley or a Reggie Miller did, that shouldn’t matter. We know this because we’ve seen it before. There was a star point guard in a past era who trumped both Chuck & Reg in popularity at one point, with that very same flaw. And that was solved with a Nike logo, the creation of the Penny 1, supermodel Tyra Banks, and a then up and coming comedian named Chris Rock.
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. He was Kobe before Kobe, the D.Wade before D.Wade. But because of injuries we tend to forget that he was essentially the #1 guy(popularity wise) during Jordan’s hiatus from the league. And that was almost primarily due to the genius marketing campaign that Nike put together for him. A guy with Dr. J’s athleticism, Magic Johnson’s size & handle, a talent that screamed flash & hollywood, but without the actual personality to match. Draw the parallel to today, and it is a mirror image of Derrick Rose. No reason a MVP in one of the 4 Big Markets in the country should have a media presence as sleepy as the college class I’m typing this in.
Lowkey Adidas might need to pay me for this, because it could be a cash cow. That “The Return” campaign they ran last year ended up looking foolish, being that they couldn’t even force him back on the court. So to make up for that L, all they’d have to is pick up where Nike left off with Penny(And slide me residuals as well). Create a character to tag along D.Rose that’s the exact opposite of him, that’s what made the Lil’ Penny campaign what it was. Chris Rock voiced Lil’ Penny throwing pool parties in Penny’s mansion, talking mega s*** on the court, as well as alluding to taking down Tyra Banks. We want to see what D.Rose has been doing with this 100 million he just got from Adidas & The Bulls. I’m sure he was probably just chilling, playing 2K, & eating mad cereal. But thats not what the population wants to see. Pop some champagne, make a rap video, get caught smashing some instagram models. Essentially, just take a page out of the JR Smith’s manual. That sound preposterous I know, but I’m positive that that’s how this works.
Kevin Hart is too obvious of a person to do the voice of the alter-ego, and Sam Jackson is too old. So I’m saying Meek Mill’s yell would probably be the perfect antithesis to Rose’s voice, book that. Throw Rihanna in that Tyra Banks role for the crossover appeal, and my friends you have a smash hit. More sneakers sold, more homage paid, another Swish Legend born.
And to Adidas’ internet wave stealers and borrowers(I know ya’ll out there), we have about 4-5 close friends that just passed the bar this past summer, just fair warning that the SWISH legal team is very strong out here. Cut that check if ya’ll decide its a go. Definitely coming with the Mark Zuckerberg type law suits if not. Word to the wise.