NBA and Jordan take us down Memory Lane of 75 years of basketball

(Michael B. Jordan drives the lane in new NBA creative)

I love this spot, but the Jordan taking us down the lane ain’t the Jordan we’re thinking about. It’s award-winning actor and producer Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Black Panther, Just Mercy) driving the new NBA spot, ‘NBA Lane.’ But even without the other Michael, it’s a brilliant short film featuring just about every great to leave it on the floor. 

Created in conjunction with Translation LLC, the short film was directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope and The Mandalorian) and Emmett Malloy of the Malloy Brothers (Easy Express and The Tribes of Palos Verdes). 

Set in a fictional neighborhood where current NBA stars and legends reside, the creative effort takes fans on a journey with the personalities – past, present and future – who have written the history of the game. In the nearly three-minute film, Jordan serves as the neighborhood “Hoopbus” driver taking a group of children on a tour of the NBA neighborhood that houses 75 years of basketball culture.

As the bus rolls through the streets of the community, the passengers encounter these prolific figures in everyday settings. From former rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird becoming friendly next-door neighbors; LeBron James tending to his garden; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teaching Dirk Nowitzki the art of the hook shot; to Zion Williamson breaking a backboard at the street court, it is just another day in the neighborhood.

The tour honors both the NBA legends who have laid the foundation of the league and the current players who are shaping its future.

According to an NBA press release: “Jordan’s participation in ‘NBA Lane’ stems from his love for the game of basketball and his shared commitment in spotlighting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic, taking place on Saturday, December 18th at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., will feature an HBCU doubleheader on TNT and highlight HBCU life and culture.”

The upbeat nature of the spot at one point also takes a somber time-out to reflect on the passing of Kobe Bryant. Watch below:

“NBA Lane was created as a way to honor both the history and future of the NBA,” said NBA chief marketing officer Kate Jhaveri. “We are thrilled to bring together some of the league’s greatest players and legends to celebrate not just the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season, but also the connection fans have built with our game.”

“As someone who has been a member of the NBA Family for the past 65 years, I can truly say, like I do in NBA Lane, ‘This game just keeps getting better,’” added NBA legend Bill Russell. “Being a part of this film, alongside so many greats representing nearly eight decades of the league’s history, is a great thrill and a tremendous honor.”

Watch the Behind-the-scenes below:

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‘NBA Lane’ will begin airing on television networks Sunday, Oct. 10. 

Additionally, 30- and 60-second versions of the film will air across all platforms during the fall. More adaptations will be produced around marquee events throughout the season featuring a variety of new faces. Hopefully, these faces will include Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley, David Robinson and hello… Allen “Practice” Iverson.

And of course that other Jordan guy.


Narrator and Bus Driver:

Actor and producer Michael B. Jordan

NBA Players:

  • Carmelo Anthony (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)
  • Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
  • Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
  • LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
  • Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers)
  • Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
  • Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
  • Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
  • Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)

NBA Legends:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Ray Allen
  • Larry Bird
  • Vlade Divac
  • Julius Erving
  • Artis Gilmore
  • Manu Ginóbili
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Grant Hill
  • Robert Horry
  • Magic Johnson
  • Dikembe Mutombo
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Gary Payton
  • Oscar Robertson
  • Bill Russell
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Bill Walton
  • Jerry West
  • Mascots:
  • Benny the Bull (Chicago Bulls)
  • Boomer (Indiana Pacers)
  • Burnie (Miami Heat)
  • Chuck the Condor (LA Clippers)
  • G-Wiz (Washington Wizards)
  • Hugo (Charlotte Hornets)
  • The Raptor (Toronto Raptors)
  • Puppets:
  • Lil Penny

Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1