Kobe Bryant Unites His Haters in Song in Nike's Farewell Ad

Brand Bows Tribute Spot Ahead of Laker Legend's Final Game

Published On
Apr 13, 2016

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Lakers all-star Kobe Bryant will play his final game tonight in Los Angeles, and Nike is sending him out with this funny, uplifting tribute that brings his haters together in glorious song.

Directed by Mark Romanek of Anonymous Content, the ad opens with Bryant scoring a last-minute winning basket during a game, thus inspiring jeers of "You suck!" from all around the arena.

He steps back, takes a deep breath and the lights dim. One by one, his opponents stand up to belt out lyrics about how much they despise him, but Kobe rises above the crowd to turn their animus into a delightful symphony.

Among the cameos showing off their pipes are N.Y. Knicks President and former Lakers and Chicago Bulls Coach Phil Jackson, L.A. Clippers' and ten-time all-star player Paul Pierce and former world champ Rasheed Wallace.

"Over a 20-year career, Kobe Bryant has been both a champion and an antagonist, an idol and an anti-hero," said W&K creative Josh Bogdan. "The beauty of Kobe is that rather than shy away from all the hate, he embraces it. He thrives off of it. And in the process, he's earned the respect of his detractors."

"In this tribute film, Nike's goal was to help people come to terms with how much they're going to miss hating him," added fellow Creative Jacob Weinstein.

Check out more tributes and some of Kobe's best ad appearances in Ad Age's roundup.