NBA legends and famous fans gather to salute the majesty of the Finals

Dwyane Wade plays toastmaster in a Gatsbyesque affair

Published On
May 20, 2024

Editor's Pick

The prestige, excitement and memorable performances of past NBA Finals are brought to life in a Gatsbyesque ballroom where jewels dangle from the net of a golden basketball hoop, champagne flows and a roomful of celebrities and NBA legends toast the forthcoming arrival of the sport’s championship series.

“Here’s to those who make this event unmissable,” says the toastmaster, three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade, in a long-form cut of the ad (above).

The cast includes former NBA champions Ray Allen, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson; broadcaster Mike Breen; Chicago Sky WNBA rookies (and college champions) Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese; and famous fans such as Queen Latifah, Ken Jeong and Jimmy Kimmel.

There’s plenty to delight the NBA fan. As Wade delivers his speech, iconic moments from the NBA Finals are summoned in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Breen cannot help but interrupt Wade’s toast to deliver his famous “Bang!” exclamation. Johnson executes a no-look pass (of a napkin), and Allen makes his appearance seated in a corner, a reference to his remarkable three-point shot in the closing seconds of Game 6 of the 2013 finals.

“The Toast” comes from the creative agency Translation, which brought similar energy and imaginative flair in rendering the NBA’s In-Season Tournament as a crime caper. The same agency also handled the recent NBA playoffs campaign, known as “It’s A Thing.”

Dave Laden directed the spot. 

A 30-second version of the Toast “The Toast” premiered Sunday night during the Timberwolves-Nuggets conference semifinal on TNT. It will live across all NBA social and digital platforms. The campaign will also be extended to out-of-home, digital, audio and print assets including a pop-up activation at the Governor’s Ball Music Festival in New York from June 7-9.

The NBA Finals tip off on June 6 on ABC.

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