That winning game moment isn't what you suspect in this stirring 30th anniversary film for Nike's Jordan Brand for the Chinese market.
Created by Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai and directed by Smuggler's Brian Beletic, the spot rewinds from the joyful, tearful finale of a high school basketball game, capturing the fall of confetti after a point guard makes what appears to be the winning shot of the day.
The ad continues in reverse, pausing at key points along the way --a crucial block, a locker-room pick-me-up with the coach, the guard planting a kiss on the basketball.
All throughout, the voice of Michael Jordan himself reminds the viewer that these important moments are not what win the game:
That was not the game winning shot. That was not the game winning block. The game wasn't won with flash. It wasn't the crowd, or superstition either. It wasn't coach's halftime pep talk. It wasn't hustle. It wasn't preparation. It wasn't school pride. It wasn't practice alone. It wasn't even because of me. It was this moment.
"This moment," that #23 refers to is that quiet time in the locker room, when it appears the point guard has made the decision to win.
"This is no ordinary basketball commercial," said W&K Shanghai Creative Director Azsa West in a statement. " It doesn't celebrate that you won the game or ended on a classic dunk. It celebrates what you did to get there, and it all began before you stepped on the court. Compared to kids in the States, Chinese kids are little bit shy. I think this film will encourage them to have the determination and courage to win. It's all about having the confidence to go out there and win. "