Idris Elba brings a modern, Shakespearean twist to the saga of LeBron James' NBA career in a new Nike Basketball spot highlighting the Cleveland Cavaliers star's fifteenth pro season.
In the ad from Portland-based agency Must Be Something, founded by a trio of W&K alums, Elba ("Luther," "Pacific Rim," "The Wire") delivers a powerful, theatrical voiceover heralding James' return to the stadium.
Setting up the plotline of King James' quest to reclaim the NBA Championship following his team's loss to the Golden State Warriors this year, Elba questions the motives of LeBron's challengers with a powerful speech that seems fit for the stage:
"Oh no, no why'd they go and poke the bear? Why'd they try to set fire on fire? Do they know what happens now? Did they even think about that? No, too smart for that… now they're living on borrowed time. Now is the season of their discontent.
"Wait! What is that sound? That tiny, tiny sound?" Elba asks. "Oh, I know what it is; it's the sucking sound of all hopes and dreams exiting the stadium, then boom, boom, boom. It don't stop. Boom, boom relentless, overwhelming, unforgiving, oh come on, that is sick. That's their future now, and I'd feel sorry for them if it wasn't going to be so much damn fun to watch."
All the while, a panoply of stylized clips pay homage to James: the dapper NBA pro strides past cameras, lava splashes, a lion looks ready to pounce, a rabbit and deer fee, lightning strikes and James makes basket, after basket, after basket.