Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were the first two to feature in a commercial when the NBA started the “There can only be one” campaign. The campaign was to advertise the 2008 playoff series.
Playoffs series in the NBA have always, over the years, seen a competitive set of games. 16 teams would compete intensely and one would take the ultimate prize as the seasons’ champions at the end.
For the series, the NBA decided the there can be only one television advertising campaign. It involved the broadcasters filming the top players from each of the teams that had qualified for the playoffs.
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal featured in the first commercial. As former teammates and friends, the two together would certainly bring a good amount of attention.
Bryant and O’Neal had played together for the Lakers for eight years between 1996 and 2004. During their time together, they achieved a famous three-peat but were later involved in an infamous feud. The feud eventually led to Shaq leaving the Lakers for Miami Heat in 2004.
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant talked about fear
Four years after they parted ways, Shaq and Kobe were together on the commercial for NBA playoffs. The two talked about fear.
“There are so many emotions at the end of the season and nobody likes to talk about it. One of them is fear. Fear is you come this far and it can all end. The dream could die. But for me? I like the fear. It means I am close. It means I am ready,” the two would say in the video.
Other stars in ‘there can only be one’ campaign were Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan, LeBron James and Kevin Garnet. There were more of such videos as the playoff series went on. Other stars like Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash among others.
Here are a few of the videos from “There can only be one” campaign-
LeBron James and Kevin Garnett
Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan
Steve Nash and Manu Ginobili
Dwight Howard and Chris Paul
Jason Kid and Chris Paul
Derek Fisher and Marcus Camby