The NBA’s 75th anniversary celebration began well before the start of the 2021-22 regular season, but the campaign tips off on Tuesday night with great fanfare. In advance of the opening night doubleheader featuring the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, the folks at TNT released a six-minute video featuring some of the league’s current stars recreating iconic moments from decades past.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 19, 2021
The video is full of memories entrenched in the minds of basketball fans, narrated with the NBA’s present-day standouts sharing their thoughts on those that came before them. The nostalgia is significant, much in the way the league presented with its short film “NBA Lane” earlier this month, and the idea is also spot-on in putting the current stars in position to be captured in a reverent way.
Throughout the video presentation, superstars dress in throwback fashion, replicating some of their idols. For example, Kevin Durant stands in the shoes of Spurs legend George Gervin, to whom he is often compared due to a slender frame and smooth style. Elsewhere, Rudy Gobert recreates an iconic Bill Russell moment after a gripping rebound, Chris Paul models Bob Cousy as one of the game’s legendary point guards, and Kawhi Leonard puts together an iconic scoop shot from Dr. J.
One moment that stands out is Jayson Tatum as Kobe Bryant, with Tatum stating plainly that Bryant is “the reason I fell in love with basketball” back when Tatum was in sixth grade. There are several additional scenes, including Draymond Green as Dennis Rodman, Trae Young bowing to the crowd as Reggie Miller, and Luka Doncic recreating a Dirk Nowitzki fadeaway that is sure to bring feels to those in Dallas.
The league will be releasing a 75-player list of the game’s greats, in addition to work from ambassadors like Bob Pettit, in an effort to promote the history of the NBA and grow the game. This video is another intriguing step to that goal, and any long-time basketball appreciator will have memories jogged throughout the presentation.