By Barry Janoff
February 7, 2014: Anthony Davis is considered to be a rising star in the NBA.
Now he literally gets that distinction with his first spot in the All-Star Game plus a bevy of ads starring the New Orleans Pelicans' second-year forward.
Davis finished seventh in the Western Conference Front Court voting, but was named by NBA commissioner Adam Silver today as a replacement for Kobe Bryant, who was voted onto the team but is still out of action due to a knee injury.
Bryant, who has played in just six games this season, requested that fans did not vote for him, but he still received nearly 989,000 votes.
The 6' 10", 220 lb. Davis will also play for Team (Chris) Weber in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Game, which features NBA rookies and sophomores, as part of All-Star Weekend, which will take place in the Pelicans newly renamed home venue, Smoothie King Arena.
Davis being named to the All-Star Game coincides with his appearance in two new spots for Foot Locker: "Disguise" along with James Harden of the Houston Rockets; and "Buzzer Beater," which supports Kids Foot Locker. Both spots are from BBDO, NY.
Davis has a shoe deal with Nike, and has appeared in spots for Boost Mobile and the NBA on ESPN.
The Pelicans dedicated their home Web site page to a congratulatory message for Davis, requesting fans to do likewise via Twitter.
He ended up seventh in the Western Conference Front Court voting with 286,247, behind Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, LeMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan.
In the "Disguise" Foot Locker spot with Harden, Davis walks out of a Foot Locker store laden with bags of shoes and gear and sees into a Hollywood-type make-up trailer parked out front. Inside, he finds Harden trying on various disguises.
"James, what are you doing?" asks Davis.
"It's February at Foot Locker," Harden replies. "They got fresh new gear coming in all month. I'm James Harden," he continues as make-up artists work on him. "I don't want to get mobbed when I shop. I need a disguise."
The one he chooses features a unibrow, for which Davis is known.
"I'm going to be you," explains Harden.
"But I'm famous, too," says Davis. (See the full spot here.)
"I would disagree," Harden responds with a smile.
The Kids Foot Locker "Buzzer Beater" spot opens with a youngster playing hoops in his front yard.
"It's do or die — Alex Taylor has the ball for the final shot," the kid says aloud as he dribbles a basketball. "He's looking unstoppable in his new February gear from Kids Foot Locker."
As he continues to dribble, he reenacts a clock shot winding down. "Three . . . two . . . one . . ."
Alex puts up a shot, only to find Anthony Davis, wearing his Pelicans uniform swooping in to block it.
"Rejected by Anthony Davis," Davis boasts in his best TV announcer voice as a bewildered Alex looks on. "The stadium is shaking! The fans have never seen anything like this in their life before! Davis is unbelievable. The crowd is chanting, 'MVP! MVP!'
The spot — reminiscent of a Geico commercial from last year with former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, who blocks everything from waste being thrown into a garbage can to a box of cereal a kid shopping with his mom is tossing into a cart — continues as Davis runs back to his car and drives away.
"MVP! What a hustle play," yells Davis. (See the full spot here.)
The Foot Locker spots are running during NBA programing and should appear during telecasts of All-Star Game events on ESPN and TNT. Foot Locker is title sponsor of the Three-Point Contest, which will take place on Feb. 15, the dray before the All-Star Game.
this season, Davis, the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, is averaging 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and an NBA-leading 3.3 blocks through his first 40 games for the Pelicans.
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