NBA Honors Players Who Embody Legacy, Values Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday, January 14, 2019 at 03:54PM in Dr. MArtin Luther King Jr., MLK Day, NBA, NBA, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

January 14, 2019: Paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while touting its MLK Day Jan. 21 TV national schedule, the NBA has unveiled “Banners,” which features hoops icons Bernard King, Dominique Wilkins, Dikembe Mutombo, and Vince Carter.

The 30-second spot will break on NBA TV tonight (Jan. 14) during the game between the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets.

It will then across NBA media partners including ESPN, ABC and TNT as well as NBA social media platforms.

The multi-platform effort focuses on the “many ways NBA players past and present honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy” and embody his work, goals and values.

It also highlights values of the game that are part of Dr. King Jr.’s attributes: teamwork, dedication, respect and equality, off the court and into our communities.

The league will support with digital, social media and in-arena airings of the spot, which falls under the NBA’s umbrella “This Is Why We Play” banner.”

Dr. King Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968 in Memphis.

The NBA’s five-game MLK Day national schedule features two games on NBA TV and three on TNT.

In addition to the four legends, the spot focuses on other members past and present of the NBA community who show that “NBA players . . . work year-round to bring people together and bridge divides in our communities.”

Among them: Bill Russell, Becky Hammond, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Joel Embiid.

King, Mutombo, Wilkins and Carter — who each have undertaken projects to unite and/or improve the lives of people in the U.S. and worldwide — are seen raising banners with images of these NBAers to the racers.

The spot, shot in black-and-white, offers via the voiceovers of King, Wilkins, Mutombo and Carter:  “This game of ours, it teaches many things. That greatness begins with respect. That progress embraces everyone. That our differences give us strength.

"And that because we’ve come so far, we know we can go even further.”

NBA on MLK Day schedule: 

• Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks NBA TV 12:30 PM ET
• Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks NBA TV 3 PM ET
• New Orleans at Memphis Grizzlies TNT 5:30 PM ET
• Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers TNT 8 PM ET
• Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers TNT 10:30 PM ET

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