Nick Collison claims Kevin Durant hi-jacked his commercial.
The Thunder’s reserve power forward insists the Gatorade spot that’s shown ad nauseam originally starred him, not Durant.
“Actually it’s my commercial,” Collison said. “I was surprised at how much airtime Kevin got. It was supposed to be my commercial. I don’t know if they thought he was just more camera-friendly or what.”
Collison, of course, was joking. And Durant, of course, doesn’t mind.
“I’ll take that,” Durant said. “He deserves it.”
Which is why Collison was a part of it in the first place.
Durant asked Collison and fellow teammates Nate Robinson, Royal Ivey and Cole Aldrich to join him in his most prominent promotional shoot yet. The commercial is called Durant’s Edge as part of Gatorade’s G series to promote the sports drink’s products that are said to enhance athletes’ preparation, performance and recovery. You can’t possibly watch an NBA game or tune into SportsCenter without catching the commercial on every other break.
Rarely do you see a star player’s actual teammates included in a commercial of this magnitude. But Durant didn’t think much of his teammates’ inclusion. Durant said the producers of the commercial asked him to get some teammates, so he did.
“The rest is history,” Durant said. “They wanted my teammates and they got them.”
Durant will have you believe he didn’t put much thought into their inclusion. “I just picked them,” he said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. Those are the first guys I (saw) that day. I asked them if they wanted to be a part of it and they said OK. And it turned out pretty good.”
But we’ve seen Durant do similar favors for teammates. In the past, Durant has asked magazines to include teammates on the cover with him. And he has pulled strings to get teammates invitations to ball with President Barack Obama. Much like his request to have Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic join him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Durant’s selection of Robinson, Aldrich, Collison and Ivey is another example of how he funnels attention to lesser known teammates who might otherwise consistently get overshadowed.
“It was cool of Kevin to ask us to be in it,” Collison said. “It’s just another example of him looking out for his teammates.”
The shoot, which was filmed inside Oklahoma City Arena, took roughly eight hours. That’s an awfully long time for a 30-second spot. The players, though, had fun with it.
“We did probably 25 or 30 takes of each scene until they got it perfect,” Robinson said. “Each time it got funnier and funnier.”
What fans also might not know is a few members of the Thunder’s actual support staff was included as well. Two of the guys in the white shirts behind the bench after Durant’s dunk are team employees. One of them hands Durant a Gatorade. And the guy stretching Ivey at the 20-second mark is the team’s real strength and conditioning coach, Dwight Daub. Each extra that made the cut got a cut, which makes it all even sweeter.
“It’s kind of fun to see how they create something like that. It was a cool experience for me,” Collison said. “I’ve never been able to see anything like that before.”
One of the coolest aspects of the commercial is how the cameras do two or three extreme close-ups on the Gatorade but inevitably zoom in on ‘Oklahoma City’ or the ‘OKC’ logo on Durant’s uniform. It’s another way the Thunder has put the city on a national stage.
“That was cool,” Durant said. “I consider Oklahoma City my home, my second home outside of Maryland. So I always represent them as much as I can. Just to see Oklahoma City on a national commercial like that was pretty cool. I’m just trying to rep as much as I can.”
Thus far, Durant couldn’t do done a better job of taking his teammates along for the ride whenever possible.
“It was awesome,” said Robinson. “That’s what type of guy he is. He’s a cool dude. It’s just funny, because every time we watch it it brings back those memories. It was just a good day.”
Collison, who first saw the complete commercial when Durant put it on Twitter, still isn’t sick of seeing it — no matter how much airtime it gets.
“That’s probably the only commercial I’ll ever be in, so I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it,” Collison said.