After years of trying, McDonald’s finally redid the NOTHING BUT NET commercial that I did with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. LeBron James and Dwight Howard starred with Larry Bird doing a cameo. It was great seeing Bird again. We sat on the set for a while, reminiscing about the ‘getting more distant’ past. Bird looked at the two of them on the court and said that he got out of basketball just in time.
The athleticism of the two was astounding.
When I shot with Bird and MJ, I could actually see that I could have been on the court with them when I was younger (I played on a college team that went to the NCAA Tournament two consecutive years). That is not the case with these modern athletes. LeBron and Dwight are close to superhuman and are amazingly media savvy. Larry and Michael were both extremely camera shy and these two are completely comfortable on set.
I had seen a lot of LeBron’s previous stuff and admired his camera presence but Dwight was a complete surprise, understanding the script and adding his dose of personality. It was an interesting experiment in examining the progression of the sport. We wrapped the guys and were waiting to shoot some ‘plate shots’ for the editing and digital process. I was shooting around and shot an eighteen footer that bounced around the rim a few times then dropped through the net. LeBron was walking by on his way out. He grabbed the ball as it bounced near him and threw up a left handed hook from beyond the three point line and didn’t even watch as it went through the net without touching the rim.
As Michael Jordan would say, ‘A professional shot.’ He winked at me, putting me in my place.
It’s his world and I’m just living in it.