Larry Bird isn't just one of the greatest basketball players to ever squeeze into a pair of short-shorts (looking like a huge tube of white dough in the process). He's also responsible for some of the best basketball-themes commercials in this universe or any other.

And I'm not referring to that commercial where he played HORSE with Michael Jordan, or even the follow-up with Charles Barkley. Those were all hype. No, I'm talking about the ones where he taught us what to eat, how to dress, and what it means to be...a hero.

7. Larry Bird and Friends versus Converse Shoes: I hope whoever came up with the concept for this commercial got buried so deeply in money and supermodels that he still hasn't been able to dig his way out.


6. Larry Bird versus Heart Disease: Try not to get too emotional as you watch Larry use his legendary acting skills to benefit the American Heart Association. I'm surprised this commercial didn't go back in time and cure every case of heart disease that ever happened.


5. Larry Bird versus Lays Potato Chips: This commercial co-starred Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and introduced us to the horror of Larry's bald head.


4. Larry Bird versus the NBA Catalog: This commerical will transport you into the magical past when NBA fans had no other choice but to send $1 through snail-mail for the chance to buy butt-ugly basketball-themes sweaters.


The sad part is, the NBA made a similar commercial that was ruined by Rick Barry's shoddy acting. This is the NBA catalog commercial equivalent of Marlon Brando (Bird) having to act alongside the guy who played Stifler in the American Pie movies (Barry).


3. Larry Bird versus A Good Meal: Have you ever dreamed of going out to dinner with a legendary basketball player and his almost equally legendary team? If so, this commerical will change your mind.


2. Larry Bird versus a Nasty-ass Hamburger: The fact that Larry became so awesome despite eating habits that are best described as "frightening" or "Jesus Christ what is he putting in his mouth?!" may be his greatest achievement ever.


1. Larry Bird versus the Hip-huggers: The best of Larry's commercials also doubles as the most bizarre. Plus, it's so 80s that just watching it will probably feather your hair and cover your shoelaces in friendship pins.


Honorable mention -- Larry and Magic versus Age: Yes, this commercial gave me chills the first time I saw it. But I could have done without seeing what Larry has transformed into. Did somebody dunk his head in toxic waste or something? Couldn't the NBA have gotten George Lucas to CGI this one?

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16 Comments:
Blogger C said...
Parrish delivers the best line in all of those: "Lobster."

though the last one has the dirtiest moment when scott baio and the blond grab the joystick together.

Anonymous Vittorio De Zen said...
Awesome list. I'd never seen most of those before.

...and yeah, I felt the same way when I saw the aging Magic/Bird spot.

Blogger Doneycat said...
Once I saw "Larry Bird" and "commercials", I just knew there had to be an old Scotch 'n Sirloin spot from the restaurant about a 3-wood from the old Boston Garden where all the Celtics ate (none of that ethnic eye-talian food for them in the North End). My Italian dad who grew up in that neighborhood looked at me like I had 3 heads when I said I wanted to eat there before a C's game.

Robert Parrish was a legend in those commercials.

Blogger chris said...
The best parody of the Magic/Bird spot comes courtesy of NorthMass, of course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5_TY4YVBHM

Blogger chris said...
Coincidentally, as the glory years of the Bird-era Celtics wound down, the Scotch 'n Sirloin in Boston shut down. Only remaining locations are in Upstate New York...

Anonymous ak dave said...
Kevin McHale can flow better than Isaiah Thomas

lol

Blogger CassavaLeaf.com said...
Has an NBA player done a decent at acting (besides Ray Allen of course)?

Blogger BJ said...
Wilt as Bombatta the double-agent guy in the second Conan movie. I don't know if you could call Chamberlain-as-barbarian decent, but he did what was required and looked really good in leathers. Where the production found a horse big enough for him to ride is one of life's mysteries.
-BJ

Blogger eric said...
what the hell kind of address is "building 73 Hanover, PA?" No street name? In all of Hanover, there's just one building addressed as 73? I wonder....

Blogger Trev said...
CassavaLeaf.com said Has an NBA player done a decent at acting (besides Ray Allen of course)?

http://www.heykobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/kareem-bruce-lee-heykobe.jpg

http://old.oscars.org/events/past/2006/airplane/airplane_still.jpg

Blogger Doneycat said...
CassavaLeaf.com said Has an NBA player done a decent at acting (besides Ray Allen of course)?

I believe the good doctor Julius Erving once saved the entire city of Pittsburgh with a fish ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079154/ )

Why Shaq hasn't done a remake, I don't know - he's a freakin' Pisces, too!

Anonymous trulyrand0m said...
...was that Billy Mays laying in the bed in the Larry Bird heart disease commercial? HOLY FORESHADOWING BATMAN!

Blogger reuben said...
I was watching the playoffs when that Bird vs. Magic spot came up, and my friend goes " Jesus christ Bird looks like shit. Magic looks so much better, and that dude has aids!"....yeah...

Anonymous Geert said...
It's kind of funny that one of the white guys (hint: not Bird) has the best flow in that converse weapon commercial, which is my favourite. Also, I love the look of total contempt when McHale puts his shoe on Isiah.

I think it's a pretty broadcastish thing to say: "McHale totally puts his shoe on Isiah when he spun around him and dunked the ball."

Anonymous Luke said...
Bald Larry Bird has a striking resemblance to the Jigsaw killer from the "Saw" movies... http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/imgs/media/film_opening_saw_v_tobin_bell_photo_lionsgate.jpg

Anonymous Anonymous said...
very good...but I hoped to also see the 1980 McChicken Commercial that Larry did :)

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