NBA 75

What is NBA Lane? 10 nuggets from the NBA film that walks through basketball history

NBA Lane
NBA Lane [NBA.com]

Set in a fictional neighborhood where current NBA stars and legends reside, "NBA Lane" takes fans on a journey with the personalities - past, present and future - who have written the history of the game.

In the three-minute film, superstar actor Michael B. Jordan serves as the neighborhood "Hoop Bus" driver taking a group of children on a tour of the NBA neighborhood that houses 75 years of basketball culture.

As the bus rolls through the streets of the community, the passengers encounter these prolific figures in everyday settings. From former rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird becoming friendly next-door neighbors to LeBron James tending to his garden to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teaching Dirk Nowitzki the art of the hook shot to Zion Williamson breaking a backboard at the street court, it is just another day in the neighborhood.

The tour honors both the NBA legends who have laid the foundation of the league and the current players who are shaping its future.

The film features a star-studded cast of 14 current NBA stars, 21 NBA legends, seven NBA mascots and one famous NBA puppet.

Take a look at 10 nuggets that NBA fans should look for throughout the video.

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird as neighbors

The video starts off with two familiar foes sending each other a very friendly "howdy neighbor!"

Johnson and Bird's showdown dated back to their college days, where Johnson's Michigan State team defeated Bird's Indiana State team in the National Championship game. As you know, the two went on to be selected by rival franchises in the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, respectively, setting the stage for what would become one of the greatest player rivalries in the history of the game.

Johnson and Bird faced off in three NBA Finals against each other, with the Lakers winning two of those titles to the Celtics' one. Between 1980 and 1989, there were only two seasons that ended with someone other than Johnson or Bird winning the title, while Johnson and Bird earned five of the 10 MVP awards handed out during the 1980s.

Dwyane Wade's "this is my house" celebration

One of the signature moments of Wade's career was jumping on the scorer's table at American Airlines Arena in Miami after hitting a running, game-winning 3-pointer back in 2009. He brings that moment back to life in a neighborhood scene, standing in his own driveway yelling, "this is my house!"

Oscar Robertson reading the newspaper about Russell Westbrook breaking his triple-double record

It's only right that Robertson and Westbrook live next door to each other in this neighborhood as the two triple-double kings in NBA history. You can see Robertson reading the newspaper on Westbrook breaking his longstanding triple-double record, which occurred this past NBA season.

Robertson tallied 181 triple-doubles over his Hall of Fame career, a record that seemed unbreakable at the time of his retirement in 1974. Westbrook surpassed that total in 2020-21, upping his tally to 184 triple-doubles and counting - a record that may truly never be broken.

Also, Michael B. Jordan telling the kids on the bus, "that's the flyest dresser in the NBA," in regards to Westbrook, who often claims that crown, was a nice touch.

Dirk Nowitzki learning the signature skyhook from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Nowitzki had a signature move of his own - the one-legged fadeaway - but it was cool to see him learning a different signature move from the NBA's all-time leading scorer. Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 points are the most in NBA history and his unstoppable skyhook played a big part in that point total.

Trae Young pouring ice into a cooler

One of the best nuggets in the video is a nod to Young's nickname "Ice Trae." The star guard only had a quick snippet in the film but it's fitting that he was filling up a cooler with a bag of ice to pay homage to his nickname - something loyal NBA fans would pick up on right away.

Robert Horry throwing up a peace sign plus five

This was a quick one, but another nugget that NBA diehards would chuckle at immediately. On the outdoor court, "Big Shot Bob" chucks up a quick peace sign, then adds five more fingers up on his other hand to signify his seven championships. Horry's seven NBA titles are the most in NBA history by a player who wasn't a part of the Celtics dynasty from the 1950s and 60s.

Dikembe Mutumbo's finger wag as the crosswalk signal

There was plenty of attention to detail in this "NBA Lane" neighborhood, with even the crosswalk signals getting a basketball makeover. The walk sign was the NBA logo silhouette, but the "don't walk" sign shifted over to the signature Mutumbo finger wag.

Devin Booker pays tribute to a Kobe Bryant mural in his antique car

Booker pulls up behind the "Hoop Bus" in one of his sweet antique cars, pulling over to recognize and honor a massive Kobe Bryant mural. It's only right that Booker was the player to take part in this scene, as the Bryant mural reads "Be Legendary," a moniker that the late great Kobe penned to Booker when signing his uniform for a jersey swap. Bryant was Booker's idol and the Phoenix Suns' superstar even got the phrase tattooed on his forearm.

On the classic car front, this continued a trend Booker created during the Suns' 2021 NBA Playoff run. Before every home playoff game, the star shooting guard would drive into the Suns' garage in a different retro whip that would make its way to a viral social media video.

LeBron James' chalk toss - garden edition

This one doesn't need much explanation and it's good for a laugh. The LeBron chalk toss was a staple of his pregame ritual early on in his NBA career and this time, we see it in his backyard. James is tending to his garden and instead of planting the seeds, he used his signature chalk toss to spread them out across the soil.

"Now that's just fun" with Kawhi Leonard

Spinning off of Leonard's famous inaugural press conference with the Toronto Raptors where he stated, "I'm a fun guy," when the hoop bus passes by the superstar forward, Jordan says to the kids on the bus, "now that's just fun." All smiles, Kawhi once again proves he really is a fun guy.

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