Amazing NBA YouTube video: is it an ad?

More than 3 million people have watched a video in which an NBA star is humiliated by an ordinary Joe.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

This YouTube video was shot in Stockwell, London. (So were several innocent passers-by.)

But that's not what makes it just a teeny bit suspicious.

It features Devin Harris, the point guard of the New Jersey Nets, who happened to be in London last week on a promotional tour. (Part of which included the onerous task of playing the Miami Heat in a game that mattered not at all.)

Out of a seeming nowhere appears Englishman Stuart Tanner. He looks frightfully underdressed for the task at hand. His sweater and jeans are out of place next to Harris's Nets t-shirt and sweat pants.

Yet, in a miracle that defies logic, reason, credulity and eyesight, Tanner enters into 1 on 1 combat with Harris.

First, he feints Harris into an abject misdirection. Then, in an act of blindingly arrogant brilliance, he bounces the ball through Harris's legs (in European football, we call this a 'nutmeg'. Oh, don't ask me why) before sinking a perfect jump shot. It is all quite life-affirming.

How far does the Brotherhood go? CC Howieluvzus

If not exactly David and Goliath, this is certainly David Beckham being humiliated by something of a Holly Golightly.

Which is exactly what gives one pause to wonder.

Firstly, Mr. Harris takes his humiliation far too well. I know he was once part of Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks team, one that got used to winning every game but the big one. But still, his generosity is peculiar. A real pro would, like John McCain, wear his irritation on his lips.

Secondly, Mr. Tanner is a 28-year-old basketball coach who failed to make the Milton Keynes Lions squad five years ago. For American readers, this might be the equivalent of failing to make an intramural scrimmage. At Appalachian State. British basketball is little stronger than Fijian ice hockey.

Mr. Tanner would normally have as much chance of beating Mr. Harris as Mark Cuban has of becoming the Commissioner of the NBA.

So, as with so many of the more amusing, daring or just plain fascinating YouTube videos, one is tempted to be suspicious. One is tempted to wonder if it's an ad. And one is tempted to search for the money.

Could it be that this is the work of Adidas, the company that sponsored the coaching clinic that Mr. Harris attended?

Or could it be that Mr. Tanner somehow managed to outwit an NBA star not once, but twice, with moves that would have jerked Jack Nicholson's ample buttocks up from his Lakers courtside chair?

Mr. Tanner's brother, Greg, who shot the video, says that Stuart was a streetballing legend in the early years of this century. This was, he says on his blog, a genuine rekindling of his brother's 'old magic' at the expense of an NBA star.

The video has already enjoyed more than 3million views. Perhaps you could add to those numbers and let me know if you think it's an ad.

And then if all of you at Google could let me know if Mr. Schmidt charged Adidas for it. Thank you.