Dwyane Wade and the NBA Call on Young People to Make Dr. King's Dream a Reality

'Imagine all that power in you'

How should young people honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

The NBA and Dwyane Wade spell it out in "Imagine," a half-minute spot launching today ahead of the Jan. 17 national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

The film, created in-house, fuses Wade's commentary with snippets from Dr. King's July 4, 1965, "American Dream" speech, imbuing his impassioned message of hope, justice and equality with a call to action for the younger generation.

MLK Day | Imagine
  • Wade: "Imagine changing the world by appealing to the hearts and minds of your neighbors."
  • Dr. King: "If America is to remain a first-class nation, she can no longer have second-class citizens ... The time is always right to do right."
  • Wade: "Imagine all that power. Now, imagine all that power ... in you."

As they speak, we see youngsters watching archival footage of Dr. King and protest marches on TV. Ultimately, the ad urges viewers to "Honor the legacy by living it."

"Each year, the NBA honors the life and legacy of Dr. King through initiatives that bridge divides in our communities and elevates the voices of players, coaches, fans and others throughout the NBA family," notes NBA CMO Kate Jhaveri.

"Imagine" benefits from Wade's assured delivery. He sits on a front porch and talks directly into the camera, as if imparting wisdom to a friend.

"His involvement in this film stemmed from his continued commitment to use his platform to eradicate inequality and inspire others," says Jhaveri. (Wade's commitment to the cause is well known, though the 13-time all-star's MLK tattoo proved polarizing last year.)

"Imagine" breaks tonight during Celtics-Knicks action on TNT and will also run across NBA social and digital platforms. This month, all 30 teams will honor Dr. King's struggle through live activations and other activities, with the league providing updates via the #NBAonMLK hashtag.

NBA on MLK Day TV schedule:

Charlotte Hornets vs. New York Knicks – 1 p.m. ET on NBA TV
Chicago Bulls vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 3:30 p.m. ET on TNT
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks – 6:00 p.m. ET on TNT
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 10:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV

CREDITS

"Imagine" Production Credits

Kate Jhaveri - NBA CMO
Katie Papelian - Advertising Lead, NBA
Jess Park - SVP Global Fan Marketing, NBA
Julie Peters - Brand Marketing Strategist Lead, NBA
Kim Clark - VP Global Fan Marketing, NBA
Larisa Johnson - Media Marketing Lead, NBA
Rudy Crew - Director
Eric Wycoff - Director of Photography
Tri Nguyen - Editor

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