Sports | August 23, 2020 7:01 pm

Watch Kendrick Lamar Narrate Nike’s New Kobe Bryant Ad

The ad is part of a larger week-long event honoring Bryant

Still from "Mamba Forever" ad
A scene from Nike's new ad.

This weekend would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday. While 2020 has featured a number of posthumous honors for the basketball great, it’s not surprising to see another tribute to Bryant emerge on his birthday weekend. And it probably doesn’t hurt that it’s narrated by another celebrity with close tie to Los Angeles.

Nike unveiled the commercial, titled “Better: Mamba Forever,” which features narration by Kendrick Lamar. Pitchfork’s article on the ad notes that it’s not the only tribute to Bryant released this weekend: Snoop Dogg and ESPN teamed up for one on Sunday.

“Kobe taught us to be better,” Lamar says, before segueing into a litany of ways in which Bryant acted as an inspiration. Juxtaposed with his words and a piano melody are scenes of athletes, artists and activists.

The overall effect is of a concise and moving tribute to Bryant. Nike is also in the midst of “Mamba Mentality Week,” an event bringing together athletes to discuss elements of Bryant’s philosophy and career. The week will also see the release of a new edition of Bryant’s iconic shoe, Kobe V Proto “Big Stage.”

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