If your consumer habits are dictated by small cloth patches on the right breasts of tall men, then you, my friend, are in luck. Starting this season, at least 12 NBA teams will have the option of selling ad space on their uniforms. Notable among them: the Milwaukee Bucks will be sponsored by the Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson; the addition of General Electric’s logo will be the first big alteration to the Boston Celtics’ primary uniform since before Bob Cousy sliced up defenses because he could dribble in a circle; the Brooklyn Nets announced they will sport an Infor patch, which is bound to send those dozens of Nets fans into a collective tizzy. The ads, thankfully, aren’t as prominent as the chest-spanning billboards found in soccer, but this is still uncharted territory for a major American sports league. Luckily, for other NBA teams looking to do some corporate synergizing, we at Men’s Journal are happy to offer some suggestions.
Team: The New York Knicks
Herbalife is a Ponzi scheme; the Knicks are the emotional equivalent. Just as Herbalife will leave you desperate and broken with nothing but 35 pounds of unsold Orange Cream protein shake powder, Knicks fandom will leave you sitting in ripped underwear chewing cigerette butts at 3am, scouring Youtube’s deepest recesses for proof that Ognjen Jaramaz will totally be a legitimate NBA player. Spoiler: he won’t be.
Team: Chicago Bulls
Sponsor: United States Military
I dare you to name a more iconic (prospective) duo than the Chicago Bulls and the United States Military. The Bulls already have their eyes set on the next year’s draft; the Army has lots of big green gun trucks. Tanking and tanks. Don’t think about it too hard. It works.
Team: Golden State Warriors
Sponsor: Silicon Valley
Yes, I know Silicon Valley is a place and not a company, but it should collectively sponsor the Golden State Warriors. On the surface, the Warriors and Silicon Valley are the future, an unimpeachably good one at that — one where basketball is beautiful and Chipotle delivers. Look deeper, though, and Silicon Valley is full of creeps who literally consume people’s youth, and the Dubs are led by a creep who wants to drink Scarlett Johansson’s bath water.
Team:Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard is the best rapping athlete since Jim McMahon, so he’d fit in nicely with Tidal’s roster of musicians. Tidal is often ignored, despite the fact that it hosts exclusive releases for America’s de facto royal family. Similarly, the Trail Blazers are often forgotten about, even with one of the NBA’s most dynamic backcourts.
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Although the Cleveland Cavaliers are, in actuality, sponsored by Goodyear, they should ditch them for Chik-Fil-A. Chik-Fil-A presents modern society’s greatest moral dilemma: those baptist dillweeds are horrible people, but, fuuuck, is their chicken good, and I would bathe in Polynesian sauce if I could. In the same vein, Lebron James and the Cavs are so entertaining and good that it’s easy to forgot that their owner, Dan Gilbert, is a greasy conman with the emotional stability of one of his company’s subprime mortgage loans.
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Sponsor Life Alert.
Besides Kawhi Leonard, nearly every rotation player is approaching basketball dotage. The Spurs are old. Old people use Life Alert. Isn’t that a funny joke? I feel like you’re not laughing, so let me explain. Old people use Life Alert and the Spurs are old, but not like old old--they’re just at the age where it’s becoming increasingly unfeasible for them to play professional basketball much longer. Accordingly, their utility in the eyes of the public is declining, because, really, we don’t conceive of the players as people, but instead as ciphers which exist for solely our pleasure and can be easily discarded if they don’t measure up to the completely arbitrary standards that we’ve set; their lives don’t matter to the fans in any real way beyond how it directly relates the fans’ personal enjoyment of watching basketball. Empathy is dead. See, it’s a funny joke!
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Brand: Big Baller Brand
If you don’t understand why, you’re not a big baller.