The origin of the NBA’s There Can Be Only One campaign

by June 04, 2008

By Sam Rubenstein

The NBA scored a big hit this postseason with their “There Can Be Only One” campaign. Lang came up with some of his own, and the NBA is encouraging people to do the same with themselves. Here’s mine to the left. It’s me and KG. Look at how much more intensity I have than him! Even Time Magazine “borrowed” the concept.

The NBA lucked out that they can now use the Kobe/KG one, which works on so many levels. The dual narrative, one guy seen as a ruthless competitor that rubs people the wrong way, the other a nice guy who people want only good things to happen for, if only he could just win a ring (or playoff series). The two first truly positive examples of high school to the pros since Moses and Kemp. And most importantly, their goatees match-up well.

However, after some more groundbreaking scientific research (a 5 minute conversation with Khalid), I discovered the origin of this campaign, where they “sampled” the idea from.

Don’t make angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Indiana Jones, the Hulk, Celtics/Lakers in the Finals, people wearing stupid looking white rimmed sunglasses. What year is it?

Oh, and “There Can Be Only One” is from Highlander.