Hawks’ Trae Young sounds off on new ad for In-Season Tournament

Atlanta Hawks, Trae Young. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, Trae Young. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young has a featured role in a new ad from the NBA promoting the In-Season Tournament, set to be introduced this season.

In the ad, Young gets into a scuffle with Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan in an elevator as both players try to fight to push a button for the NBA In-Season Tournament trophy a la the hit movie, “Oceans 11” and, just like the film version, the spot is littered with big-name talent.

In addition to Young and DeRozan, the ad also features Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers, Anthony Davis of the L.A. Lakers, Julius Randle of the New York Knicks, and Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson.

It is narrated by award-winning actor/producer Michael Imperioli.

“This is a crazy setup. It’s like a whole casino in here,” Young said in the behind-the-scenes video via the NBA on October 25. “It’s gonna be crazy when it comes out.

“New tournament, new creative approach,” said the NBA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tammy Henault, via David Gianatasio of Muse on October 25. “We had the challenge of educating fans on what the tournament is and generate excitement for it, too. Creatively, we leaned into Las Vegas, where the semi-final and championship will be held.”

Young is no stranger to the commercial game, including helping the NBA promote its 75th Anniversary season two years ago. He also starred in a Sprite ad alongside Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards in August of 2022.

The Hawks star has also fronted for State Farm Insurance.

That could be a lot of distractions. But, in addition to already being savvy to navigating that part of things thanks to his spots pushing his signature shoes, Young has also shown an even more intense commitment to taking another step as a player this offseason, including returning to Atlanta earlier than normal to train.

The Hawks are looking to shake off a 41-41 season and push further into the postseason than the first-round playoff exits they’ve suffered in back-to-back seasons.

Hawks’ Dejounte Murray ‘on the same page’ with Trae Young

If the Hawks are going to overcome that mediocre season, Young and Dejounte Murray are going to be the ones leading the way. Murray talked about him and Young being on the same page this season.

They became the second set of teammates in NBA history to each average at least 20 points and 6.0 assists last season.

But team success eluded them.

With a new four-year, $120 million contract in hand – which should keep him with the Hawks at least through the end of Young’s contract should the later not exercise the early termination option on his five-year, $215 million pact after the 2025-26 season. That is a lot of leeway for the Hawks to figure things out.

Next. 3 Scenarios the Hawks desperately need to avoid in 2023-24. dark

As this organization has shown, though, they will not wait that long to see results. So this season could be more of a make-or-break campaign than it may seem right now, especially if they get back to being consistently average.