LAS VEGAS — The NBA enlisted an actor from “The Sopranos” and borrowed the central theme of the film “Ocean’s Eleven” — a Las Vegas heist — to hype the inaugural In-Season Tournament that begins Nov. 3.
The latest marketing move, released Wednesday, is a nearly 2-minute spot featuring actor Michael Imperioli narrating how seven players — Anthony Davis, Trae Young, DeMar DeRozan, Julius Randle, Kawhi Leonard, Darius Garland and Draymond Green — are in a casino plotting to steal the NBA Cup.
That’s the trophy the winner of the tournament finale in Las Vegas gets on Dec. 9. The NBA says the tournament will differ from the norm of early season basketball, with different playing floors and uniforms.
“We’ve launched what we believe is a comprehensive and engaging program to promote this new tournament,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday. “We hope these efforts get fans as excited as we are about this new competition.”
Silver spent years proposing a tournament like this, likening it to ones found in soccer. Spoiler alert: The trophy somehow ends up with Imperioli, the mastermind of the planned heist.
“Looks like you’re all going to have to play for it,” Imperioli says as the spot ends.