NBA Hypes Up Their Return With ‘Insecure’ Actor Issa Rae

The NBA bubble in Orlando is already in place, and the players have taken the court for several exhibitions leading up to the return of the season. However, to hype up fans, the league went away from basketball and into the realm of entertainment, bringing Issa Rae in to help bring hype the controversial return.

The Insecure creator appeared in an ad campaign meant to highlight the unprecedented times on and off the court, and the results were captivating. 

The NBA goes away

While the COVID-19 scare impacted all the professional sports around the country, perhaps none were more critical to this move than the NBA. Once it became clear that the league needed to shut down, the league decided to squeeze out a few more games before suspending it. However, all of this changed when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive, sending the league into chaos.

Games were canceled, players and fans were sent home, and the league had to decide how to cope with the times. Leading up to the suspension, the league had several intriguing storylines. Zion Williamson was finally on the court and proving to be worth the hype. On the west coast, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers were dominating the West with their in-arena rival Clippers not far behind.

The league took its time to make sure that their return strategy had as few holes as possible, They eventually settled on a return at Disney World, where players, coaches, fans, and staff could be closely monitored. However, as the league began to work out the details, civil unrest was unleashed across America, and several players questioned the optics. 

Despite all of this, the league pushed forward, and whether or not people are fans of the return, the association is about to return. With such unprecedented times, the league called upon television royalty to hype up the return. 

Who is Issa Rae?

Issa Rae
Issa Rae | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

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Rae was born in Los Angeles in 1985 but spent part of her childhood in her father’s native Senegal. She developed a passion for making media at an early age, and in 2011, she created and starred in the web series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, which won the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show.

Rae was on the map, making Forbes’ 30 under 30 list twice. As her star grew, she published a memoir with the same name as her web series. 

In 2016, Rae’s fame went to the next level when she created and starred in the HBO comedy Insecure. On the show, Rae portrays a fictionalized character who is largely based on herself. The movie immediately garnered several awards. Before long, Rae was not just an up-and-comer, but a Hollywood powerhouse –headlining films and television series alike. The NBA capitalized on this by bringing her in to promote the return of basketball. 

The NBA is back

Thanks to some Hollywood trickery, the NBA put Rae on the court as she spoke about how the game we love was back, but with a twist. Acknowledging the strange times we live in, Rae goes in and out of NBA highlights before acknowledging that the league is returning in a way that has never been seen.

It’s a short, but powerful ad that is devoted to a love of basketball, selling the NBA’s bubble as a unique opportunity to focus on the game itself., complete with the caption, “It’s a Whole New Game.”

Rae isn’t intrinsically linked to the NBA, but by appearing on the ads, she shows just how big her star power has gotten. With so much in the entertainment world on hold, the NBA will offer fans a distraction from the world around them, and Rae helped sell this in the ad.