2024 NBA Playoffs

Chris Rock narrates NBA's new campaign: 'Playoff Mode. It's A Thing'

The campaign highlights NBA players as they prepare to compete for postseason glory and earn a spot in the NBA Finals.

There’s no denying it. Playoff Mode is a thing.

NEW YORK – The NBA today debuted its new campaign, “Playoff Mode. It’s a Thing,” which is now streaming across all @NBA social platforms and on the NBA App.  The campaign premieres tonight on TNT during the 2024 SoFi NBA Play-In Tournament, which tips off with the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Golden State Warriors visiting the Sacramento Kings at 10:00 p.m. ET, as each team competes to secure a spot in the 2024 NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel.

Narrated by actor, filmmaker and comedy icon Chris Rock, “Playoff Mode. It’s a Thing” highlights NBA players as they prepare to compete for postseason glory and earn a spot in the NBA Finals presented by YouTube TV.

Two-time Kia NBA Most Valuable Player and 2023 NBA champion Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets) and five-time NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) headline a cast of NBA stars that includes Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Chet Holmgren (Thunder), Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Jalen Williams (Thunder). The players are joined by ESPN’s Malika Andrews, TNT Sports analyst and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, Latin music superstar Anuel AA, celebrity chef Guy Fieri and five-time GRAMMY Award-winning rapper Lil Wayne.

The film opens with Tatum in a press conference as Andrews poses a simple question: “Is Playoff Jayson a thing?”  Although he denies it, the highlights speak for themselves.  Rock then asks each player the same question, to which all repeatedly insist, “It’s not a thing” over a string of highlights that prove otherwise.  Ultimately, Rock arrives at the only acceptable conclusion – it’s clearly a thing.

“The campaign plays on the idea that the playoffs unlock an elevated version of all of us, from passionate fans to the unrivaled competitors across the league,” said NBA Chief Marketing Officer Tammy Henault. “We are also thrilled to unveil a new original sound that captures the spirit of the game, and over time, will build association with our fans around the world, instantly igniting their excitement for the NBA.”

“Playoff Mode. It’s a Thing”, which was directed by Felix Brady and created in collaboration with Translation.  A corresponding print, digital and audio campaign will also be featured in high-impact placements such as out-of-home across more than ten U.S. cities and at major events.

Ahead of the NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel, the league is also debuting its first signature sonic brand identity which captures the authentic sounds of the game – the bounce of the ball, the squeak of a sneaker on hardwood, the growing anticipation of the crowd and the scoring swish of the net.  The sound is synchronized with a dynamic animation of the NBA logo, creating a sensory association for fans and connecting them to premium, authentic content across the league’s digital portfolio.  Fans will see and hear the new identity in the NBA Original all-access postseason docuseries “Chasing History,” which debuted on April 15 on the NBA App, as well as other content within the NBA’s digital platforms. The next episode of “Chasing History,” which will recap the SoFi NBA Play-In Tournament, will be available on Saturday, April 20.

The SoFi NBA Play-In Tournament tips off tonight on TNT with Lakers vs. Pelicans at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by Warriors vs. Kings at 10:00 p.m. ET.  It continues Wednesday on ESPN when the Miami Heat visit the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:00 p.m. ET and the Chicago Bulls host the Atlanta Hawks at 9:30 p.m. ET.  The SoFi NBA Play-In Tournament will conclude on Friday, April 19.  The NBA Playoffs presented by Google Pixel will begin on Saturday, April 20.