Like it or not, Kobe Bryant is now the international ambassador of basketball. He’s probably not as recognizable overseas as Michael Jordan, but if he completes his second NBA championship three-peat this year, the comparisons between Kobe and “His Airness” will go on for decades.
While not quite suited to make a major motion picture with cartoons like Jordan (due to, you know, those rape allegations that happened a few years back), Los Angeles’ large market and Kobe’s 14+ years in the league make him much larger of a presence overseas than say, Lebron James. This Smart Car ad follows Kobe’s appearance in a controversial Turkish Airlines spot that aired earlier this month.
While Smart Cars look as those they would explode if ever in any sort of fender bender, Kobe’s driving and basketball-throwing skills save the day and an apparently priceless, ugly piece of art. I wouldn’t doubt Kobe keeps a basketball in his glove compartment should international art thieves try to ruin someone’s day. The most surprising factor? At 6’6″, Kobe can actually fit in one of those cars. Looks like Smart Cars are trying to position themselves as Mini Coopers did during car chase scenes from The Bourne Identity a decade ago. Pardon us if we’re a little skeptical about this.