NBA's talking ball latest in line of talking objects

Tue, May 24

You talkin' to me?

Wait, you're a basketball. Why are you talking at all?

Oh, it's because you're part of the NBA's 2011 playoffs ad campaign, and with a strangely familiar voice (Is that Hank Azaria? Michael Clarke Duncan? Charlie Murphy? Maybe even John Slattery?) you're talking about old times on the court -- be it Derek Fisher's famous "0.4" shot or Michael Jordan's emotional moment. Lately you've even been interviewing legends like Dr. J.

But before you feel too special, Page 2 is here to let you know: You're not the only sports-related inanimate object to somehow sprout vocal cords and speak to mass audiences. For years -- decades, even -- we've been hearing all sorts of things from ... all sorts of things.

Such as...


The MVPuppets: They talked, they chalked, they taunted, and they even sang. In 2009 the Kobe and LeBron puppets starred in numerous commercials. One problem: the seemingly inevitable Lakers-Cavs matchup was derailed by Orlando. One positive: If nothing else, these commercials brought back memories of...

Li'l Penny: The king of this list. Also a Nike commercial star, the mid-1990s miniaturized puppet version of Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway was voiced by a comedy rock star (Chris Rock, that is) and might have left a greater legacy than the talented but injury-riddled Magic guard.

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