Nike Recounts the Story of LeBron James’ ‘Chosen 1’ Tattoo Ahead of His 9th NBA Finals Appearance

In a new spot by Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Nike tells the story of Lebron James' commitment to success in this new ad. Nike
Headshot of Katie Richards

The biggest believer in LeBron James’ future success as an NBA player and general human being? LeBron James of course.

The Cleveland Cavaliers player had so much confidence in himself and his abilities as a teenager that he went into a tattoo parlor in 2002 and had the words “Chosen 1” inked onto his back. Earlier that year, James was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a headline reading “The Chosen One.”

Now, as James prepares to play in his eighth consecutive NBA finals game against the Golden State Warriors, Nike is illustrating the story behind that legendary back tat in a new spot, “The Tattoo.”

In the ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland and directed by Hiro Murai, we’re taken back to Las Vegas in 2002 when James saunters into the tattoo parlor with his desired script written on a crumpled piece of paper.

The tattoo artists expresses his doubts, but James never wavers. He’s going to get “Chosen 1” tattooed on his body because he has always believed in his ability to achieve greatness, both on and off the court.

Over the course of his NBA career, James has appeared in nine NBA finals (including 2018) and has won three titles. His last championship win came in 2016, also against Warriors.

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.