'Anta Klay' is a big baller brand name all its own

Ball Don't Lie
Anta <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4892/" data-ylk="slk:Klay Thompson">Klay Thompson</a> has too much swag.
Anta Klay Thompson has too much swag.

We hold this to be true: Stephen Curry’s Under Armour sneakers debuted in humiliating fashion so that Klay Thompson’s Anta commercials could live.

There is only so much swag that can emanate from one franchise. Steph is the Golden State Warriors’ youth ministry pastor. Kevin Durant represents the corporate sellout within us all. “Anta Klay,” however, is the carefree soul we wish we could all unlock.

Scroll to continue with content

In a spot released this weekend to promote Thompson’s new KT3 Gold-Blooded signature sneaker, Anta turns the dial all the way up on “China Klay,” the accidental alter ego Thompson developed while being weird and endearing all summer long. Meet “Anta Klay.” He’s basically Klay Thompson after stepping through Steve Urkel’s transformation and becoming the Warriors’ Stefan Urquelle.

The sneaker campaign is a lost art, but this is the most effective basketball shoe ad per second in 2017. It’s the marketing equivalent of scoring 60 points in 29 minutes.

The marketing strategy revolving around “Anta Klay” selling sneakers without wearing them on his feet is a paradigm shift. Instead of diving into a vault of gold a la Uncle Scrooge McDuck, “Anta Klay” relaxes in a tub filled with gold sneakers. He’s also channeling a cheap Tony Montana, relaxing in a(n empty) jacuzzi, except his illicit imports are Gold-Blooded KT3s.

Steph may be the more talented Splash Brother, but he also exudes dusty old dad vibes. Klay has the charisma. Peep his chemistry talking to that shoe!

“Anta Klay” doesn’t just strike a carefree note, he expresses a range of emotions: concern at the 0:07 second mark, sorrow a second later, and then, moments later, pure unadulterated joy. Durant didn’t display that wide of an emotional range in all of 2012’s “Thunderstruck.”

Also: who is “Anta Klay” speaking to? There are a few theories. He also may have just checked in on his mother during the afternoon shoot in China, only to realize he woke her up at 3 a.m. back in the States.

The Gold-Blooded KT3 is the first major sneaker release for Thompson since he signed a 10-year, $80 million shoe deal with the Chinese sportswear brand in July. A performance of this caliber, however, shows that “Anta Klay” is clearly underpaid.

Even the logo designed for the sneaker line has found perfect tranquility with the universe.

What to Read Next