In between the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony and the Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade in their respective towns, Chris Paul is shown playing in recreational leagues across New Orleans. Paul throws an assist for "St. Charles" against a team called "Lower 9th Ward" in the "NOLA Inter-Parish League"; then he trades layups with an opponent in the "Bayou Women's League"; and then there are three quick cuts of him dribbling while wearing jerseys that say "PlayNOLA", "Slidell Church Basketball League" and "Jefferson Parish".
The ad is playful and fun (Anthony plays against a bunch of Williamsburg hipsters in Brooklyn) and there's no evidence that these leagues exist. But it all feels just authentic enough, because we know that some variation of the leagues depicted aren't hard to imagine. Also — and I can't tell if this is good research, a hidden plug or just straight plagiarism — if you look closely at the shot of Paul under the Crescent City Connection, the logo on his shirt certainly looks a lot like the one on the PlayNOLA.com website.
Overall, it's a pretty cool commercial and the final shot of the trio in China works as a not-so-subtle reference to what players are resorting to in order to play semi-organized basketball. And then you remember that this is all because of the lockout. And that's pretty depressing if you're a basketball fan.
But I guess if you're a basketball fan in New Orleans you can just watch the Saints, seeing as how their point totals are so close to a mid-season NBA game.