Creative ESPN

Small ballers hit the lottery in ESPN’s Skee-Lo 'I Wish' music video remake


By Bennett Bennett, Staff writer

May 9, 2018 | 3 min read

ESPN and Droga5 New York have revealed the fruits of their first brand campaign together – ‘Smaller’ a modern remake of the 1995 Skee-Lo hit and basketball cult anthem 'I Wish'.

ESPN | Smaller Video

This new spot from ESPN makes tall players wish they were smaller in remake of cult hit 'I Wish' / ESPN/Droga5

The two-minute film, coinciding with the NBA Playoffs, pays homage to the killer crossovers, magician-like ballhandling, three-point shots, and acrobatic moves around the rim that define many of the league's smaller guards, such as reigning NBA champ Stephen Curry, Houston Rocket guard (and State Farm spokesman) Chris Paul, and Toronto Raptors’ guard Kyle Lowry.

Rapper Skee-Lo was enlisted to re-record his cult classic, and the video includes callbacks to the one-hit wonder's music video while turning it into an ode to small-ball: “I wish I was like five-foot-nine/on the three-point line. It was a scandal/but really the good kind.”

The talent emulates a lot of the plays and mannerisms that die-hard NBA fans hold dear, including a contested three-pointer where YouTube dunker Andrew Burke emulates Steph Curry's signature mouthpiece toss.

Harlem Globetrotters Chrissa 'Ace' Jackson and Tammy 'T-Time' Brawner also make cameo appearances alongside Skee-Lo himself and narrator/tall fall guy Paul Crawford. However, unlike the original video, and the basketball of old, the short players are the ones picked first.

Top highlights from those players show up on ESPN’s platforms, including its newly revamped mobile app, as young ballers take to the concrete, showing off their own moves to the delight of their peers. The full music video-esque spot will be cut down for 30-seconds and 60-seconds throughout the playoffs, and will be accompanied by TV, social and digital executions.

There are plans to release more spots in the new 'Life Needs Sports' campaign, tied to coverage of the MLB (a promo showcasing the love between batter and bat is below), WNBA, and even the Scripps National Spelling Bee — very much an athletic feat for those who love words.

advert-body-1 by Droga5

Overall Rating 5/5

Vote now
Creative ESPN

More from Creative

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +