Not only was Hot Hot Hoops invited to visit the shoot for the latest Gatorade ad that was filming right here in South Florida, we were also given exclusive access to the commercial's stars Dwyane Wade and George "The Iceman" Gervin.
The two greats are well-known for their ice-cold demeanor on the court, so naturally Gatorade tapped them for their newest commercial promoting the three newest flavors from their Frost line.
After checking out the more than impressive set, which is detailed in Part 1 of our coverage, as well as the storyboards of the project, I was led to two trailers just outside of the gym at Carol City High School where Wade and Gervin were chilling out separately and getting prepared for the day's shoot.
I popped into Wade's trailer first, where he was having a quick chat with an enthusiastic Kenny Mitchell, head of Gatorade Consumer Engagement, about their plans for the commercial. Having covered Wade, the athlete, at Heat games and practices over the years, I was more curious about Wade, the pitchman and businessman, and how he's been able to grow his personal brand into an empire over the course of his remarkable career.
Hot Hot Hoops: What was the thought process into building your brand in addition to everything that you've done on the court?
Dwyane Wade: I think early on I was just excited to be a part of brands that I grew up watching. So when I had the chance to sign with Gatorade for instance, Jordan -- 'Be like Mike', all those things it's just a rich tradition. I was excited and then once it kept going with other brands I was thinking I must be doing something right, let's figure this out. I think me and my team have done a good job of not only being associated with the right brands that we feel but also developing those relationships that have lasted such a long time.
HHH: It seems like it's been more and more where you not only promote something but you're also taking part in developing the brand.
Wade: Yeah, I think you grow into that. Obviously at first I just wanted to be a part of something and after a while, you start to have your own interests that you want to get involved in. The biggest thing for an athlete like myself, and I hope other athletes, is to try to have some ownership. I want to be the guy that learns and knows what I'm dealing with and really have some ownership in it. I've been, as of late, changed the way I've done things from that standpoint. It's been busy for sure but it's a good thing.
HHH: Keeping with the concept of the commercial and staying cool under pressure, when you realize that a game is going to be close heading into crunch time...Do you relish those types of situations where you know you'll have the ball in your hands and you have control of the entire game?
Wade: Yeah, I want it. Obviously we all want to win games and be able to sit out the fourth quarter but there's nothing like those moments where the last four or five minutes of the game, it's basket-for-basket and you have your part in it. I've been lucky in my career where I've always been the guy that's been counted on in those moments and I live for those moments. That's why I still love this game, for those moments. So yeah, no question about it!
HHH: The Big 3 era was such an amazing time for the franchise, what has the adjustment been like to slide back into that closer role much like earlier in your career?
Wade: It's great for me because that's just who I am. It was tougher when we had those moments in the four year run that we had, because a lot of times I probably wasn't involved and I'm so used to being involved. But as a team player you have to figure it out and try to help in whatever way you can. But this is where I'm more comfortable in this position where I have a hand in it, I have the ball in my hand or where I can put my stamp on it. I missed it and when I got back to it, I said, 'So this is what it feels like.' But it's a trade off too, where you put yourself on a great team with great players you don't always have to be the one to do it.
HHH: Besides yourself which other teammates embody that kind of cool persona like "The Iceman"?
Wade: Chris Bosh is so cool especially in big moments. He always has been. In the past, I watched LeBron James develop that here -- of really owning the moment. It takes a lot of misses or mistakes or your own inner downfalls to get to that point but I saw him grow into that. Obviously Ray Allen, he's so cool under pressure. The reason why I have three championships because of him as well. I think about Gary Payton back in 2006 when we won the championship, he hit so many big shots in the playoff run. In the Finals, he was made for the moment. I've had a few since I've been in the NBA.
HHH: You've gotten used to staying cool playing in close games, but what's it like watching games from the stands when your kids are playing?
Wade: I'm terrible! I always had this visual in my head of how I would be as a parent watching my kids play sports. I thought I would be that parent that sits in the crowd or in the corner somewhere with a hat on. Man, I am not that guy. As much as I try, I go into games thinking I'm going to be cool and some nights I can be, but some of those days...
HHH: Does your wife Gabrielle Union ever give you acting lessons before a shoot like this or do you ask her for any advice?
Wade: Absolutely not (laughs). I'm not an actor so I don't want to try to become one. When I do these spots I try to have fun with it and I don't want to take myself too seriously and act like I'm an actor. I listen to the directors on what they want and how they want me to try to do something. Hopefully I'll deliver and if I don't, sorry but I'm not an actor. I do enjoy being in front of the camera and whatever the vision is for the campaign, hopefully I can bring myself to it and make it fun.
Over at the Iceman's trailer, the NBA living legend is relaxing in a San Antonio Spurs polo shirt and sweatpants. He's in good spirits and carries himself just like you'd expect from someone named "The Iceman" But how did he get that nickname?
George Gervin: When I was in the ABA, Fatty Taylor was a teammate of mine. I was real skinny, about 180 pounds and I didn't sweat much. So we would practice and everybody would be soaking wet and my uniform was dry. Fatty would say, 'We played two hours and you got 30 on this end and you're uniform ain't wet.' That's how he started calling me 'Ice' and that's how the nickname got started. I was a rookie and then I started playing, they would always say I was fearless and that I had my own cool style of getting it done. That's how it came about.
HHH: Do you see any similarities on the court between you and Wade in the way you approach the game and your demeanor?
Gervin: Yes, what I like about him is that he's a no-nonsense guy. He don't run around and act like he's cool, he just displays it. He plays under control, he's got an unbelievable mid-range game -- that's what made me successful. I could go to the hole and I could pull up and shoot that 10-12 footer, what we call a lost art. He's probably one of the best in the game to do it. So that's pretty cool.
HHH: How much fun is it work with Wade on a project like this?
Gervin: It's great. He's definitely going to be a Hall of Famer, he's won championships, he's a great guy and he respects the legends. He has all the qualities, not just of a basketball player, but of a good man and a good father. You can tell how much he loves being with his boys. To me that kind of dictates what kind of a man you are. He shows all that.
HHH: What was your secret to keeping cool under pressure?
Gervin: Preparation. I think that's everything. I had confidence. How do you get confidence? By working out and working on your craft. I was fundamentally sound and I always felt I had a shot for any defense you put on me and that's from working out and working on my skills. I knew I could do things so there was nothing to get excited about, it was just going out and doing it. I think that's what helped make me into the basketball player that I once was.
HHH: You've made such a huge mark in your career, is it amazing to think that it's been 30 years since you last played in the NBA? Has the time flown by?
Gervin: Yeah, it's swishing on by. It's really kind of scary. I remember in the offseason I used to walk with my daughter along the beach in Hawaii and she was a little bitty girl. Now she's 35. She gave me a grandson. So time flies but it flies for everybody, you just got to pay attention and that's the beauty of it. I'm happy with my career, I got a beautiful wife that I've been married to for 40 years and I have three beautiful children and now I have four grandchildren. So what more could I ask for besides a good, cold Gatorade Frost? (laughs)
If you haven't seen the new Gatorade commercial starring Dwyane Wade and the Iceman, check it out right below and make sure to check out Part 1 to see more behind the scene pics from the set!