'Office' Actor Shoots NBA Promos

As TNT readies for its 21st year offering NBA games, the network has turned to a top comedic actor for help reining in viewers. Rainn Wilson, of NBC's "The Office," is starring in a series of promos along with a group of NBA players.

The spots have Wilson playing a taxi cab driver offering humorous commentary to bemused NBA stars in the backseat. Sacha Baron Cohen, of "Ali G" fame, engaged in similar banter with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in TNT promos several years ago.

In an initial spot, Wilson ferries Orlando's charismatic Dwight Howard and prods him about his self-styled role as "Superman." Wilson, who grew up in Seattle, also tells Howard that one of his heroes is a largely forgotten ex-member of his hometown SuperSonics.

Turner Sports creative director Craig Barry states that Wilson's "comic ability coupled with the player's reactionary personalities" drives the spots.

Other players in the promos leading up to the Oct. 27 start of the season on the network include Utah's Deron Williams and Chicago's Derrick Rose.

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