Why Not Zero?
— Nike (@Nike) June 27, 2017
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder was awarded the 2016-17 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The announcement was made during the NBA Awards Show on June 26. Westbrook wears jersey No. 0, but there’s more to his number.
After the announcement, Nike released a video about how Westbrook climbed to the top. The video, Hero, Not Zero, depicts a hip generation Z student standing at a chalkboard to understand a mathematical concept. The youth, wearing a basketball jacket emblazoned with the number 23—the number worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan–is approached by an animated MVP trophy. The talking trophy guides the youth through the process of how the selection was made.
The video’s catchy tune and lyrics describing the mathematical process all but reminded the Baby Boom Generation of Schoolhouse Rock. Schoolhouse Rock was a series of animated musical educational short films that aired during Saturday morning. The films aired during children’s programming on the U.S. television network ABC, and covered the topics of grammar, science, economics, history, civics and mathematics.
If the title, Hero, Not Zero, sounded peculiar, you may be thinking about another song, My Hero, Zero, written and performed by Bob Dorough. All of the tunes helped you learned about science, technology, engineering and Math (STEM) long before you were old enough to attend your first overnight science camp.