NBA’s Newest Kryptonite: DC Comics’ Legal Team

When we attended All-Star Weekend and saw all the trappings that are now required to participate in a dunk contest, we had two thoughts.  First, will next year’s dunk contest cost more to mount than “Cleopatra“?  And second, how did the NBA get away with using so much of DC Comics’ intellectual property (including the Hall of Justice!) without irritating Time Warner?

Nate Robinson dunks over Dwight Howard

(You owe DC Comics 12 cents for looking at this photo)

While we may not know about the former yet (though we hear Michael Bay is helming LeBron James’ first dunk next year), we now know the answer to the latter: the NBA didn’t get away with it.

Once the NBA announced green “Krypto-Nate” T-shirts for the NBA Store to commemorate Nate Robinson’s slam over Dwight Howard, it was all over but the elongated death scene over three issues and six crossover events.

Time Warner demanded the NBA ditch the idea until everyone could figure out how to divvy up the loot, thus allowing the post-contest excitement to go colder than comic book sales.

On the other hand, at least DC didn’t shut down a charity event this time, though sales of the mementos of the dunk occasion (which are still allowed) will go to the NBA’s charitable efforts.

Don’t you worry, though, true believers… no character ever actually dies in the comics.  This idea will rear its head in a special cover of Action Comics with Nate dunking over Superman while rubbing his junk in the Man of Steel’s spitcurl.  There will be four alternate covers and a Cartoon Network pilot by Christmas, just about the time everyone’s stopped caring.

The NBA and Time Warner: Where spontaneity happens.