This Indy 500-Themed NBA Playoffs Pacers Promo Has So Much Going Wrong

It’s always nice when motorsports is acknowledged by the rest of the sports world, but it’s easy for a honest effort to go very, very wrong.

The folks who run the “NBA on TNT” social media accounts found that out the hard way Friday.

In a promo for the Indiana Pacers, who will take on the Boston Celtics in a first-round series that begins Sunday, the “NBA on TNT” looked to recognize the Hoosier State’s proud racing heritage. Certainly, the good people associated with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 appreciated the gesture.

But the results — as seen in the screenshot below, because the tweet has since been deleted — had the opposite of the intended effect, thanks to eagle-eyed racing fans.

There’s a lot going on here, so let’s run down the list.

-The car is shown running clockwise around the track. Oval races run counterclockwise.
-The vehicle pictured looks to be a Corvette, not a race car, and therefore doesn’t have any significance to Indiana.
-Looking at the bottom of the graphic, there’s a double-yellow line running down the middle of the track. Although that’s common on roadways, you wouldn’t find it on a racetrack.

And if all that seems like nitpicking to you, there’s also this: The background is a photo of Daytona International Speedway. In Florida.

What’s all the fuss about? Well, picture the Cleveland Cavaliers attempting a rock ‘n roll-themed promo using images of Mozart and a guy playing a vuvuzela.

After getting dragged in their mentions, “NBA on TNT” posted a more accurate image.

“We grow basketball” still doesn’t make a lot of sense superimposed over a picture of a racetrack. (Maybe something about corn would fit better?) But, hey, it’s better.

In the grand scheme of things, maybe the shoddy graphic wasn’t the end of the world. But in Indiana, where nearly 300,000 people pack IMS for the Indy 500, it just might be.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images

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