NBA stars take a stand against gun violence in powerful ad

The NBA is teaming up with an anti-gun-violence group for new public service announcements that will debut on Christmas Day, and feature some of the game's biggest stars.

The ad campaign features NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Chris Paul and Stephen Curry speaking in very personal terms about gun violence.

"I heard about a shooting involving a three-year-old girl over the summer. My daughter Riley is that age," Curry says.

While Riley Curry has stolen the show from the NBA MVP, the public service announcement also features people who don't often grab headlines: victims of gun violence.

"In the United States, 88 people die from gun violence every day," the victims say in unison.

The campaign was directed by Spike Lee and paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to push back against the National Rifle Association.

"Gun control" is never directly mentioned, but the ad marks the NBA's entry into the polarizing debate over guns, a first for a professional sports league. The move was largely led by the players, who are increasingly using their celebrity to draw attention to community violence.

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Victims of gun violence also speak out in the NBA ad

"The gun should never be an option," Carmelo Anthony says in the ad.

Anthony also marched with protestors in his hometown of Baltimore last April following the death of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody.

"I have seen so many of my peers, so many of my friends, lose their life to gun violence," says Anthony. "One day they are here, one day they are not. Due to gun violence, due to violence period. Now I am in a situation where my voice can be heard."

The NRA did not respond to requests for comment, and the NBA says it's not advocating for changes in laws or policy.

But the campaign got the endorsement of one prominent gun control advocate: President Obama. He tweeted that he was proud of the league for taking a stand, saying "change requires all of us speaking up."