As LeBron James’ career on the court powers towards its third act, he continues to leverage his worldwide following into a media empire.
His latest shot is a deal with HBO to produce a comedy about a sneaker store. Long after King James is done suiting up to play games for ESPN and ABC, he will be wheeling and dealing with networks like HBO and Netflix for the rights to his content. But will he be as quick to throw weight around in the media as he is in the paint, and (reportedly) in the general manager’s office?
According to his ex-General Manager, LeBron has no ambitions to become a coach or front office employee after retirement. But he has admitted that he has his eyes set on owning his own franchise one day.
LeBron knows the power of his image and has worked his entire career to use it to level the field in mainstream America. All signs point to that continuing, as he’s making moves in Hollywood.
With Black Hollywood productions like Get Out, Moonlight and Girls Trip returning exponential profits, all those generations of working twice as hard for half (or none) of the credit is starting to show dividends in ways no one can deny.
And with LeBron’s Starz comedy Survivor’s Remorse returning for a fourth season on August 20, here are six media projects that would be lay-ups for LeBron once he’s done chasing rings on the court (just don’t forget to thank us in the credits, Bron).
Human Farm (Documentary)
An Orwellian exposé into the exploitation of NCAA student athletes, bankrolled by James and shot by Spike Lee. Just picture the director who gave us high school phenom Jesus Shuttlesworth when LeBron was still in middle school touring the country to ask questions and stick a camera in people’s faces. Spike has already collaborated with NBA legends Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen in the past. Lee and LeBron may be the only ones in their respective fields who would have the power to change the conversation about college athletics.
The Plug (Cartoon)
An animated sci-fi story about Black boys from Akron who take over the world. Voiced by real kids, this team of stat geeks who love to watch basketball crack an algorithm that predicts a winner in 99 out of 100 games. Their genius invention eventually leads them from the back alleys of the dark web to the heights of the NBA with LeBron as their mentor. Along the way, he can teach kids the lessons he’s learned about investing in business and tech on projects like Blaze Pizza.
Angela Davis (Biopic)
Halle Berry has said that her dream is to play freedom fighter Angela Davis in a biopic. And the world has been waiting to see Ms. Berry and Denzel Washington on screen together again since their historic Oscars night in 2001. If LeBron really leaves Cleveland for La La Land, he might have enough Hollywood juice to make the legends agree to playing Davis and Hilton Braithwaite, her ex-husband.
The Chosen One (Biopic)
Bron needs to start shooting his own story ASAP. Before Hollywood can defile his legacy with a lazy imitation, he should get his sons their SAG cards and make his own biopic with John Singleton. He’s already shown us that he’s not against artificially enhancing his hairline to appear younger, so the only question is if Leo will agree to play Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
The LeBron James Experience (Fitness Series)
An interactive workout series hosted by Kevin Hart that inspires users to stay fit like LeBron and Kev. The comedian can host while LeBron shows out, revealing his secrets after retirement and keeping the royalties all to himself. These two should be able to coach just about anyone through a half-hour session. Kev, who plans to run in the New York City Marathon, is already working on a similar project with YouTube. A basketball version could take on the significance of And1 Mixtapes or Tae Bo videos for kids today.
Space Jam 2X (Sequel)
Should it really be that hard to bring Michael Jordan out of retirement to battle a new breed of Monstars who were created by the Russian, Chinese and U.S. governments? After the Illuminati systematically takes out America’s best talent with mind control, MJ and LeBron have to wrangle a team of bratty celebrities into a championship form in order to defeat the Frankenstein Monstars and prevent a New World Order.