On July 11, 2014, a few hours after LeBron James revealed in a Sports Illustrated letter that he was “coming home” to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA star was on the Nike jet to Rio for the World Cup soccer final. He confided in longtime manager Maverick Carter that he wanted to create a platform where athletes could speak their minds “uninterrupted,” he said, the same way he did in the SI piece. Six months later, Uninterrupted, self-financed by Carter and James, launched on Turner Sports’ Bleacher Report site as a hub for a series of point-of-view video shorts from athletes. Now the duo is deepening its partnership with Turner and Warner Bros. The Time Warner companies, led by Warner Bros., have invested $15.8 million in Uninterrupted with the goal of creating athlete-centric content for many platforms, including mobile, web and social, as well as linear television and film. The venture marks the latest move into entertainment for the NBA star and the further blurring of the lines between sports and entertainment figures.
James, 30, has been featured heavily in Uninterrupted video shorts, which offer a peek behind the curtain at athletes' lives away from the game. Others participating include fighter Ronda Rousey, Golden State Warrior Draymond Green of the NBA, tennis champion Serena Williams and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (talking about the media's handling of the NFL's Deflategate scandal). "It's giving athletes an opportunity to have a platform where they can speak about any issue," James tells THR. "They don't have to wait to be in front of a camera." Much like Kobe Bryant utilized Derek Jeter's The Player's Tribune Nov. 29 to reveal his retirement, Uninterrupted is "giving athletes a way to connect with their fans" without a traditional media intermediary, although the similarities end there.
If athletes are prime drivers on social media, their day jobs naturally limit their extracurricular activities. But James is well on his way to forging a successful non-NBA career. It is an example that others are attempting to emulate. "One of the attractive things about the athletes participating in a platform like Uninterrupted is they get to associate themselves and benefit from Maverick and the team — one of whom is LeBron — and some of the expertise they have in talking to their fans," says Matt Hong, Turner Sports executive vp and general manager. "They also benefit from the scale of a platform like Uninterrupted, which is amplified in a pretty massive way via distribution through Bleacher Report and the Warner Bros. assets."
A source with direct knowledge of James' business dealings insists the sole reason James didn't continue his relationship with McDonald's was because of Blaze. He couldn't rightly endorse two fast-food chains.
LeBron James purchased a vacation mansion in a plum section of Los Angeles, a source with knowledge of the transaction confirmed to cleveland.com. Variety Magazine reports that James bought the 9,350-square-foot home, built in 2011, for nearly $21 million, in L.A.'s Brentwood community. James' recent partnership with Warner Bros. fueled ample speculation that he may star in a sequel to the hit movie Space Jam, or would otherwise be more involved in the motion picture industry after his successful debut as a supporting actor in last summer's Trainwreck.
The purchase of the home was related to James' affinity for southern California and his off-court business opportunities there, and not to basketball, a source told Cleveland.com. "He likes L.A., he plans on spending time there in the summer, and he has a growing number of business opportunities," said a source close to James. "No one should read this as any indication about basketball. It's a vacation house."
LeBron James has decided to leave guaranteed endorsement income on the table for a potentially much bigger piece of the pie down the road. James has decided not to renew his option with McDonald's; he will lend his name and marketing power to fast-casual pizza franchise Blaze. In 2012, James became an original investor in the parent company, which is one of the stronger players in the assembly-line pizza concept.
Neither the company nor Carter would disclose the exact stake James has in Blaze, but a source told ESPN.com that he owns more than 10 percent of the company, which is separate from his stake in Chicago and Miami franchise rights.
July 23, 2021 | 2:45 pm EDT Update
Kevin Durant still has off-season love for Southern California, it would seem. Two summers ago, the perennial All-Star bounced out of his oceanfront Malibu villa, selling the $12.2 million house to “CSI” television franchise creator Anthony Zuiker. A professional move from the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to the Brooklyn Nets soon followed. But now Durant is back, and the 32-year-old holds the keys to a $15.6 million mansion in Hidden Hills, a celebrity-packed guard-gated city in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.
Built this year by a local developer on speculation, the house was pre-sold to Durant prior to its completion, and was never on the market — so details remain exceptionally slim. But the two-story mansion is large, probably around 10,000 square feet, and was designed in the trendy modern farmhouse architectural style. Sited near the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on a 1.8-acre lot, the spacious property is a literal stone’s throw from the $17.5 million mansion of fellow NBA star Ben Simmons.
While the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns went head-to-head in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White was more invested in another sporting event: the San Antonio Missions game against the Springfield Cardinals. White was on-site at Wolff Stadium Tuesday to throw out the first pitch at the game.
The Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2021 on Tuesday, October 19, at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower. The event will be presented by Discount Drug Mart, and will feature PGA Professional and 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis, NBA stars Larry Nance, Sr. and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and the late sports media personality Les Levine.
July 23, 2021 | 2:22 pm EDT Update
Basketball greats Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen will head an all-star cast in a two-part ABC series centring on the life of their former Chicago Bulls teammate Luc Longley. In the Australian Story series scheduled to run on August 2 and 9, Longley breaks his silence on his relationship with Jordan and his bizarre omission last year from his three-time NBA championship teammate’s Netflix documentary, The Last Dance.