Two-time Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has teamed up with basketball star LeBron James for a new film called Student Athlete.
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Obaid-Chinoy, who is best known for her documentaries Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, has co-directed the film alongside Trish Dalton, with whom she spent two years investigating the college sports industry and the price the players have to pay to be a part of it.
Rising director Terence Nance is in advanced negotiations to direct LeBron James in Warner Bros “Space Jam 2,” TheWrap has exclusively learned. Nance is an executive producer on HBO’s late-night series “Random Acts of Flyness,” which premieres this weekend and has received an order for six half-hour episodes.
James signed a production deal with Warner Bros. and “Space Jam 2” is being developed with the new Los Angeles Laker forward in mind, though he’ll need to approve the script before officially signing on to star. Other basketball players are expected to cameo, though it’s currently unclear whether Bill Murray will return.
Jeff Zillgitt: HBO picks up LeBron James-Maverick Carter barbershop-style talk show, The Shop, per @THR. Set for HBO debut on Aug. 28, featuring James, Carter, Draymond Green, Candace Parker, Odell Beckham Jr., Alvin Kamara and Jon Stewart.
After signing a four-year $153 million deal to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James may already be thinking about his streams of revenue after retiring from the NBA. According to Maverick Carter, his business partner, James is looking to own a U.S. professional sports franchise, likely either basketball or football. “He does like football and he’s looked at football ownership, so he’ll be owning a basketball team and running it,” Carter told Variety’s Audrey Cleo.
Hundreds of fans hoping to see new Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James on Tuesday had to make do with free pizza instead. James was a no-show at the Blaze Pizza outlet in Culver City, California. The NBA superstar tweeted a day earlier about a “pizza party” at the location and fans hoped it was a hint that he might attend.
Blaze Pizza: Los Angeles—are you ready for the King of all pizza parties?! We’re celebrating @KingJames arrival in LA with free pizzas on 7/10! Stop by any of our LA locations between 2-5pm for your free pie! Let’s welcome #LAbron to LA the only way we know how! LeBron James: Haven’t been to a pizza party in a minute 🤔 Culver City? 👀🍕
James’ “I Promise School,” an actual, public school through the Akron school district sponsored by his LeBron James Family Foundation, opens July 30. A seven-week sprint is ongoing to modernize the building at 400 W. Market Street in Akron, with estimates of more than $880,000 for the upgrades and $2 million total to run the school in its first year coming from the foundation and its corporate sponsors.
The James foundation’s mentorship program is much larger than the school. There are 1,300 students, all of them facing various cultural and economic barriers to learning. The oldest students will be sophomores in high school, and if they complete the program and graduate they have scholarships to the University of Akron waiting for them in the fall of 2021.
Last June, Forbes said Liverpool was the eighth-most valuable soccer team in the world at a value of $1.49 billion. But the trip to the UEFA Champions League final will guarantee an award of more than $100 million to Liverpool. One sports investment banker told ESPN that given the team’s rise to prominence combined with its history, which includes the second-most titles in English soccer (18), the team could be sold today conservatively for $1.6 billion. That means James’ investment has grown nearly five times ($6.5 million to $32 million) in seven years.
Sources said James received a 2 percent stake in Liverpool in April 2011, when his marketing firm, LRMR, agreed to a joint venture with Fenway Sports Partners. Fenway Sports Partners is owned by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, who bought Liverpool for a bargain $477 million in October 2010. The Liverpool owners at the time, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, were looking to get $954 million for the highly levered club. Sources said James’ 2 percent piece, which he still retains, was given to him in lieu of roughly $6.5 million.
LeBron James’ barbershop-themed series “The Shop,” has now hatched as many legal battles as it has episodes after Adventure Enterprises filed a lawsuit claiming it consulted with James’ multimedia company, UNINTERRUPTED, about the idea before being cut out of the production.
The suit claims that over a period of two years Adventure Enterprises engaged in “numerous talks” with UNINTERRUPTED in order to “flesh out the idea and figure out a strategy for pitching it to various networks,” according to details of the suit published by TMZ Sports.
April 4 will be the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, and Historyis marking it with a new documentary on the civil rights struggle. Executive produced by NBA star LeBron James and Freedom Riders filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Rise Up: The Movement that Changed America includes interviews with President Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Sen. Cory Booker and others.
“We started Springhill to tell the stories we wanted in our community,” James said. “It is an honor to partner with Stanley Nelson, who has been such an important voice and artist, on this documentary. There are more and more great productions – both fiction and nonfiction – telling our story. I am really proud of the role Springhill is playing in this moment and appreciate History giving us this opportunity.”
Not that anyone can be sure what Bron will do. He has always waited to the end to assess his options—then shocked everyone, leaving Cleveland for Miami in 2010 and Miami for Cleveland in 2014. On the other hand, James and his Cleveland-based people look like they’re up to something… or have millions to throw around on real estate whims, or both. Bron’s agent, Rich Paul just bought a $3 million home in Beverly Hills. Marketing point man Maverick Carter bought one in the Hollywood Hills for $3.5 million. Befitting his status as “The King,’ Bron bought one in Brentwood in December for $23 million.
In light of director Morgan Spurlock’s admission to a history of sexual misconduct, SpringHill Entertainment — LeBron James’ production company — has cut ties with Spurlock on the release of a planned docu-series focusing on the opening of James’ I Promise School in Akron, OH in the fall of 2018.
The series, which will begin shooting soon in Akron, will explore the challenges, triumphs and impact of the LeBron James Family Foundation’s efforts to open the “I Promise School,” as well as the first-year trials of working within a local public school system aimed at children who are fighting uphill battles every day. The series will also highlight the educators, mentors, and community partners committed to establishing a new approach to education from an early stage.
The film, titled “Shot in the Dark,” follows the basketball team at Orr Academy High School as they compete and face systemic injustices in the city. It’s the second film in a new FOX Sports documentary series called “Magnify,” which also includes “89 Blocks,” produced by LeBron James’ digital media company UNINTERRUPTED and Sports Illustrated.
Following her Oscar-nominated role in “Hidden Figures,” Octavia Spencer is set to portray another trailblazer in a series produced by LeBron James. The limited, still untitled series will focus on the life of entrepreneur and social activist, Madam C.J. Walker, according to a report by Variety. Walker, who died in 1919, is recognized as the first black self-made female millionaire in America.
The show, which could land at Netflix, will be the first drama produced by James and business partner Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment. The company has produced several shows including the comedy “Survivor’s Remorse” on Starz, the game show “The Wall” on NBC and “Cleveland Hustles” on CNBC.
LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s next television venture is a sitcom about a sneaker store in Los Angeles. SpringHill Entertainment, the production company founded by the Cavaliers superstar and his longtime business partner, is developing the still untitled show for HBO.
LeBron James and his business partners have turned another small investment into a fortune. Sources tell ESPN that an investment James, his business partner Maverick Carter and financial advisor Paul Wachter of Main Street Advisors made for less than $1 million in 2012 in upstart fast casual pizza chain Blaze has turned into $25 million.
“LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in and putting real money into them,” Carter said. “We’re not talking putting in $15,000 or $20,000. It’s real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring as well as bringing LeBron’s name and likeness to the product.”
LeBron James passed up $15 million over four years from McDonald’s because he was cooking up something bigger. Well, fast-fire baking. Blaze Pizza has already paid off its most famous investor’s sacrifice. The fast-casual pizzeria opened its 200th location (in Mentor, Ohio, near Cleveland) is off to the fastest start of any restaurant chain in the American history, Forbes reports, citing Technomic. Read that back: the fastest start of any restaurant chain – not just pizza.
Forbes reports that Blaze hopes to make $285 million this year and $1.1 billion by 2022. James, who bought in as part of a group when there were only two locations, owns 10% of the company.
LeBron James has partnered with another powerful technology company. James signed an endorsement deal with Intel that will enable the tech giant to use him in a commercial that will air during Saturday’s Final Four games.
The ad highlights Intel’s 360 replay technology, which it has used at recent sporting events, including Super Bowl LI and CBS’ Final Four games on Saturday and Monday. The system was built by Intel and uses 28 cameras that broadcast in 5K to pull off the new-age version of a highlight. “From a brand standpoint, we want fans to associate Intel technology with amazing experiences,” said Intel chief marketing officer Steve Fund. “So we’re picking the best of the best to tell that story.”
LeBron James, perhaps Nike’s premier pitchman, said Wednesday he was aware of the shoe company’s tumbling stock after weaker-than-expected sales in its latest earnings report. And he didn’t sound too worried. “Uh, listen, at the end of the day if Nike hits the fan then we’re all in trouble,” James said. “Everybody.”
LeBron James: 🍕🍕🍕 – RT: Kurt Badenhaus: Blaze Pizza reports 83% sales growth in ’16 to $185M. Project $1.1B in 2022. LeBron James group owns 17 Blaze franchises.
Not long after donating $2.5 million to support the Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, LeBron James and Maverick Carter announced on Monday they will produce a multi-part documentary about Ali’s life and career for HBO. “It’s tough to put into words how much it means to me to be a part of this project honoring the legacy and telling the extremely important story of the great Muhammad Ali,” James said in a news release.
SpringHill Entertainment, LeBron James’ TV production company, has sold a comedy based on a sports agency to CBS, a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed. The comedy called Thankless, which follows a group of assistants at a firm in Chicago, will be written by Craig Gerard and Matt Zinman, who wrote for former CBS show “How I Met Your Mother.”
LeBron James posted an Instagram of him and Mark Wahlberg in a gym together with a couple interesting hashtags — “Camera Ready” and “By The Way Truly Appreciate The Gift.” When Wahlberg went on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon asked him about the photo. The actor responded by saying that the two of them actually thought up of a “great” movie idea. After talking about the photo for a bit (it was at his house), Wahlberg says, “He and I are talking about doing a movie together.”
LeBron James was named the 11th highest-earning celebrity for 2016 by Forbes on Monday with $77 million in income — $6 million higher than a January Forbes valuation but a cool $93 million behind pop star Swift.
James earned $23 million from the Cavs this season — which of course ended with a historic Finals triumph over the Golden State Warriors — and apparently $54 million off the court, according to Forbes. But the estimate could be low, counting only James’ endorsements and not his earnings in Hollywood. He owns SpringHill Entertainment, which signed a content agreement with Warner Bros. last summer, and is producing several TV shows for various networks.
There was even speculation that his seven-year, $90 million shoe deal, which he signed before his rookie season, incentivize him to play in a major market. All of that was true. His initial contract featured a clause that would pay James a $1 million annual bonus if he played in a big market, sources with knowledge of the contract told The Vertical. The bonus would’ve been triggered if James had landed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston or in the Bay Area with Golden State.
“The largest growth in LeBron’s brand at Nike was that year, ‘The Decision,'” Maverick Carter said in an interview with Recode’s Kurt Wagner on the latest episode of Recode Decode. Put another way: Whatever, haters! “The Decision” and the move helped James sell lots and lots of merch. That was one of the best indicators to Carter that his approach to media coverage — control the message — was working.
He made a well-received crossover into film with a prominent role in Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck”; and whispers abound that he will succeed Michael Jordan in the Looney Tunes sports movie “Space Jam 2.” “Maybe we’re going to do it. There’s a lot of rumors. Nothing is set yet,” Carter said of “Space Jam.”
Today, Carter said he sees traditional media as “complementary” to his and James’s work, and a good source of broad distribution, but he wants more and more athletes to be telling their own stories. “The media has to cover a lot of stories and a lot of athletes,” he said. “If Draymond Green wants to tell a deeper, more insightful story, we [Uninterrupted] are the place for that. But he’s still going to talk to the Golden State press every day.”
Warner Bros. hired a writer to work on a script for Space Jam 2, likely starring LeBron James, but the project is still early in development. A source close to the mega Hollywood studio confirmed Monday that Warner hired Andrew Dodge, who wrote the script for the 2013 comedy Bad Words starring Jason Bateman, to build out a script for the highly anticipated sequel to the 1996 hit, Space Jam. The sequel would presumably star James, the Cavaliers’ superstar, who’s been linked to Space Jam 2 since his own media company signed a content development agreement with Warner Bros. last summer.
The report said James would star in the movie and that Lin hoped to direct and produce the film as well, but multiple sources close to James and the studio said that neither the director nor James’ participation in the film had been finalized. Warner Bros. filed for new Space Jam trademarks, a potential signal for new merchandise for a follow-up to the original film about a basketball star – in that case, Michael Jordan – playing against a cast of intergalactic monsters and Looney Tunes cartoon stars that grossed more than $230 million worldwide.
Justin Lin, Andrew Dodge and Alfredo Botello are ready to shoot some intergalactic hoops with LeBron James. The Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Beyond helmer is co-writing with Dodge and Botello the Warner Bros.’ sequel Space Jam 2. Lin is also eyeing to direct and produce via his Perfect Storm Entertainment, and sources say he will be thoroughly involved in the creative development in the project.
Rumors of a follow-up to the live action/animated 1996 hit have been brewing for years, and picked up again when James and his company SpringHill Entertainment signed a deal with Warner Bros. in July. The Cleveland Cavaliers NBA player, who recently appeared in Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck, will star in Space Jam 2. He’s repped by WME. Sources say it’s early on the in the process but that Lin and Dodge are working on the script.
New Line Cinema and LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment have acquired rights to an Elite Daily video by senior humor writer Connor Toole that went viral last year. They will shape a feature comedy from the video, in which the 6’10” Toole put on a suit, attended the 2015 NBA Draft day in New York and spent the night successfully fooling people that he was a second-round selection of the Utah Jazz. It brought him free drinks, and plenty of attention from women and hoops fans.
LeBron James said Blaze Pizza, the fast-food pizza chain in which he was an original investor, might be coming to Cleveland. “There is some thoughts and there is some conversations and we’ll see what happens,” James said Wednesday, about Blaze coming to Cleveland.
Blaze, which offers assembly-line pizza making (think Chipotle for pizza), announced its sales figures last week and were first reported by Nation’s Restaurant News. “I’m a part of a company that started from the ground up,” James said. “I was a part of the (beginning) when we had just two restaurants. Now we’re hoping by 2018 we’ll have over 200. It’s great to be part of a company that’s built from the ground up.”
Joe Vardon: Kobe Bryant said he talks to LeBron James on the phone, about ball and business, something we hadn’t heard previously from LeBron
Joe Vardon: LeBron led the NBA in salary + endorsements again last year, according to Forbes. Story to come
LeBron James will co-produce and appear in a reality TV series called “Cleveland Hustles.” James and his close friend and business partner Maverick Carter are producing the series, which will make its debut this summer on CNBC. James also will make some cameo appearances. On the show, James and Carter will give four aspiring local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their dreams while revitalizing a neighborhood in Cleveland.
Which is how James arrived at last Monday, when he and Nike announced his signing of a lifetime contract. The deal, worth hundreds of millions on top of the hundreds of millions that Nike has already paid him in their 13-plus years together, was negotiated over the course of months, but it has really been under construction for years. When James signed his last Nike deal, in 2010, it included provisions to protect him. So when Kevin Durant signed a 10-year deal with Nike last summer for a reported $300 million after a bidding war with Under Armour, James knew he was going to be in position for a historic deal.
If you come to James with an offer, it is now routine business for him to find a way to step back and increase the scale. And if he can’t, he probably won’t do it. Next year, James is expected to have the highest salary in the NBA for the first time in his 13-year career. He knew this in 2014, which is why he became the first megastar player to take a one-year contract (with a one-year player option) in the midst of his prime, and why he did the same this past summer, positioning himself to cash in on the upcoming salary-cap spike.
James said he signed this deal with Nike because “I don’t want to go nowhere else. I’m Nike and swoosh for the rest of my life,” he said.
LeBron James has signed a guaranteed, lifetime endorsement deal with Nike that is worth at least $60 million per year, and maybe much more, as the athletic shoe-and-apparel giant sought to permanently extend its partnership with James that has already covered his entire 13-year NBA career.
James said Monday there has been a “conversation” with Nike about starting his own brand under the Nike umbrella, and “if it makes sense for us to have a ‘Team LeBron,’ or whatever the name will be, we’ll take a look at it and we’ll go from there.”
Michael Jordan, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets and is the basketball icon to whom James is most often compared, last played in the NBA in the spring of 2003. According to Forbes, Nike’s Jordan Brand shoe sales rose 17 percent in the U.S. last year to $2.6 billion, and Jordan’s apparel and international sales also bring in $1 billion.
LeBron James has signed a guaranteed, lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, the athletic shoe and apparel giant and partner of James for his entire 13-year NBA career to date.
James and Kia took a refreshingly honest approach to their latest ad campaign, featuring James reading real tweets from people questioning whether he actually drives a Kia. James doesn’t believe it’s a problem that people are skeptical and insists he drives his Kia sometimes — including to some home games. “I have a couple cars and I love driving mine,” James said. “It’s pretty cool when you can drive something sometimes that no one thinks you’re in. So I can be away from everybody, no one’s going to think that’s going to be me in that car, but it’s a great car.”
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.
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September 18, 2018 | 10:54 pm EDT Update
JH: What does it mean to you when people say you are now “The best player in the East?” Giannis Antetokounmpo: There is going to be a lot of people out there that is going to say I am the best in the East and there is going to be some that says that I am not the best in the East, so my mindset is to keep working hard, focus on my game and to continue making my team better. We are trying to get as many wins as possible.
JH: With LeBron out of the East, has your mindset changed? What is your ultimate goal for next season? Giannis Antetokounmpo: The goal is still the same. Of course you have LeBron in the Western Conference. We still have great teams like Boston, Toronto, Philly, Indiana in the East. We just have to continue getting better every day as a team. We have a great team, we have a great coach, and hopefully we will have a great season and take another step forward this year.
JH: You are going to face an immense amount of pressure this season. You are already being a pegged as a favorite to win MVP. What have you been doing to improve your game this summer? Giannis Antetokounmpo: I’ve been working on a lot of shooting and a lot of post moves, been working on my handle and want to get better at finding the right people when I get double-teamed or sometimes triple-teamed. It is just about getting better as an overall basketball player.
To hear some insiders tell it, in Doncic, it is as if the Mavs have acquired a taller version of Jason Kidd, who led Dallas to a championship in 2011 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month. “Luka has been playing in the gym with the guys every day and he’s looked great,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “He’s a big body guard, he can move, he can shoot, he’s got unbelievable passing skills. “He’s got passes through the legs and behind the back in scrimmages already, so I think we’re going to have a lot of fun watching him over the years grow even more. He’s fun to watch.”