LeBron James, 36, will be hard-pressed to beat MJ’s six NBA titles—he trails by two—but he already tops Jordan in another category—first NBA player to crack $1 billion in career earnings while still active. Jordan fell short of $1 billion during his playing career, even adjusted for inflation. Don’t shed a tear for MJ, though. His highest annual earnings have come in retirement, thanks to skyrocketing revenue at Nike’s Jordan Brand, and Jordan’s total earnings are now roughly $2 billion since he left Chapel Hill for the NBA in 1984.
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Since being drafted in 2003, James has earned $330 million in playing salary—net of recent escrow deductions—and another $700 million off the court from endorsements, merchandise, licensing and his media business. Current endorsement partners AT&T, Beats, Blaze Pizza, GMC, Nike, PepsiCo, Rimowa and Walmart help James earn more than $100 million annually. The latest addition is Epic Games, where Fortnite players will have access to a pair of James-themed outfits or “skins.”
His closest comps among active players are Kevin Durant ($580 million in career earnings) and Stephen Curry ($430 million). The only other athletes to earn $1 billion while still active are Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Roger Federer.
Joe Pompliano: They let LeBron bring his own bottle of tequila into the arena tonight 😂 LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Rich Paul, Anthony Davis, and Draymond Green are all investors in the “Lobos 1707” brand. LeBron James: They let me??? Ok we’ll go with that! “BYOT” Bring Your Own Tequila! 😄😎🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺 @Lobos1707
From a content perspective, it’s SpringHill’s biggest project yet. The film is a platform for several brand partnerships too. Here are the biggest ones: Microsoft Xbox: Microsoft released three exclusive Space Jam controllers and a new video game. Nike and Converse: an apparel collection featuring new sneakers, the LeBron 19s, LeBron 18 Lows, Air Force 1s in toddler sizes, and Chuck Taylors. McDonald’s: SpringHill got Space Jam toys in Happy Meals—a place that’s been held on lock by Disney and Marvel characters Fortnite: LeBron now has a Space Jam-themed skin in Fortnite Nifty: free Space Jam-inspired NFTs for up to 91,000 guests
SpringHill Co., led by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, is in early discussions with a range of potential investors to sell a piece of the media and entertainment firm that would value it at upwards of $750 million, Variety confirmed. The inbound interest in SpringHill has ranged across industries. Parties that have engaged with SpringHill on a potential deal have included Nike, as well as streaming-video providers and tech companies, according to a source familiar with the talks.
The 120-employee SpringHill’s projects include “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring James alongside a crew of Looney Tunes favorites, which Warner Bros. is releasing July 16 on HBO Max and in theaters. The company also is currently in production on “House Party” for New Line, as well as the Adam Sandler-led “Hustle” for Netflix. And on Monday, ViacomCBS’s Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Films announced an original live-action movie “Fantasy Football,” executive produced by SpringHill Co. in partnership with Genius Entertainment, about a 15-year-old girl who discovers she can control her professional football player dad’s prowess on the field through her video game; production is set to begin in early 2022.
NBA superstar LeBron James’ entertainment firm, SpringHill Company, is exploring a possible sale at a valuation that could reach $750 million, according to people familiar with the situation. Among the companies said to be considering an offer is Nike, the people said.
There is a rumor in basketball circles that James owns a large stake in Klutch. Paul described such talk as an attempt to undermine him. “So why is it that LeBron has to own Rich Paul’s business?” he asked. “Let me tell you what that’s about. That’s all putting things in the atmosphere to discourage, right? That’s all they want to do.” Zimmer said, “LeBron doesn’t own Klutch Sports,” and the N.B.A. agrees. The spokesman for the league said, “Current players are prohibited under the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the N.B.A. and the Players’ Association from holding an equity interest in a business entity that represents other players. We have seen nothing to suggest Klutch Sports is in violation of this restriction.”
Brian Windhorst, an ESPN reporter who has known James for more than two decades and has written several books about him, told me, “The burden that Rich faces is that people question his legitimacy. They want to delegitimize him because of his race, because of his lack of education, because he used to sell jerseys out of the trunk of his car. If that’s the best they can do, they have to do a lot better.” When I asked him about James’s role in Klutch, Windhorst cut me off: “Is there some secret arrangement? So what if there is? If he tosses LeBron some sort of kickback, so what?” He added, “Rich may have been pulled up on his feet by LeBron, but he grew his own wings.”
The endorsement climate has dried up for many athletes, with companies watching their spending following the uncertainty of the past year. But global stars like Osaka and LeBron James continue to be in high demand. Osaka landed a bevy of new partners, while James signed a long-term deal with PepsiCo this year to help the company launch its new Mtn Dew Rise Energy drink. The pact, plus his upcoming starring and producing role in the Space Jam: A New Legacy movie, pushed the King’s earnings to a career-high $101.8 million, fifth-best in sports. “Brands and marketers are being more discretionary in where they’re spending their money and don’t necessarily want to run the risk on mid-level athletes,” said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising. “The big names cost more, but they’re sure things.”
The original Space Jam was made for $88 million and released on Nov. 15, 1996. It generated $230 million worldwide in its theatrical run (which is $364 million in today’s dollars). The sequel’s budget is $162 million. Even if the new film is a dud, and there are SpringHill shows that flop, James will be fine, Squire said. “The risk is the same as for any entertainer who is in the establishment phase of entertainment, and he’s beyond the establishment phase because he has a lot of deals going on,” he said. “He’s diverse enough that his companies and holdings can withstand a cancellation here and there.”
Another SpringHill project is a movie adaption of the “Shooting Stars” book that was a collaboration by James and “Friday Night Lights” author Buzz Bissinger, who has plenty of experience in the entertainment industry. The story is about James growing up in Akron and his early basketball days with his friends. While not involved with the “Shooting Stars” adaption — James owns the film rights — Bissinger said James has the qualities to survive an entertainment industry that can be as savage as anything he experienced on the hardwood. “He is smart and ambitious and enjoys the L.A. glamour,” Bissinger said. “It is a tough business. Many have tried and more have failed. On the other, Hollywood is all about starfuckers and there is no star in the world bigger than LeBron. He talks, they listen.”
LeBron James has won four NBA titles with three teams, but he’s only on his second soft drink sponsorship — the King switched to Pepsi earlier this year after 17 years with Coke. While James may eventually expand his endorsement to Gatorade or other Pepsi products, for now his assignment is to build up the company’s main energy drink: Mtn Dew Rise. “We know it’s a crowded category,” James told CNBC. “But we believe there’s more room.” Global energy drink sales reached $57.4 billion in 2020, and the industry is expected to grow 7% on average annually.
On Wednesday, RedBird Capital Partners invested $750 million into Fenway Sports Group, the controlling company of not just the Sox, but another iconic franchise, Liverpool F.C. Coinciding with that transaction, LeBron and his longtime friend and business partner, Maverick Carter, traded in their 2 percent ownership of the English football club to join the Fenway ownership group at large. Three hours after the deal was finalized, the chairman of both storied organizations, Tom Werner, spoke with The Athletic to discuss what it would mean to have LeBron, 36, and Carter, 41, onboard like this. At one point, Werner was asked, specifically, how Liverpool had already benefited from being associated with an NBA legend like LeBron? Unprompted, this is what Werner said:
“We want to feel that the Red Sox are an inclusive place where everybody feels welcome. And while that may seem like an obvious notion today, the Red Sox have had a very complicated history when it comes to race relations. We work very hard to create a more diverse and inclusive organization from top to bottom. And I’m excited that LeBron and Maverick are owners of the Boston Red Sox because I believe this helps provide better representation of baseball to our fans.”
What does that mean for Liverpool? This is a move that could change the landscape of sports in the U.S., and will certainly have an impact on Liverpool. Werner clearly thinks LeBron and Carter could transcend all of Fenway Sports Group, including the defending Premier League champs. Nothing will be off-limits to them. “I will be surprised actually if they don’t weigh in (on management decisions of either team), I would welcome their thoughts,” Werner said. “I think that the relationship that the consumer has with a sporting team is an emotional one. I consider Maverick to be one of my closest friends, and I’ve spent hours with him talking about strategy, coaching, the lessons that I’ve learned from (Liverpool manager) Jurgen Klopp, and the lessons that he’s learned as an astute observer of basketball.
While Henry remains the principal owner of Liverpool, Werner has the second-highest number of shares. RedBird’s investment means it now has the third-biggest stake in the club, ahead of Mike Gordon — who effectively serves as Liverpool’s general manager. Neither LeBron nor Carter will suddenly be providing input on the balance of Klopp’s midfield or who should be targeted as Georginio Wijnaldum’s replacement this summer. But they will have a significant role in the direction of the club’s commercial strategy, and their contacts will at some point benefit recruitment — which impacts on-pitch strategy.
LeBron, now 34, hasn’t been shy about his desire to be an owner. But when he, or just about any athlete who’s still playing, says he wants to own a team one day, it can sound like a bit of a lark, akin to “I’d like to own a pony.” What few realize is that LeBron, with the help of people he trusts the most, has been making maneuvers and preparations so that if he were to retire today, and an NBA franchise was for sale tomorrow, he could place a bid. He not only has the finances to be a primary investor, but enough of the right people around him, and enough cache built in the league, to pull it off. As LeBron told The Athletic in one of two conversations about this: “Ain’t no maybe about it, I’m going to do that s—.”
So when LeBron first mentioned NBA ownership to Wachter, the response was: There are things we can do to make sure this happens. “I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to be a great sports team owner, from having watched the Fenway ownership group and others I know, and there is zero doubt in my mind that LeBron will be a great owner,” Wachter said. “I would bet the ranch on that. He has all the same qualities. He’s preparing for it, he’s studying for it, he’s watching owners in many sports, trying to learn best practices. He and Maverick both. I promise you LeBron has no interest in being a second-tier owner.”
LeBron has an idea about whom he might hire as his first general manager, mentioning former Miami and Cleveland teammate James Jones, who’s now the interim GM in Phoenix. Brandon Weems, a childhood friend of LeBron, is a front-office executive with the Cavaliers. LeBron seeks to empower those close to him — always has. “I want to stay around the game of basketball,” LeBron said earlier this month, in a second conversation with The Athletic about his next big thing.
Harrison Faigen: LeBron, after buying part of the Red Sox today, reiterates that he wants to buy an NBA team at some point. “My goal is to own an NBA team. I’ve got so much to give to the game. I know talent, and I know how to run a business as well… It’ll be sooner than later.”
This was a significant step in the path James very well might take to realize a goal of becoming the controlling owner of a pro sports franchise. He could do it by following the avenue Jeter blazed with lessons from former MVPs-turned-owners such Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. “If LeBron retired tomorrow, he probably could put together a group with enough capital to buy an NBA team in a short period of time,” said an investment banker who has advised on NBA team sales in the past. “The trick is finding a group that would put up that kind of money and allow him to be the controlling partner if he’s not putting in the most money. That’s a harder deal to strike. But he is the type of athlete and businessman who might be able to do it.”
For James, his long and expanding relationship with FSG could eventually be that type of vehicle. James and business partner Maverick Carter first joined primary owners John Henry and Tom Werner in 2011 when he acquired 2% of Liverpool FC as part of a marketing deal with FSG. Now, James is in business with Redbird’s Gerry Cardinale, who has a long history of making deals with sports teams such as the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys and recently bought half of the XFL with partner Dwayne Johnson.
Forbes recently projected James to surpass $1 billion in career earnings from his NBA salary and endorsement deals this year. That estimation doesn’t take into account his investment success. For example, his initial $6.5 million stake in Liverpool FC is now believed to be worth more than $40 million, as the team climbed from the $477 million FSG paid to more than $2 billion today. Among other scores, he brought in an eight-figure haul when Apple purchased Beats, where James had an equity stake, for $3 billion back in 2014.
LeBron James, one of the most notable athletes globally, is now part-owner of one of the most valuable sports empires. The National Basketball Association star is a minority owner in Fenway Sports Group (FSG), which owns the Boston Red Sox, a franchise valued at over $3 billion. James’ agent Rich Paul confirmed the ownership stake to CNBC. The Boston Globe first reported James’ involvement. The publication notes James and business partner Maverick Carter are the first two Black owners within FSG. The firm itself is valued at over $6 billion, according to Forbes.
Paul, who represents James via Klutch Sports Group, is also involved with Major League Baseball after adding a baseball division to his agency last April. He labeled James and Carter’s involvement with FSG as a sign of things to come for the basketball icon. “It’s breaking down the barriers,” Paul told CNBC on Tuesday. “You’re talking about a game that was once limited. Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente – guys like that people didn’t even want to play the game. The Negros had to have their own league to us now owning and representing in that business sector. It’s a testament to us continuing to evolve and not being complacent.”
Asked if James is serious about becoming a pro sports owner, Paul responded: “Hell yeah. He’s extremely serious about sports ownership.”
Paul said James would hold on to his stake as he navigates the MLB ownership space to pursue one day running a team. “I don’t see him selling. He doesn’t need the money,” Paul said, adding that James’ ownership focus would be start with the NBA. “I can’t wait for him to be on the other side as an owner.”
The other development introduced another new FSG partner who needs no introduction: LeBron James. James, one of the most recognizable, influential, and richest athletes on the global stage, now owns an undisclosed amount of Fenway Sports Group shares after previously holding an approximately 2 percent share of the Liverpool soccer franchise since 2011 [making LeBron a part-owner of the Red Sox].
By becoming a partner in FSG, the Los Angeles Lakers star also will become a part-owner of the Red Sox as well as other FSG subsidiaries, including NESN, Roush Fenway Racing, and Fenway Sports Management. James’s potential to enhance the brand value of FSG properties is significant, and even more so given that RedBird’s investment will help give FSG the spending power it needs to expand its portfolio and begin adding to its list of properties.
Also joining James as a new FSG partner is Maverick Carter, James’s longtime business partner and friend. Carter and James become the first Black partners in FSG’s history. On FSG’s shopping wish list are NFL and NBA franchises, another European soccer club, NHL, MLS, WNBA, and NWSL teams, plus sports betting, esports, and data analytics companies. The RedBird cash infusion will give the New York-based firm an 11 percent stake of FSG, which will have an enterprise value of approximately $7.35 billion. FSG will have $600 million-$700 million in debt, with more than $600 million cash going out to existing partners.
Carter and James, who played high school basketball together in Akron, Ohio, have been improvising like this off the court for almost two decades. Their partnership has strengthened as each has matured—Carter as a thoughtful and strategic CEO; James as a professional athlete whose brand and identity extends into social justice. Together, they’ve built the SpringHill Company into a multipronged entertainment empire that furthers their goals to build a movement, empowering communities while striving for the excellence of Disney, Nike, and Apple. The company has married its mission of promoting people of color and other underrepresented groups with entertainment. “They want to make content that’s meaningful and rooted in the cultural conversation,” says Courtney Sexton, senior VP of CNN Films, which is a producer on SpringHill’s forthcoming documentary on Tulsa’s Black Wall Street and the 1921 race massacre.
Until recently, SpringHill was a loosely organized constellation of production and marketing arms, but last summer James and Carter unified the company under one banner, raising $100 million and intensifying its sense of purpose. In the months since, SpringHill has signed a flurry of deals with Amazon, Netflix, Sirius, and Universal, among others, cementing its position as a powerful player in Hollywood. “We’re always pulling that thread of our mission in everything that we do and bring to life,” says Carter, a boyish 39-year-old whose laid-back vibe belies what his many admirers describe as his deep commitment to understanding every aspect of the business.
IMDb TV is teaming with LeBron James and Maverick Carter on Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers, a docuseries about a new mecca of high school athletics just outside of Los Angeles.
Executive produced by James and Carter as part of their Uninterrupted brand, Top Class follows six principal players during the highly publicized 2019-20 season of Sierra Canyon School’s boys basketball program. The back-to-back state champion Trailblazers exploded onto basketball’s national stage with one of the highest-profile classes in history, including some of the nation’s highest-ranking players: BJ Boston, Amari Bailey, Bronny James, Shy Odom, Zaire Wade and Ziaire Williams.
After 17 years with Coca-Cola, pitching a variety of products, LeBron James is signing with rival PepsiCo, sources confirmed to ESPN. The Los Angeles Lakers star is expected to promote the Mountain Dew brand, which has become one of the NBA’s prime sponsors after PepsiCo took over as the league’s official beverage partner in 2015.
LeBron James is preparing to join PepsiCo after a long-standing sponsorship with Coca-Cola, sources told Front Office Sports. James would join a growing team of NBA and WNBA stars pitching the rebranded “MTN DEW”: Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans; Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers; Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets; and A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces.
According to sources, James will become the face of Mountain Dew’s upcoming “Rise Energy” line after nearly 18 years as an endorser for Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Powerade brands. The pending deal may also include integration with Blaze Pizza, which currently offers Coca-Cola products at its more than 300 locations. James owns an approximate 10% stake of the chain.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told Front Office Sports that his deal with the Atlanta-based soda giant expired in September. “Lebron’s contract came up at a time when both he and The Coca-Cola Company were actively reviewing all of its resources to make sure it was investing in places that ensured long-term growth,” Coca-Cola said. “After many discussions with Lebron and his team, we mutually agreed to part ways.”
The sports nutrition company Ladder, which James started with Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as a host of other investors and athlete personalities, has been acquired by the digital fitness company Openfit to be the company’s official nutrition provider. Openfit announced the acquisition on Wednesday and LeBron James celebrated the news on social media on Wednesday morning as well. “After pushing my body to its limits season after season, I needed a different level of supplements that I could trust to complement my workouts and aid in the recovery process. With Ladder, we achieved that. We were able to work with experts to create an incredible line of certified, high caliber supplements for all athletes, but we always recognized that is just one part of the process,” said LeBron James, champion athlete and Ladder co-founder in a press release about the acqusition. “Now with the reach and resources of the Openfit platform, we’re excited about bringing this all together and creating a new level of training and nutrition that fits everyone’s individual needs.”
Pat Evans: Lobos 1707 a new tequila and mezcal launched in the U.S. and Mexico today. There’s a notable investor: LeBron James and his biz partner Maverick Carter. Also invested: Anthony Davis and Draymond Green through MSA along with Klutch Sports Group CEO Rich Paul.
The SpringHill Company and CNN Films will produce “Dreamland: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street,” a documentary examining the violent events of late May and June 1921 in Tulsa, Okla., that led to a slaughter of hundreds of the city’s African American residents. The massacre took place in a prosperous community of Tulsa bankers, lawyers, and business owners, many of whom were the descendants of slaves.
“With the Javaris thing, you gotta remember, this wasn’t a beef,” Arenas said. “Out of all the players on the team, probably Javaris was the most consistent coming to my room when we landed. Just to talk basketball, watch film, just talk about life, what can he do to improve.” Fueled by anger, Arenas said he considered writing a book six years ago about how his tenure with the Wizards ended, but he ultimately decided against it. He told Buckhantz and Chenier that LeBron James’s production company is interested in doing a story about his life, which would focus on the happier moments of his career.
The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal is about to get the documentary treatment thanks in part to NBA superstar LeBron James. Quibi announced Friday that the docuseries tentatively titled “Sign Language” will debut on the streaming service at a later date and will be produced by James’ Uninterrupted sports media company.
The King’s palace finally has an opening date. LeBron James’ UNKNWN concept store will open in December during Art Basel across from Wynwood Walls, a press release says.
Designed by art collective New York Sunshine, the store aims to be more than just a retail destination. The store is designed to reflect the lifestyles and closets of LeBron and his childhood friends Jaron Kanfer and Frankie Walker Jr., who co-founded the brand in 2011. That means designer brands, limited-edition sneakers and, like LeBron, worldly experiences.
Market Force Information, a customer experience management company, conducted a survey of over 7,600 American adults to find out their favorite fast-food restaurants — and in the pizza category, one restaurant was the clear winner. Blaze Pizza, a pizza chain backed by NBA champion LeBron James, took the top spot as America’s overall favorite fast-food pizza.
Drake and LeBron James are joining forces to reshape the sports media landscape in Canada. The music superstar and the Los Angeles Lakers forward announced on Tuesday a partnership to bring Uninterrupted, a digital platform for athletes, to Canada. Drake is a part owner and promoter for the platform which James began in 2015, while Scott Moore serves as chief executive officer and Vinay Virmani works as chief content officer.
Uninterrupted Canada will focus on the interests of athletes outside their field of play. When the Drake-James partnership was announced it was also confirmed that Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka would have a fashion-based property on the platform and that Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman — who was traded to New York by the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday — will have a motivational series.
2 Chainz has announced the release date for his long-teased album RAP OR GO TO THE LEAGUE: It’s out March 1 (via Def Jam). Along with the release date, 2 Chainz has revealed that LeBron James A&R’d the project.
LeBron, now 34, hasn’t been shy about his desire to be an owner. But when he, or just about any athlete who’s still playing, says he wants to own a team one day, it can sound like a bit of a lark, akin to “I’d like to own a pony.” What few realize is that LeBron, with the help of people he trusts the most, has been making maneuvers and preparations so that if he were to retire today, and an NBA franchise was for sale tomorrow, he could place a bid. He not only has the finances to be a primary investor, but enough of the right people around him, and enough cache built in the league, to pull it off. As LeBron told The Athletic in one of two conversations about this: “Ain’t no maybe about it, I’m going to do that shit.”
“I know I got a great team around me that can help me do anything I want to do,” LeBron said. “If I wanted to run for the president of the United States, I got a team around me that could help me possibly win it, if I decided I wanted to give my all to it.”
Backstage, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, who also is one of Green Book’s executive producers, told The Undefeated a bit about her next project, in which she’ll be portraying Madam C.J. Walker in a limited series for Netflix. Spencer will both star in and executive produce the eight-episode story of a woman who went from washing clothes to becoming the first African-American female millionaire — and she’s doing it with LeBron James, who is producing along with her.
Chris Robinson, best known for his work on the Fox TV series “Star,” has been tapped to direct Universal’s untitled LeBron James movie. Juel Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier wrote the script for the film, which is based on James and Buzz Bissinger’s book, “Shooting Stars,” and the events of James’ life. Taylor is an alum of the Universal Writers Program, which aims to find up-and-coming and experienced creators who incorporate diverse and global perspectives into screenwriting.
James and Maverick Carter will produce for their SpringHill Entertainment alongside Terence Winter and Rachel Winter, who will produce for Tangerine Pictures and Cold Front Productions, respectively.
Even since James rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers four years ago, rumors have swirled that he would one day buy the team. On the same day the 4-time MVP returned to face the team he spent 11 seasons of his career with, Maverick Carter lent some credibility to that fan fantasy, telling ESPN’s Rachel Nichols he could see James one day buying the Cavs. “I think if this team was up for sale, he’d definitely one of the people who’d look at buying it,” Carter, James’ friend and business partner, told Nichols. “For sure.”
LeBron James’ Million Dollar Mile has secured a major celebrity as the host in Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow. According to Deadline, Tebow will be the main host while Maria Taylor and Matt “Money” Smith will aid Tebow in commentary.
LeBron James and Gotham Chopra had a documentary series planned and had started work on it well before last February. What they didn’t have almost nine months ago was a name for the docu-series directed by Chopra. That changed when Fox’s Laura Ingraham told LeBron James and Kevin Durant they should “shut up and dribble” after she watched James and Durant talk about President Trump and politics.
Gotham Chopra: “What started out as an exploration of how the NBA became the most culturally relevant league – with a social aspect – had already taken shape. It wasn’t because of Laura Ingraham, but because of the times in which we live. The Laura Ingraham thing, she gave us the title. … Titles not only give you a marketing hook but an organizing principle. So, we went back into the edits for refining.”
“I look at the series as the alternate history of the NBA,” Chopra said. “In watching this, it’s not ‘who are the best players and teams?’ We don’t really talk about Kobe Bryant. We don’t really talk about of the San Antonio Spurs. We talk about guys like Craig Hodges. We talk about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who was the original (Colin) Kaepernick. We walk about Allen Iverson. What’s really important here?”
LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment and Vertigo Entertainment, the latter of which produced It, are in talks to team up to produce a new iteration telling of the gory happenings at Camp Crystal Lake, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. While the intense interest in Halloween is partly a factor in the coming-together reboot, another is the legal case, decided just under a month ago, which saw original Friday the 13th screenwriter Victor Miller regain the rights to his screenplay.
The filled arena. Commissioner Adam Silver sitting in the 100-level, couldn’t have missed it. Said Whitsitt: “I’m 99 percent sure (they stay in Portland.) It’s a tremendous market. It’s been well supported forever. It’s a really good success story for the NBA and I guess my only one percent is, I could have said the same thing for the Sonics. “I can’t imagine any scenario where my brain sees the Blazers not in Portland.”
Steve Soute, who along with James co-produced the HBO documentary Student-Athlete, which cast the NCAA as corrupt, said James is engaged in the entertainment projects. “He has an active interest in reading scripts and looking at content,” Soute told USA TODAY Sports, “and knowing what stories he wants his name attached to.” It hasn’t taken long for James to capitalize on living in Laker Land. In July, paparazzi got tipped off and documented James emerging with Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio after dinner at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. Since announcing his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Lakers, James has granted just one extensive interview – to The Hollywood Reporter.
Smith was walking around East Lansing, Michigan (the Cavs play the Pistons on Friday) when he started joking about how LeBron is following him everywhere. “I can’t go nowhere and get away from this motherf**ker,” Smith said while pointing the camera at a Blaze Pizza sign. FYI, James is an investor, franchisee and paid endorser of the pizza company. Smith continued to joke … “Look at this sh*t. Look at this n****. He everywhere. He just keep following me!”
James said the only reasons he signed in July were his family and the Lakers. Those who work with him support that assertion: Even in Cleveland, James had a sort of gravity that drew business executives and entertainment big shots to him rather than the other way around. Coming to Hollywood doesn’t change that at all, said Jamal Henderson, president of SpringHill Entertainment, but it has shed light on the work James’ companies have already done. “It would’ve been nice if it had just taken a few months,” Henderson said, laughing. “We’ve been out here (in Burbank) for three years now. I know there’s been a flurry of announcements lately, but it really has no correlation with LeBron signing here. It’s mostly stuff that has already been brewing for a few years.”
While anyone in James’ companies will tell you his No. 1 job is to play basketball, he also has an indelible imprint on his projects by managing his time and interactions efficiently. He draws people in with his charisma, leads people with his vision, and expects them to execute – just as he would on the court. “Honestly, everything is driven by him,” says Michele Roberts, the COO of LRMR Ventures and the executive of the LeBron James Family Foundation. “Every time I talk to him, he’s asking how can we get better than the day before.”
In the entertainment realm, many of the day-to-day tasks are handled by Carter and his staff. James doesn’t necessarily work closely on each project, but he usually has a strong voice early in the process that helps shape the final product. Any amount of time James spends on a project is important, those who have worked with him attest. James’ gravitas as a celebrity helps open doors and later assists with the promotion. “For him to sign his name off on this, it’s monumental,” Williams said of “Best Shot”. “If I do it myself, it’s great, but it doesn’t have the notoriety behind it. I don’t dismiss the amount of time he put together to do this.”
Warren Buffett says LeBron James’ skills go beyond basketball and the billionaire investor lauded the Los Angeles Lakers’ star for his “money mind.” “People really do have minds that function better than other people’s in certain areas that you can’t give a test for,” Buffett told USA TODAY Sports Tuesday in a phone interview. “And LeBron, in addition to a lot of other talents, he has a money mind. And he gets stuff.”
“He can separate out the cream from the crap, and you get more of the latter proposed to you than you do of the former,” said Buffett, who added that he met James shortly after James turned pro and the two have communicated periodically since then. “You really have to be able to suss it out.”
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.
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.
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August 3, 2021 | 7:48 pm EDT Update
Tony Jones: Georges Niang has agreed to a two year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, league sources tell The Athletic
August 3, 2021 | 7:43 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent guard George Hill plans to sign with the Bucks after clearing waivers and the opening of league year Aug. 6, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The veteran PG is set to return to Milwaukee.
Other cap notes: Derrick Rose’s deal with the Knicks is expected to be via the Early Bird exception, sources confirm. So the Knicks should have roughly $8 million in cap space left over following the deals agreed upon with Rose, Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks and Evan Fournier. All of the contracts agreed to on Monday were not fully guaranteed in the final season, SNY has learned (immediately after the Burks deal was agreed upon, SNY reported that it would be fully guaranteed. We regret the error).
There was a point during free agency where New York and Dallas were interested in exploring a sign-and-trade that would send Reggie Bullock to Dallas, SNY has learned. It’s unclear if the sign-and-trade possibility was pursued/has been pursued after Bullock committed to the Mavericks.