Say what you want about this year’s Decision 2.0 and LeBron James’s return to Cleveland – that it was the story of a boy who manned up and atoned for previous mistakes or the most well-orchestrated PR Image improvement stunt and ownership coup in sports history – but the theme of the hometown hero coming back to make good on a promise is far from over. Prior to his essay in Sports Illustrated, which announced his choice to take his talents out of South Beach and back to the rebuilt Cavaliers, James had been pushing his brand into the shining lights of Hollywood. In addition to his animated series, The LeBrons, James has been attached to co-star in the Kevin Hart comedy Ballers, which would star Hart as a man living in his superstar athlete’s shadow.
And if that wasn’t enough, James also has executive producer status on the Mike O’Malley-written Starz series Survivor’s Remorse, which debuts in October and tells the story of a star athlete, naturally, who has to cope with his family and friends in the wake of becoming a superstar. Sound like a lot? Sure, but Cavs fans shouldn’t worry about the ego of an athlete clashing with the ego of an A-list actor any time soon, because The Hollywood Reporter claims (via Maverick Carter, the man behind the curtains) that James is putting Hollywood on the back burner in order to focus on that promise to Cleveland.
“Basketball and turning Cleveland into a winner is first, second, third and fourth priority for LeBron,” his manager and business partner Maverick Carter tells THR.
James, says Carter, can see himself segueing full time into Hollywood — someday.
“He’s a player, but he also approaches basketball from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” says Carter. “Because as much as he loves playing — and he would probably play for free — he knows it’s also a business. He’s going to pick roles that fit him; he wants to work with people he admires. But he also understands it’s a business.” (Via THR)
James, who would play basketball for free according to the PR agent’s Mad Libs guide to dismissive wanking, is expected to sign a new max contract next summer worth around $22 million per season. Additionally, he makes a gazillion-zabillion dollars in endorsement deals, so let’s not pretend that this guy doesn’t love being on the fast track to billionaire status by the time he’s 35. That’s probably why he’s cool with pushing Ballers back another year and limiting his involvement with Survivor’s Remorse – he’ll only appear at the Los Angeles premiere – because that Hollywood door will always be open, and he has to ultimately focus on winning an NBA Championship for the Cavs, so he can lock up GOD status for the rest of eternity.