The King of Wakanda’s first feature film is getting high praise from King James. LeBron James finally saw Black Panther on Monday night and had plenty to say about the movie and its importance to people of color in America.
James spoke with reporters on Tuesday in an interview where he also called the NCAA “corrupt,” but his thoughts about the Marvel movie are much more important to movie buffs or those desperate for representation in film.
James spoke for more than two minutes about the film, calling it “one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen” in an interview with reporters who asked if he’d seen the movie, which features a mostly black cast with a black superhero lead played by Chadwick Boseman.
“It’s one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen,” James said. “And so many different reasons why. At this time and place right now in the society we’re in right now I think it was like perfect timing.”
James elaborated on the timing of the movie using a metaphor about the timing of some of the NBA’s greatest players entering the league at the perfect moment. He also hilariously talked about the invention of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“Timing is everything. It’s almost like when Bird and Magic came into the league, they just needed to have that at that particular time. It’s almost like when Jordan entered it. It’s almost like when somebody found out how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: it’s like the greatest thing to happen at that point in time.
Black Panther is that because right now in society where we’re talking Black Lives Matter and equality and things of that nature and we see a community in Wakanda who basically sheltered themselves away from everybody because they felt that what they had and how they protected their own was the best way for them to survive. And then toward the end they said ‘In order for us to survive as a people we have to be one. In order for us to be as great as we can be we have to be one. And we’re going to lend our resources, we’re going to lend what we’ve done over our whole existence to everybody.’
Seriously, look at how happy he is talking about PB&J sammies.
Anyway, Black Panther has resonated with NBA players, with Victor Oladipo famously donning a Black Panther mask for a dunk in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest earlier in the month. James spoke to the movie’s importance and the value of minority representation in film.
“And for me, as a kid growing up, I never thought that I would see a black superhero. I love superheroes growing up, I’m going to be honest, I loved Batman. I loved Superman. I loved Spiderman and Iron Man. But I never thought I could be them. Because they were all white males, or white. So I kind of looked up more to athletes. And rappers. And people more in my neighborhood. Because they were ones of color. So to see how powerful Black Panther is and how powerful his tribe was and his people around him, it just gave you like a sense of like ‘Yes, not only can we be the president of the United States, Barak Obama, we can be a superhero in Black Panther.’ That’s so dope for me. And so dope for my kids to see that, like, right now in this point in time.”