LeBron James Debuts Film, Disses Wizards 'Rivalry'

I had the chance to catch a special screening of the documentary, "More Than A Game" last night at Regal Cinemas 14. The film tells the story of LeBron James's high school basketball team and the bond he formed with his four teammates on their seven-year path from a Salvation Army gym in Akron, Ohio, to a state championship in Columbus. Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant, Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown, coaching legend and sports talk show radio host John Thompson and radio personality Big Tigger were among the celebrities in attendance.

I must admit, it is a very powerful and compelling film that gives you a greater understanding of James and why his high school teammates, Dru Joyce III, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton and Willie McGee, remain his "brothers" more than six years after they parted ways. It was a little long, but very entertaining, especially since the documentary, through old videos and recent interviews, offered a rare glimpse into James -- aside from the guarded/scripted persona he often projects -- revealing his frailties, insecurities and overall maturity under the scrutiny of an intense media glare.

As I was watching the movie, I thought that even though this film was as much about James's teammates as it was James, it could have the sort of transcendent impact that the film, "Come Fly With Me" had for Michael Jordan. And, it couldn't have come at a better time for James, who has had a summer loaded with public relations hits (snubbing Orlando, confiscating the video of getting dunked on, wearing the MVP T-shirt) since he won his first career league's most value player award. This movie could win over a lot of people for him when it is released in select cities on Oct. 2 and across the country (in D.C. in particular) on Oct. 9.

You'd think that it would be especially tough for James to win over a crowd in D.C. -- where James is arguably the least liked opposing player not wearing the jersey of the Dallas Cowboys (who, by the way, are James's favorite NFL team). But I spoke with a Wizards fan/LeBron hater after the screening who told me that it was hard to dislike James after watching him in that movie. Of course, that opinion probably changed back to hatred about 10 minutes after James sat down with his teammates, his coach, Dru Joyce Jr., and director Kristopher Belman to discuss the movie.

After James and his friends answered some questions during a Q&A about the movie, one of the Sports Junkies from 106.7 The Fan asked James about the Cleveland Cavaliers' addition of Shaquille O'Neal and his opinion of the Washington Wizards' offseason moves to land Randy Foye, Mike Miller and Fabricio Oberto. The mere mention of the Wizards caused James to curl his lips and snicker. He followed with an answer that riled up the Wizards fans in the theater.

"For us, we're going to continue to get better. With the addition of Shaq, man, he brings a dynamic to our team that we haven't had -- a guy who we can continually go to in the post five, six straight possessions and know we're going to get a bucket or a foul," James said. "The mastermind is sitting over there, Mike Brown. The rest of the group, we're going to try to get everything taken care of and we're going to try to win a championship.

"On a side note, the Wizards, you look at them, you look at us, I mean, people say it's a rivalry, but a rivalry don't start until y'all beat us," James said, chuckling as a few Wizards supporters jeered.

"We'll be healthy this year," the Junkie told James, who just shrugged.

Anybody else looking forward to Nov. 3 at Quicken Loans Arena?

A fan in the audience asked James what would mean more, winning a state/national championship at St. Vincent-St. Mary's high school or an NBA championship with the Cavaliers? "I think they both would hold a special place in my heart. The national championship that I won at St. Vs was a dream that we had, since we was kids. Winning an NBA championship, is a dream I had when I was a kid. An NBA championship, a national championship and a gold medal that I won last summer, I think I would be okay with that."

Another fan asked if we've seen the best of James. "It's further in the future," James said. "What you guys have seen my six year career is the start of it. But I feel I have a lot more to offer. Even with the great things that I've done as an individual and with my team, I still have a lot to offer because I haven't won an NBA championship. I can't be linked with the greats until I can be linked with a ring. I'm looking forward to it."

James then said the athletes that he most admired are Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady and Michael Phelps. When someone told James that those guys have championships, James said, "Haven't got it yet. But I'm getting it."

By Michael Lee |  August 14, 2009; 8:42 AM ET
Previous: Flip on Gilbert, Wizards, Summer Mingling | Next: LeBron James on Arenas's Rehab: "He Looks Good"

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They are gonna fail this year as well...

Posted by: merajc86 | August 14, 2009 9:02 AM

The dude can play ball, I will give him that. But, he is the most arrogant ahole I have ever seen, movie or not.

Posted by: ivyleague | August 14, 2009 9:05 AM

Can't stand LBJ... Go Wiz, make us proud

Posted by: cedric_lockhart | August 14, 2009 9:07 AM

I always find it fascinating that superstars like Lebron know what the Wizards have to do to be considered rivals (probably correct), but don't know what to do when they lose...say shaking hands.

Posted by: azskinsfn | August 14, 2009 9:19 AM

What LeBron said, wasn't too inflaming about the wizards. He mostly promoted his team. It seems as though the rivalry is more between the fans of the 2 teams.

I will say this, LeBron does respect the wizards and he knows that their playoff record/success against the wizards is padded by playing against a team without its superstar and other key components. He just aint man enough to admit it just like he wasn't man enough to shake hands of the Orlando players or he initially wasn't man enough to want his being dunked on by whoever he was to be shown until the controversy surrounding it discredited him and Nike.

Posted by: G-Man11 | August 14, 2009 9:53 AM

Michael Lee just pouring out the gasoline and lighting the match. Haywood can defend Oneal and McGuire can man up on James and then its on!Our 14 payers against their 6. Wave after wave of big men and shooters. By the playoffs Oneal will be nothing anyway. I suppose Jamario Moon has them real excited anyway. LeBron will be out of Cleveland next year.

Posted by: firemetalrat | August 14, 2009 10:01 AM

I hate him I hate him I hate him. VOMIT!

I predict we beat them in every game.

Posted by: gdiddy7 | August 14, 2009 10:05 AM

Just what the world needs--a movie about LeTravel, the most over-hyped egomaniac on the planet. I'd rather watch Charles Barkley's colonoscopy.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | August 14, 2009 10:07 AM

Yankees Hat, so full of arrogance that he can't admit a 4 step move is a travel(That's my patented crab dribble), and now we find out the Cowboys are his favorite team.

This guy seems like he's from central casting for Wizards fans to hate. It will be very nice to be there when the Wiz take him down...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 10:08 AM

I agree with LeBron. Until the Wizards win (when it counts), it'll only be a rivalry in our minds. That being said, I hate the dude and can't wait for nov 3rd.

@azskinsfn: Every player knows what to do when you lose. You congratulate the winners openly and you secretly hope they fail. Unfortunately, I think LeBron has got it mixed it up.

Posted by: tundey | August 14, 2009 10:12 AM

LBJ is an incredible player, but even with the addition of old Shaq, the Cavs are going to have their hands full with this year's edition of the Wiz. And I'm heartened by the fact that we have a veteran coach in Flip, who I think can help keep the Wiz from getting psyched out (remember Gil's missed free throws late in the game during the playoffs after LeBron practiced some psyops on him). True, the Wiz broke that 13-game winning streak of the Cavs late last season when Gil and Haywood were briefly back, but there was little riding on it for the Wiz, a luxury they won't have in the playoffs against a team that eliminated them 3 of the past 4 years. So for this reason also, aside from x's and o's, Flip will be invaluable.

The Wiz will be the better team this year and will have the wins to show it.

Posted by: 7snider7 | August 14, 2009 10:30 AM

He's a Yankees fan because he's in LOVE with Jay-Z who just happens to wear Yankees hats. If you were to ask him who is Jorge Posada or even Mark Texaria he would walk away like he did after the Orlando series.

He's arrogant, but he does balls(when he not carrying or walking with the ball) and I hope he gets out of DC today.

Posted by: ENJOYA | August 14, 2009 10:36 AM

I can't wait for him to get injured and have to waste a season. Then he'll understand that he's had 6 chances at a championship and blown them all. Even "the king" has a limited time to be dominant. In a few years, he'll either live up to that name or we'll all question why we ever gave it to a loser.

Posted by: jon_quest | August 14, 2009 10:54 AM

I don't understand this guy at all. I don't understand why he maintains that walking off the court without congratulating the team that beat your team is acceptable. Furthermore, in the two or three interviews he gave after the fact, he refused to admit any sort of mistake in doing this. He's put himself in a position where the only way he can behave acceptably is by winning a championship every year so he can continue to boast about how great he is. Until he wins a championship, he can't back it up.

I think LeBron hates coming to VC to play the Wizards because he gets booed. The crowd at the last Wiz-Cavs game at VC was decidely anti-LeBron and it think he hates it that Wiz fans don't love him. If we do manage to beat them in the playoffs, what sort of excuse is he going to offer then?

Posted by: jonathan30033 | August 14, 2009 11:06 AM

I can't wait for him to get injured and have to waste a season. Then he'll understand that he's had 6 chances at a championship and blown them all. Even "the king" has a limited time to be dominant. In a few years, he'll either live up to that name or we'll all question why we ever gave it to a loser.

Posted by: jon_quest | August 14, 2009 10:54 AM

Lebron is the 2nd best player in the NBA. if you got this many haters you must be doing something right. doesn't sound like many of us would shake lebron's hand after he beat the wiz and we don't even play. i luv tru fans take on sportsmanship.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 14, 2009 11:17 AM

It is always funny to me when people want to diss a team, fan, or rivalry by saying there is not one when one Team has been winning consistently.

To me, that answer is so moronic and it even throws cold water on the accomplishments of the winning Team.

Thats like a Dallas Fan or a Redskin Fan saying there is no rivalry because the other Team hasn't won in while. Hell the whole country knows there is one.

The NBA knows there is something goins' on between the Wiz and the Cavs.

When we whup the Caveliers butt this year, I wonder what the King gonna say then.

He talks a lot about winning a Ring. In case he did not know this franchise is in the Fraternity. Gilbert, should let him know, Cleveland ain't got no Ring, so by any measure, Cleveland don't have no rivalries.

And furthermore, iffin' you lookin' at the bottom line, Rings are what count and Mr. King King, don't have anymore than Gilbert.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 14, 2009 11:22 AM

One and out for the Cavs this year. LeBron is overrated because it's a team sport and he's a one-man team.

Luckily he isn't going to get the crown anytime soon because he doesn't even recognize the issue.

I think the Wiz play the Cavs only 3 times this season with 2 in Cleveland? If so, more favoritism from the Commish.

p.s. This guy hangs with Tiger. Obviously not much has rubbed off.

Posted by: Izman | August 14, 2009 11:23 AM

btw there is an article on cbssportsline.com regarding agent zero

Posted by: jasonma1 | August 14, 2009 11:49 AM

Shaq was in town a few weeks ago and was asked about the "rivalry" and could the Wizards beat the Cavs. He said no, not with Flip Saunders. The Cavs had better recognize. Don't overlook the Wiz. You are going to be disappointed again. We are going to knock that smirk off your faces.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | August 14, 2009 11:54 AM

It warms my heart to see so many people hate on this man! I don't consider myself a hater in general, but I openly admit to being completely biased against James & the Cowboys. He almost had me reduce my hatred to a low simmer because his game is getting more refined, but then the hand shake snub & video confiscation put me back on boil. I wonder how many of the Cowboy fans in this area are also Wizards fans. Probably not many because they have no loyalty, but I wonder what their feelings are towards James.

Posted by: wisdom80 | August 14, 2009 12:01 PM

Lebron is right.thats why the Wizards have some stuff to prove to the Cavs ,Bulls, Celts etc.but when we do King James aint going to like it.Hope he has more class than the Orlando series

Posted by: WMURRAY623 | August 14, 2009 12:12 PM

I loved the U tube link that someone posted on here awhile back of the LeBron/Kobe Muppet commercial with a different voice on Kobe's nephew.

"Lebron,Winner's have rings, Lebron if you're a winner, how come you ain't got no ring, Kobe's got three rings, Lebron. But you ain't got no rings"

Priceless...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 12:16 PM

Oh, and now Kobe's got 4 rings and sure looks like that team is primed up for #5.

Like Kobe, or not, you have to respect that.

And LeBron is like about 50% of the Yankee/Redsox fans that flock to Camden Yard. They're part of the no nothing, flock to the winner because they're cool this year crowd.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 12:22 PM

Cavs > Wizards

It will always be.


Enjoy.

Posted by: popopo | August 14, 2009 12:28 PM

Yeah. The next muppet commercial should have Kobe's nephew ragging Bron Bron about why he showed his lack of sportmanship by not shaking the Majic's hand.

'Hey Lebron, why didn't you shake Sumpermans hand? Lebron, did he hurt your feelings? Lebron, talk to me, talk to me Lebron.

That would be halarius.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 14, 2009 12:36 PM

"But I spoke with a Wizards fan/LeBron hater after the screening who told me that it was hard to dislike James after watching him in that movie."

Mike, it's a movie and Lebron is supposed to look that way in HIS movie. You're a sucker if you think otherwise.

Lebron is a jerk and will always be a jerk.

He thinks his a$$ doesn't smell, but if you have as many people kissing it as much as they do then you always think that way.

Wait until he leaves Cleveland and all of the real stuff about him starts coming out.

I can't wait.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 14, 2009 12:52 PM

Lebron has loads of talent, but he is a cry baby. He's a baby.

Posted by: Hondo5 | August 14, 2009 12:54 PM

I'm a die-hard Wiz fan and have been since Jeff Malone and co. were wearing those little a** shorts at the Cap Center. But it sounds to me like there is a lot of hating going on. Why should Lebron consider us rivals? A late-season, nothing-on-the-line win? Definitely not. They've bounced us from the playoffs repeatedly (still sick from watching Jamison not cut the baseline off and just GIVE LBJ a lay-up to win the game!) and have the best player in the game...PERIOD! I can't believe someone said the off-season additions were going to make us contenders!!! How do Foye or Miller help one of the most pourous defenses on the planet??? Oh, I forgot. Flip Saunders aka Mike D'Antoni Jr. doesn't care much about defense. We're gonna just try to outscore teams 128-116. We'll be in the top 8 with a healthy team. But until someone other than Caron and Dominique (can't include Deshawn bcuz of the back and Javale weighs 135 soak-n-wet with ankle weights on)decides to play some defense, we'll get bounced early again!

Posted by: facemob4 | August 14, 2009 1:04 PM

Who is LeBronny James ?

The Redskins will finish with a 4-12 record.

It's time to say goodbye to Vincent Cerrato.

Too bad, Danny Snyder.

Maryland will finish with a 2-10 record.

Maryland's defensive line and linebacker corps are a joke --- no pass rush whatsoever and give up a ton of long yardage plays.

I have seen harder hitting teams in powder puff leagues.

The only hard hits the Terps make - are out of bound plays - which cost them an additional 15 yards - which are quite frequent.

California's running back - Best - will gain 296 yards in the opening game

I love it, when Maryland constantly gets embarrassed on national TV.

Prediction:

California -- 56
Maryland -- 10

It's hilarious to see Maryland win a game - and the very next week get clobbered by a Virginia Tech - Boston College.

It is great to see Maryland go down to a crushing defeat on recruiting front (the kids they have received commitments from - are a joke! - taking the bottom of the barrel)

Carolina Blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels - Let's go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | August 14, 2009 1:06 PM

I think the Cavs are really close to a title. Unfortunately, I suspect Shaq was not the missing piece.

Seems to me that LeBron presents problems not only for the defense, but for his own offense. He needs a clear path to the basket, and to get that, his inside players have to clear out of the lane. Shaq's not going to do that. Which puts the burden on James to adjust his preferred game.

It's a better situation for Shaq than Phoenix, but how much better? I wouldn't predict.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 14, 2009 1:08 PM

Well,at least hclark1 came up with some new material. It's not very good, but it's new.

The Cav's biggest weakness was exposed last year in the playoffs. They can't play a team that rebounds well enough to force the tempo on them. In the open floor they lack the quickness to defend.

Adding Shaq sure didn't improve them on that score, he's still a force in the lane, but isn't the dominant defensive rebounder he once was. He can be bodied up and nuetralized on the boards, because he's not as quick and nimble on his feet as he once was.

Lebron and Shaq in a half court slow it down game, are going to be tough to defend. Big Z will form a tough tag team, but quickness and ability to run the floor aeren't either guy's strength.

If Cleveland can't control the boards, everybody's going to attempt to push tempo on them. I've always liked Shaq, but I'm not sure that he's got a title run left in the tank.

The amount of celebrity stuff he's been doing this summer also makes me wonder what kind of shape he's going to be in come Nov.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 1:44 PM

They should have call the film "More than an A-Hole".

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 14, 2009 2:05 PM

Hate the guy all you want, but he's got a valid point. Until the Wizards actually beat the Cavs when it matters, there's no reason for him to consider Washington a rival.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 14, 2009 2:23 PM

What Kal said . . .

Posted by: rbpalmer | August 14, 2009 2:57 PM

I'm not a Lebron fan, but he speaks the truth.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 14, 2009 8:39 PM

Eff LeBron James... Eff the Cavs too...

Posted by: MEssex | August 14, 2009 10:37 PM

Eff LeBron James... Eff the Cavs too...

Posted by: MEssex | August 14, 2009 10:39 PM

Just another reason to hate this bamma...

Posted by: bigherb | August 15, 2009 10:38 AM

i suppose two wins by the gimpy wizards last season doesn't count for anything....

granted it's not a playoff win, but...anything?

Posted by: crs-one | August 15, 2009 10:50 AM

Prediction:
Shaq will play sporadically, and try to "play himself into shape" over the season. The two egos on that squad will clash, then self-destruct and Mr. Potato Head will be out as head coach.

D. Stern will try and clean up the mess for better ratings..

Posted by: brianptaylor1911 | August 16, 2009 3:47 PM

I'll pay to watch guys that love the game as much as Gil, AJ and Caron long before I spend 20 minutes watch LJ on TV. LJ's got no respect. It's sad actually.

Posted by: EWE1 | August 17, 2009 4:59 AM

LeBaby is a good basketball player but a wholly unlikable person.

Oh and the he will never win a championship era is 6 years and counting!

Posted by: Rocky420 | August 17, 2009 9:22 AM

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