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."
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: merajc86 | August 14, 2009 9:02 AM
Posted by: ivyleague | August 14, 2009 9:05 AM
Posted by: cedric_lockhart | August 14, 2009 9:07 AM
Posted by: azskinsfn | August 14, 2009 9:19 AM
Posted by: G-Man11 | August 14, 2009 9:53 AM
Posted by: firemetalrat | August 14, 2009 10:01 AM
Posted by: gdiddy7 | August 14, 2009 10:05 AM
Posted by: pjkiger1 | August 14, 2009 10:07 AM
Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 10:08 AM
Posted by: tundey | August 14, 2009 10:12 AM
Posted by: 7snider7 | August 14, 2009 10:30 AM
Posted by: ENJOYA | August 14, 2009 10:36 AM
Posted by: jon_quest | August 14, 2009 10:54 AM
Posted by: jonathan30033 | August 14, 2009 11:06 AM
Posted by: lilhollywood10 | August 14, 2009 11:17 AM
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 14, 2009 11:22 AM
Posted by: Izman | August 14, 2009 11:23 AM
Posted by: jasonma1 | August 14, 2009 11:49 AM
Posted by: thecomedian1 | August 14, 2009 11:54 AM
Posted by: wisdom80 | August 14, 2009 12:01 PM
Posted by: WMURRAY623 | August 14, 2009 12:12 PM
Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 12:16 PM
Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 12:22 PM
Posted by: popopo | August 14, 2009 12:28 PM
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 14, 2009 12:36 PM
Posted by: rmcazz | August 14, 2009 12:52 PM
Posted by: Hondo5 | August 14, 2009 12:54 PM
Posted by: facemob4 | August 14, 2009 1:04 PM
Posted by: hclark1 | August 14, 2009 1:06 PM
Posted by: Samson151 | August 14, 2009 1:08 PM
Posted by: flohrtv | August 14, 2009 1:44 PM
Posted by: JohnWWW | August 14, 2009 2:05 PM
Posted by: kalo_rama | August 14, 2009 2:23 PM
Posted by: rbpalmer | August 14, 2009 2:57 PM
Posted by: DC_MAN88 | August 14, 2009 8:39 PM
Posted by: MEssex | August 14, 2009 10:37 PM
Posted by: MEssex | August 14, 2009 10:39 PM
Posted by: bigherb | August 15, 2009 10:38 AM
Posted by: crs-one | August 15, 2009 10:50 AM
Posted by: brianptaylor1911 | August 16, 2009 3:47 PM
Posted by: EWE1 | August 17, 2009 4:59 AM
Posted by: Rocky420 | August 17, 2009 9:22 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.