Jalen Rose, ESPN Hosts React To LeBron James’ Upcoming Showtime Documentary Series ‘Shut Up And Dribble’
LeBron James just keeps adding new projects to his resume, and this time it’s a documentary series at Showtime.
It was announced Monday that the three-part series, called Shut Up and Dribble, will premiere in October, around the same time 33-year-old James makes his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers. The series will explore the function that professional athletes — especially NBA players — serve in the current socio-political climate.
The name of the project is derived from the retort Fox News host Laura Ingraham gave King James earlier this year after the then-Cleveland Cavaliers star spoke out about racial injustice and specifically criticized President Donald Trump. Ingraham mocked James for never having attended college.
The series comes on the heels of James opening a progressive public elementary school for at-risk children in his native Akron, Ohio called “I Promise.” The NBA star teamed up with Ohio’s public school systems for the venture.
Jalen Rose and the rest of ESPN’s Get Up! crew shared their reactions to the Shut Up and Dribble series on Monday night and how it fits into the recent slew of prominent NBA players like James who have been using their stature to make social or political statements.
“It hasn’t changed from the perspective of the actual athlete. Athletes have always had foundations, production companies, and have been very adventurous and business-minded,” said Rose. “The difference is the public and the media now accept it.”
He continued: “What LeBron has been able to do as an iconic figure — and when you have the president tweeting at you — that now elevates him and gives him a sense of power that transcends sports. And so when he now does it, it becomes mainstream.”
Rose went on to explain how social media has helped athletes more authentically “use [their] own voice.”
On Friday, Trump insulted James’ intelligence in a tweet after the Lakers forward discussed the president’s repeated attempts to use sports as a way to “divide” the country in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. Trump also lashed out at Lemon in the same post.
James will executive produce Shut Up and Dribble alongside agent Rich Paul and business associate Maverick Carter. Gotham Chopra, who directed a 2015 documentary series called Kobe Bryant’s Muse, will also helm this series.
Shut Up and Dribble will reportedly talk about influential pro basketball players starting in the modern era, in other words the period that began with the 1976 merger of the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association.
In addition to this project, James has another upcoming series on HBO called The Shop, which is set to premiere on Aug. 28. The Lakers star will hold conversations with guests in barbershops all over the nation as part of the project, according to ESPN.
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