LeBron James and Stephen Curry faced off in four consecutive NBA Finals.
There are several layers that will go into producing a LeBron James documentary one day and conducting a wide-range of interviews is one of them. Jason Hehir, the director of “The Last Dance,” conducted 106 interviews to complete the 10-part project that had basketball fans in awe every Sunday.
The interviews from Jordan himself were the most captivating, especially when a tablet was being handed to him. But several other personalities helped bring the story of his journey, career and the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty to life. Jordan’s family members received air-time to share personal perspectives, and even his fiercest opponents, such as Isiah Thomas, were able to get some things off their chest.
So, who would be those people in a LeBron documentary? From teammates to celebrities, we’ve come up with a list of 50 different personalities that would make sense to have in a future project on LeBron. That leaves 56 people for you and the actual producers to decide on who else gets interviewed. There are no journalists accounted for -- apologies to Brian Windhorst -- so you can start there.
Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce III, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
I'd expect two of LeBron James’ childhood teammates to recount untold stories about the “Chosen One.”
Mo Williams, Cavaliers
When LeBron left for Miami, Williams was distraught to the point he considered retirement. He can help narrate the aftermath LeBron left behind due to “The Decision.”
Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers
It doesn’t get talked about much, but in 2007, LeBron James once came off the bench in order to prevent Varejao from getting booed. His voluminous hair will likely be gone by the time this doc comes out, but he could help tell the reality of who LeBron was as a teammate.
Dwyane Wade, Heat
This doc doesn’t happen without endless stories from LeBron’s partner-in-crime and fellow member of the heralded 2003 draft class. Wade replaying those fast breaks with LeBron is exactly what the sports world will need two decades from now. Hopefully the photographer of their best photo, Morry Gash, is in the doc as well.
Bosh had an amazing career, but one that unfortunately may not get the praise it deserves from the next generation. Ideally, an episode could remind people just how incredible he was on the floor.
Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers
He and LeBron put on an epic show in Game 5 of the 2016 Finals together and won the title after their respective legendary plays in Game 7. I'd be inclined to hear about those Finals runs, but also how it ended. Irving wanted out of LeBron's shadow, and as some have reported, didn't really want LeBron to rejoin the Cavs to begin with. This obviously needs to be addressed.
Kevin Love, Cavaliers
Remember the private meeting at the pool LeBron and Love had during the summer of 2015? And the cryptic tweets that LeBron would direct to Love? Certainly all of this needs to be revisited 20 years from now, along with Love's underappreciated contributions.
JR Smith, Cavaliers
It goes without saying. Everyone knows the moment we want to hear LeBron and JR painfully relive in an unfiltered doc. But don’t let George Hill get away from doing an interview.
Anthony Davis, Lakers
This dynamic is still being written, but I’d love to hear Davis look back at the tumultuous 2018-19 season when his mind was essentially already in L.A catching lobs from LeBron, but his body was in New Orleans getting booed relentlessly by the fans.
-- Khari Arnold
Ben Wallace, Pistons
The four-time Defensive Player of the Year was a key figure on LeBron’s first major playoff challenger in the East -- the Detroit Pistons. Wallace later teamed up with LeBron in Cleveland from 2008-10, so he’s sure to have plenty of stories to tell.
Paul Pierce, Celtics
The future Hall of Famer spent his entire career in Boston, where he had plenty of run-ins with "The King." After multiple iconic playoff series against Cleveland and Miami, Pierce is sure to have insight to share about playing against LeBron. His opinions on LeBron are always, well, interesting.
Rajon Rondo, Celtics
Just like Pierce, Rajon Rondo was one of the main challengers to LeBron in the East. The über-competitive Rondo has never been shy about speaking his mind, so his involvement in the documentary is a must -- especially now after he has teamed up with LeBron in Los Angeles.
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
When LeBron joined Wade and Bosh in Miami, many expected the Heat to coast to a championship. Nowitzki and the Mavericks stood in their way and stopped the Big 3 in the 2011 NBA Finals. Nowitzki’s perspective on moments from this series, including when LeBron and Wade seemingly mocked an ill Nowitzki during those Finals, would need to be chronicled.
Lance Stephenson, Pacers
Does this one need an explanation? The high-energy guard was a constant thorn in King James' crown during the Heatles era. Stephenson's version of the story behind 2014's infamous ear-blowing encounter would be reason enough to have him in the doc. He'd potentially be the Gary Payton of "The Last Dance."
Paul George, Pacers
No player felt the wrath of LeBron’s domination of the East more than Paul George. From Miami to Cleveland, George and the Pacers were defeated by LeBron’s squad four different times in the postseason. George could also discuss being recruited by LeBron and why he ultimately chose to play with Russell Westbrook (in OKC) and Kawhi Leonard (on the LA Clippers) instead.
Tim Duncan, Spurs
The Hall of Famer dealt LeBron a major reality check during his first trip to The Finals in 2007, when the Spurs swept the Cavaliers into the offseason. The story behind Duncan’s post-Finals talk with LeBron would make for a great segment. The memories from their next two matchups in the 2013 and 2014 Finals would be icing on the cake.
”This is going to be your league in a little while. But I appreciate you giving it to us this year.”12 years ago today, Tim Duncan joking with LeBron after the Spurs swept the Cavs in the 2007 NBA Finals.
The two-time Kia MVP faced LeBron in four straight epic NBA Finals, winning three. Those experiences alone are reason to have Curry in the doc. Not to mention he began to challenge LeBron as the face of the league in 2015.
Draymond Green, Warriors
The Warriors’ wrecking ball needs to be in the doc just to give his side of the infamous incident in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals, when LeBron goaded Green into picking up a technical, which resulted in Green being suspended for a pivotal Game 5.
Kevin Durant, Thunder/Warriors
The two-time Finals MVP faced LeBron three times in The Finals, once with the Thunder and twice with the Warriors. His insight would be key to understanding what it’s like to face off against "The King" on the ultimate stage. The two future Hall of Famers are friends, but Durant has arguably been LeBron's biggest rival. He also has a cache of Team USA stories.
-- Jon Hartzell
Bruce Kelker, youth football
The Akron-area football coach took in LeBron and his mother, Gloria, when they were about to be evicted from a housing project. He’d be able to dive into how sports helped LeBron stay focused amidst poverty.
Keith Dambrot, high school basketball
The current coach of Duquesne went 69-10 in three seasons coaching St. Vincent-St. Mary High School during the LeBron era. Even before that, a 13-year-old James took part in the $1 clinics Dambrot used to host at the local Jewish Community Center.
David Blatt, Cavaliers
He went 83-40, made The Finals and won two NBA Coach of the Month awards in 2014-15 -- which was LeBron’s first season back in Cleveland. However, he was fired 41 games into 2015-16. He and the hometown hero supposedly did not see eye-to-eye.
Tyronn Lue, Cavaliers
The coach of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship team had the full support of LeBron -- which is always vital. Lue can take us through the practice scenes, and hopefully the soup-throwing incident involving Smith and assistant coach Damon Jones.
Erik Spoelstra, Heat
A 9-8 start to the Heat’s “Big 3” era in 2010-11 led to talk that perhaps James didn’t want Spoelstra to stay on board. The two made it work, of course, and went on to four Finals, two NBA titles and surely plenty of great stories Spoelstra would have to share.
-- Jeff Case
5 front office members
Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers
The owner of the Cavs since 2005, Gilbert has overseen the Cavs’ highest highs (the first Finals in 2007, the 2016 title) and lowest lows (most of which came after LeBron left town). Surely he’d want to talk about those moments, his infamous letter to LeBron in 2010 and more.
Danny Ferry, Cavaliers
Cleveland became a legit Finals contender in 2006 due in large part to the moves Ferry made. But he never acquired a legitimate co-star for LeBron, which led to LeBron leaving and Ferry being fired in 2010.
Pat Riley, Heat
Riley made the Heat stand out from the pack pursuing LeBron in 2010 by showing him his title rings in a lengthy chat. From there, LeBron came aboard, the Heat won two titles … and then came some pointed comments about LeBron in 2014 and a Riley apology of sorts in 2018.
David Griffin, Cavaliers
In LeBron’s second stint with Cleveland, Griffin was tasked with keeping the Cavs’ roster fresh and stocked with veteran talent to LeBron’s liking. He didn’t disappoint. Griffin should have plenty to say regarding his acrimonious exit and the challenges of building around LeBron.
Magic Johnson, Lakers
Johnson was the man behind the moves that put L.A. in position to sign LeBron in the summer of 2018. He could take the audience through the free agency meeting held at LeBron’s house and his stunning decision to step down the following year.
-- Jeff Case
5 prominent figures & celebrities
Barack Obama, former US President
Obama built a strong relationship with LeBron during an eight-year presidency, welcoming James into The White House after Miami and Cleveland won their respective championships in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Getting Barack would be a win but a Michelle Obama cameo needs to be in place!
One of the biggest entertainers of the 2010s had front-row seats to LeBron simultaneously dominating the decade. If nothing else, he’ll make a quality spokesperson for the year-after-year defeats Toronto suffered.
Many of LeBron’s off-court ventures would hopefully be covered in this doc. LeBron helped produce 2chainz’s album “Rap or Go to the League” in 2019.
LeBron often refers to Shawn Carter as his “big brother” and “favorite rapper of all-time.” He’s been rocking to Hov’s music for years.
He’d have a slightly bigger role than Justin Timberlake did in “The Last Dance” considering he’s part-owner of the Cavaliers. But more importantly, Usher sang the national anthem right before the most emotional game LeBron has ever played in. That night affected everyone.
-- Khari Arnold
10 close friends and family members
Rich Paul, Maverick Carter and Randy Mims
LeBron’s agent, business partner and chief of staff also happen to be his three longtime friends from Akron, Ohio. Two years ago, his team put out an eight-part docu-series called “More Than an Athlete,” which entailed some deep stories that will likely overlap in a future project.
Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony
The remaining two members of the “Banana Boat” crew will undoubtedly have plenty memories to publicize about their renowned brotherhood.
Raising LeBron as a single mom came with immense challenges that only she can tell.
‘The James Gang’
Savannah James often stays out of the spotlight. But maybe this is her time to share her experiences as the wife of a global star. As for Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri, they’ll probably get more air-time than Jordan’s three kids did in “The Last Dance.” Their popularity is already through the roof.
-- Khari Arnold
5 more important people
Aaron Goodwin, agent
Goodwin, LeBron’s agent before Paul, can take us through the pitch Nike successfully made in what has become a lifetime deal worth more than $1 billion.
Mike Mancias, trainer
LeBron, who was a star on the gridiron as a teen, said he and Macias began training for the NFL during the NBA lockout in 2011. I care for more details.
"We started to train to be a football player."
During the 2011 @NBA lockout, @KingJames thought about making those @NFL dreams come true 🏈
LeBron took a massive PR hit following “The Decision” and his first year with the Heat. So he decided to hire Mendelsohn, a crisis-PR expert who instructed LeBron to write a letter in 2014 when announcing his free agency decision to return to Cleveland.
Robert Brown, security guard
The ideal talking point would be Brown discussing LeBron’s first game back in Cleveland as a member of the Heat. He once described it as the most hateful scene he’d ever witnessed.
Brandi Davis, principal
As the face of the NBA, LeBron is the quintessential athlete for his impact on and off the court. To document his life and career you must include both. The 2018 opening of his his I Promise School in Akron represents what he calls the biggest accomplishment of his career. Davis is the first principal of the school and sees firsthand the hope LeBron has given and the vast influence he has made.
-- Khari Arnold
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