Could there be a Lebron James documentary in the pipeline?
When the 10-part docu-series, which followed Michael Jordan’s final championship-winning season with the Chicago Bulls, was released during the pandemic in 2020, the world was freshly in awe of his royal ‘airness’.
But now with rumours of a film crew having followed LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers throughout their rollercoaster of a campaign in season 2022/23, we could be replicating that exact feeling towards LeBron some time in the future.
Reports of a LeBron James documentary surfaced during the Lakers’ Western Conference Finals run, with the franchise’s radio play-by-play announcer John Ireland letting the cat out of the bag on the Awful Announcing Podcast.
At the time, it was still possible for this film crew to be witnessing a fairytale Lakers run to one of the most unlikely titles in NBA history. But since, the Nuggets finished a 4-0 series sweep of Los Angeles, ending LA’s Playoffs dreams. And now things have become murky about LeBron James’ career going forward.
So here’s everything we know so far about the possibility of a Last Dance-inspired LeBron James documentary.
LeBron James documentary: The latest
It’s almost all too exciting thinking about the concept of a LeBron James documentary, or docu-series, which follows the inspiring story of one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.
When John Ireland, the radio commentator for the Los Angeles Lakers, sat down on the Awful Announcing Podcast, he exposed that The Last Dance’s executive producer Andy Thompson had been collecting footage of James and the Lakers under the thought process of it potentially being useful down the road.
“(Andy Thompson) has spent a ton of time with us this year. So if LeBron ever wanted to go down this road (making a documentary), I think Andy is stockpiling that just so he has it and has the opportunity to tell the story,” Ireland said.
Initially the excitement was the chance to capture a “magical run” to LeBron’s fifth championship and in some way reenact the essence of The Last Dance.
The magic to Michael Jordan’s Last Dance documentary was, of course, following Chicago’s last hurrah en route to their sixth championship in eight years before being disbanded.
Well, LA came so close. But not far enough; the Lakers were swept in spite of a 40-point Game 4 performance from the man himself, LeBron James.
But what Andy Thompson’s efforts to film the Lakers season might have captured was LeBron James’s 20th and final NBA season, with the veteran superstar open to the thought of retirement.
What did LeBron say following the Lakers’ exit from the playoffs?
We always knew there would come a day when another NBA season would come around and LeBron James would not being playing in it, but not this early.
It has been well documented that James has always wanted the opportunity to play on the same team as his oldest son Bronny, who has just committed to a college to play for next season and is only two years away from being drafted to the NBA.
The four-time champion’s comments in his post-match press conference after the loss to Denver in Game 4 have sent the basketball world into a frenzy, stating that he has “a lot to think about” in regards to his playing future.
“We’ll see what happens going forward,” James said.
“I’ve got a lot to think about to be honest just with me personally going forward with the game of basketball. I got a lot to think about.”
Doubling down on it later on, ESPN asked James to elaborate on the his comments with a thread coming out shortly after.
LeBron James and ESPN thread
ESPN: When you say you got to think about stuff, what thread should we be pulling on that?
LeBron James: “If I want to continue to play.”
ESPN: As in next year?
LeBron James: “Yeah.”
ESPN: You would walk away?
LeBron James: “I got to think about it.”
What could a LeBron James documentary involve?
It is almost impossible to narrow it down to a few moments from a historic 20-year career to put into a LeBron James documentary but even what Andy Thompson shot this season would be enough to captivate the basketball community.
LeBron has had a momentous few months in the back end of the season, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Even just makingthe Western Conference Finals was not supposed to be on the cards this season, particularly after a 2-10 start to the regular season. But LeBron did what he shouldn’t still be able to do at 38 years of age.
Obviously going back across the other 19 years of his career for the LeBron James documentary, it would follow his hype entering into the NBA back in 2003, which is drawing parallels to the recent emergence of French sensation Victor Wembanyama.
Accompanying that in the possible LeBron James documentary would be is his four NBA championships, four Finals MVPs, four regular season MVP awards and the plethora of other awards and milestones he has collected along the way.
But as many in the NBA community would agree with, although this journey of LeBron’s has been legendary and having a documentary made would be all too exciting, there’s still a feeling that there’s more chapters to come before he calls it quits.