For years, LeBron James worked tirelessly trying to win an NBA Championship. He added at least one new facet to his game every summer, increased his conditioning and did all the little things needed to push himself in the right direction, especially after his devastating loss to the Mavericks. Now that he has two titles under his belt, he’s apparently open to spending at least part of his summer doing something else. In this case, it’s a movie that’s caught his eye.
The NBA giant is joining forces with rising star comedian Kevin Hart for an upcoming film called Ballers. The action will follow James, playing a fictionalized version of his basketball God self, and Hart, who will play the legend’s envious and angry little brother. Ordinarily, the two barely occupy the same universe, but when Hart decides to attend his bro’s fantasy basketball camp, he discovers an opportunity to finally get even.
According to Deadline, the original script was written by A League Of Their Own scribes Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel with some help from Peter Steinfeld. Over the next few months, it will be reworked by Hart and his collaborators with an eye toward getting it approved by Universal and hiring a director in time to shoot next summer. That’s the rub of working with someone like James. He might be willing to reassign some hiatus practice time in order to make a movie, but he’s certainly not going to mess around with the actual season. So, all of his scenes have to be shot after the NBA Finals in early June and before the start of training camp at the very beginning of October. If not, the movie will have to be pushed to the summer of 2015.
If James had gone in this direction a few years ago, he would have been understandably ripped, but given his incredible success lately, it’s hard to find fault with this project. Michael Jordan made Space Jam. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson made elaborate shoe commercials. Champions get a little leeway to put it on cruise control for at least a few weeks each summer.
With James’ star power and Hart’s incredible charisma, this project could actually work pretty well. It’ll need the right script, but in steady hands, there’s no reason to think that won’t happen.
Until then, you can check out some of Hart’s hilarious stand-up comedy below…