×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBA’s Media All-Stars: The Athletes Making Moves in Hollywood

When LeBron James left the Cavs to sign with the Lakers earlier this month, he left a chunk of change on the table. Under NBA rules, Cleveland could have rained down more than $200 million over five years on the man many consider the best player in the league. Los Angeles was allowed to pony up a mere $154 million over four years.

But there’s a great equalizer on the West Coast: Hollywood, where top current NBA stars aren’t just the face of films; they’re producers and financiers too. It didn’t start with Curry, who just formed his own production company after signing a multiyear development pact with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

This is a different kind of game, but one that’s just as appealing to those who are ultracompetitive. Let’s call them the NBA’s Media All-Stars.

Lebron James
CREDIT: Michael Dwyer/AP/REX/Shutterstock

LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers

He’s King James in the world of media content too. His SpringHill Entertainment, founded in 2013 with Maverick Carter, provides shows for broadcast TV (game show “The Wall”), cable (civil rights doc “Rise Up”), streaming and film. “Best Shot,” for YouTube Red, debuts July 18 and features former NBA star Jay Williams mentoring promising high school players. Collaborators on other projects include Antoine Fuqua, Mike O’Malley and rap star Drake.

Meanwhile, Uninterrupted, the digital media company James launched in 2014 on his own dime, has parlayed a capital infusion of $15.8 million from Time Warner into a lineup featuring more than 30 shows, mostly by and about sports stars. The Uninterrupted YouTube channel has more than 175,000 subscribers.

Kevin Durant and Elfrid PaytonOrlando Magic at Golden State Warriors, Oakland, USA - 13 Nov 2017 Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (R) drives by Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (L) during their NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, USA, 13 November 2017.
CREDIT: JOHN G. MABANGLO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shu

Kevin Durant
Golden State Warriors

Durant’s Thirty Five Media, founded in 2016 with his manager, Rich Kleiman, is developing basketball-themed projects for Apple (with Imagine) and Fox Sports. Thirty Five also hands out assists, partnering with YouTube to help other high-profile athletes launch channels. One notable taker: NFL cornerback Richard Sherman. Durant’s own YouTube channel is approaching 700,000 subscribers.

Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, in Los AngelesTimberwolves Clippers Basketball, Los Angeles, USA
CREDIT: Mark J. Terrill/AP/REX/Shutterst

Chris Paul
Houston Rockets

He recently formed Oh Dipp Prods. and scored a critical hit with the film “Crossroads,” about a lacrosse team composed of at-risk teens, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Dwayne Wade Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade during the second half of a NBA basketball game in Miami, against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls won 96-89Bulls Heat Basketball, Miami, USA
CREDIT: J Pat Carter/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Dwayne Wade
Miami Heat

His ZZ Prods. developed the critically lauded 2017 film “Shot in the Dark,” about the trials and tribulations of Chicago’s Orr Academy basketball team.

Andre Iguodala Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala (9) during an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in Oakland, CalifSpurs Warriors Basketball, Oakland, USA
CREDIT: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutt

Andre Iguodala
Golden State Warriors

“Dre Days,” for Turner Sports, is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his doings during his free time on the road. And he’ll again join Turner Sports as special on-course correspondent at the 2018 PGA Championship.

Kyrie Irving and Spencer DinwiddieBoston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets, New York, USA - 06 Jan 2018 Boston Celtic guard Kyrie Irving (L) dribbles around Brooklyn Net guard Spencer Dinwiddie (R) in the first half of their NBA basketball game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 06 January 2018.
CREDIT: PETER FOLEY/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutters

Kyrie Irving
Boston Celtics

With his “Uncle Drew” opening to more than $15 million late last month for Lionsgate and already surpassing $38 million worldwide, the Celtics star is reportedly looking to launch his own production company.

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker reacts during his teams game against the Brooklyn Nets in the first half of the NBA basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 17 January 2018.San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets, USA - 17 Jan 2018
CREDIT: JASON SZENES/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutter

Tony Parker
Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets point guard is a partner with Saints quarterback Drew Brees in Argent Pictures, founded by Benjamin Renzo, Ryan Ahrens and Jill Ahrens. Projects have included “Hacksaw Ridge,” “The Birth of a Nation” and “American Made.” Former NBA All-Star Michael Finley and NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks are also partners.

Also testing the waters: Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin

More TV

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content