LeBron James Goes to BASKETBALL FANTASY CAMP; Will Play the Role of “LeBron James”

     September 17, 2009

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LeBron James has just signed on to star in the movie “Basketball Fantasy Camp” and I couldn’t be more excited.  It’s not because I’m a huge fan of LeBron although I recognize his talent and it’s more that I’m indifferent to professional basketball as a whole.  I’m excited because the mighty days of “Space Jam” and “Blue Chips” may have returned.  The long-foretold prophecy of having basketball players star in movies playing basketball players may be upon us.  Is LeBron truly the savior of basketball player-movie stars?  Hold your breath and hit the jump…

According to Variety, James will play himself (yay!) at the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp.  Wacky situations ensue when some of the guys start dragging LeBron into their personal life issues.  But wait!  While some of these personal problems are idiotic and ripe for comedy, there will be some serious issues and LeBron will use his wisdom and strength to maybe save a marriage or reconnect a father and child.  The solution to all these problems?  Dunking.  LeBron should solve every problem in the film by dunking.

If I can get serious about this LeBron James basketball comedy for a moment, let me say why this is disappointing.  It’s not disappointing because it’s a basketball player starring as himself in a non-documentary movie.  My problem is that rather than let James take shots at himself, he has to play the straight man and that’s dull for audiences because they can already imagine how James will handle the role.  What if it were James who had the idiotic personal issues?  He could be playing a character named “LeBron James” but he could do things in the vein of how celebrities poked fun at themselves on Ricky Gervais’ “Extras”.  Instead of having scenes where, for example, James lampoons his “King James” nickname and taxes peasants and laughs at a court jester, it sounds like he’s doing a role that any superstar athlete could play.

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