LeBron James is used to having cameras in his face. It sort of comes with the territory when you’re the face of the National Basketball Association, a spokesman for Nike and now the star of “More Than a Game,” the documentary about James’ high school hoops team — but he wasn’t always comfortable with the bright lights and the film rolling. So when director Kristopher Belman first showed up in James’ high school gymnasium, he did not embrace him right away.
“When he first came in, we were kind of skeptical because we had already seen so much media coverage and so much had gone on that we were like, ‘Not another camera,’ ” James told MTV News with Belman at his side. “But Coach Dru [Joyce] sat us down and said, ‘Look, guys, he’s from Akron [Ohio], he’s genuine, he’s doing a school project — let’s give him a break.’ So we did that. He kept coming around and he was never intrusive, so we felt more comfortable and more comfortable with him.”
Indeed, Helman had only planned on shooting enough footage of the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School boys basketball team for a 10-minute short for film school. But, seven years later, he has a feature starring one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet.
Helman has James’ coach Dru Joyce to thank for allowing him that initial access, and both he and James agree that it’s the team’s father figure who emerges as the film’s star, rather than the charismatic James. “Coach Dru is the real star of the movie,” James said. “He not only helped us in basketball but helped is in life in general.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “More Than a Game.”
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