LeBron James among NBA stars to feature in Netflix docuseries

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Netflix is reportedly working on a docuseries centred around the NBA and its stars in the same vein as its recent NFL centric show titled ‘Quarterback’

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA docuseries will follow LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Edwards and Domantas Sabonis, similar to how the Quarterback series followed the lives of Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota. 

The report from Charania also outlined that James’ SpringHill Company will help produce the series, collaborating with Higher Ground ProductionsBarack Obama’s studio – and Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, which co-produced the Quarterback series. 

The Wall Street Journal first reported of James’ and Manning’s interest in co-producing an NBA docuseries last October, focusing on the lives of selected athletes throughout the season, with the initial goal of landing the proposed project on Netflix. 

Whilst the higher-ups at Netflix have repeatedly shot down the idea of venturing into the live sports broadcasting realm, the streaming giant has placed significant efforts into its sports-adjacent programming, now with the NBA getting its first docuseries on the platform. 

Netflix has proven to be a lucrative company to partner with due to its large-scale subscriber base, helping Formula One explode in popularity through its distribution of the hit docuseries ‘Formule 1: Drive to Survive’

The streaming company has since gone on to create Drive to Survive-esque shows such as the tennis focused ‘Break Point’ and the aforementioned Quarterback series. 

Netflix Co-Chief Executive Ted Sandaros last summer was committed in his stance of focusing on the storytelling aspect of sports programming rather than the “live-ness” of broadcasting games. 

However, Netflix’s stance on live sports broadcasting seemingly softened when it was reported last November that the company was exploring the possibility of obtaining the rights for the NBA’s newest offering, the In-Season Tournament

The inaugural tournament launched during the current 2023-24 NBA season and received widespread praise for differentiating itself from the regular season, featuring all-new court designs and a single elimination bracket for the semi finals and final. 

Whilst the likes of Amazon and Apple TV have already invested billions into live sports rights, Netflix has watched on, but most insiders believe that the company’s eventual first steps in the space will be “industry-shaking” once they arrive. 

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