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ESPN’s Pablo Torre writes a mean sports narrative, so it’s no surprise his new feature on LeBron 2.0—the King’s next step beyond basketball, into entertainment, where he is already making waves—clocks in as Excellent. Give it a read here.
Of the numerous interesting anecdotes in the piece, one that stands out pertains to James’ role in Trainwreck, the 2015 comedy starring Amy Schumer and directed by the one and only Judd Apatow. If you’ve seen the film (if you haven’t, you should), you know James plays the best friend and loyal companion of Bill Hader’s character, a renowned sports surgeon. You also know Amar’e Stoudemire plays a down-on-his-luck injured version of himself. The ballers are in quite different scenarios.
Well, it turns out Stoudemire’s role was originally intended for James. Here’s how Torre tells it:
“Originally, Carter says, Apatow wanted James to cameo as a LeBron James who hurts his knee and is operated on by lead actor Bill Hader, playing a renowned orthopedic surgeon. We're not doing that role for two reasons, Carter recalls telling Apatow. One, that's not the right role for LeBron James. And two, he's never been hurt. I'm not even going to have him act like he's hurt. So Apatow, Hader and Carter partnered to invent a new, expanded role—Hader's best friend. (Amar'e Stoudemire, naturally, was the one who ended up getting hurt.)”
Poor Stoudemire. It is natural that he got that role, isn’t it?
As for James, his role in Trainwreck received critical acclaim, and his entertainment career is only getting started. He wants to play a superhero someday. Can I buy my ticket tonight?