Miami Heat basketball star LeBron James will play four different characters of himself for an online cartoon series called The Lebrons.
Based off of the N.B.A. All Star’s alter egos from 2006 Nike ads, The LeBrons will feature the youthful Kid LeBron, the Athlete LeBron, the savvy Business LeBron and the elderly Wise LeBron.
According to The New York Times, LeBron said in a phone interview, “I’m mostly a kid at heart. And I’m the athlete, of course, that everyone sees. But I also have a business side, a cool side, and I love antique stuff and classical music. I guess that’s the old man side of me.”
The series will debut this spring on its own YouTube channel and the Miami Heat forward’s website www.lebronjames.com. The first season of the five to six minute episodes will take place in real locations in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio. The inspiration behind the series, much like Fat Albert or G.I. Joe, is for the basketball star to disseminate socially conscious messages for young people such as family values, staying in school and drug prevention.
“It’s an exciting time to get this out not only to kids but to everyone. I think everyone is going to have an opportunity to relate to them,” said James.
James’ production company Spring Hill Productions and Believe Entertainment Group will produce The Lebrons and the series already has sponsorship from Hewlett-Packard and Intel. The Times reports that portions of the webisodes’ proceeds will buy products for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
As for James’ favorite cartoon, he expressed his love for Tom and Jerry - ”an animated series that embodies his competitive spirit as well as a lead character who shares his winning ways, if not his physical proportions.”
“I kind of always rooted for Jerry, man,” James said. “Even though Tom was the underdog, Jerry was much smaller.”