Fox News’ Laura Ingraham has inadvertently solved the problem of what to call LeBron James’ new three-part docuseries that will air on Showtime in October. The series — billed as an inside look at the changing role of athletes in our fraught cultural and political environment, through the lens of the NBA — will be titled Shut Up and Dribble.
James and Maverick Carter’s busy SpingHill Entertainment and Gotham Chopra are producing the series, which was originally announced more than a year ago — before Ingraham in February on her Fox News primetime show suggested James and Kevin Durant and other pro athletes “shut up and dribble” rather than weigh in on social and political issues. The comments came after the pair criticized President Donald Trump on Twitter, after the Golden State Warriors declined an invitation (or, per Trump, dis-invited) to the White House after it won the 2017 title.
“Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids,” Ingraham said at the time on her show. “This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to seek political advice from someone who gets paid a hundred-million dollars a year to bounce a ball.”
James, now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, responded with his own hashtag — #wewillnotshutupanddribble — and a retweet of a USA Today story on Ingraham’s comments. His comment was, “I am more than an athlete.”
Showtime announced the Shut Up and Dribble details during the network’s summer TCA session today at the Beverly Hilton, saying the series will use the Ingraham comments as a jumping-off point to chronicle the the modern history of the NBA and its players, starting with the 1976 merger with the ABA. The league has become an incubator for many of its top athletes to grow their brands beyond the court, becoming powerful players in pop culture, commerce and fashion. By taking control of their own destinies, they have helped bring about social change and make their own statements in the current political climate.
Chopra (Tom vs. Time, Kobe Bryant’s Muse) is directing the Showtime Sports Documentary Films and SpringHill presentation. The series is executive produced by James, Carter, Rich Paul, Chopra, Martin Desmond Roe, Chris Uetwiller and Datari Turner.