The Film - Losing LeBron

LOGLINE

LOSING LEBRON is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the impact of NBA superstar LeBron James’ decision to leave the city of Cleveland and join the Miami Heat. Using this historic decision as a lens, Losing LeBron explores the complicated relationship many Cleveland residents have with their hometown. The film takes an intimate look at several families and individuals over the course of a year to deeply examine how LeBron James served as a symbolic representation of hope for a city struggling to redefine its economy and its national image.

SYNOPSIS

LOSING LEBRON is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the impact of NBA superstar LeBron James’ decision to leave the city of Cleveland and join the Miami Heat. Using this historic decision as a lens, Losing LeBron explores the complicated relationship many Cleveland residents have with their hometown. The film takes an intimate look at several families and individuals over the course of a year to deeply examine how LeBron James served as a symbolic representation of hope for a city struggling to redefine its economy and its national image.

Cleveland is a city that mirrors many of the same struggles experienced in Detroit, Michigan. Like other traditionally manufacturing-based cities in the Northeast and Midwest, Cleveland has been struggling for decades to revamp its economy and attract new residents. Cleveland is shrinking, losing an estimated 15,000 residents every year. Yet despite its declining population and economic woes, many residents are optimistic that Cleveland is at a turning point, redefining itself in light of all it has lost.

As LeBron James’ decision to leave Cleveland is in essence old news, our film goes beyond a simple retelling of events. The larger themes that live below the city’s initial reaction are the focus of our film. From the beginning, the LeBron James story was the stuff of great fiction. He was born and raised in the area; he embraced his reign as “The Chosen One” and “King James”; he made public promises that he would save the city from their history of peculiar sports heartache and deliver the first title in almost half a century. He not only left before the promises were made, he left in the most publicly painful manner possible – an hour-long ESPN special entitled “The Decision”.

As newsworthy as this “public dumping” was, however, this is simply an entry point into a broader examination of what it means to be a Clevelander. The painful breakup has revealed much about the residents’ sense of identity, their insecurities, their resiliency, their history of sports heartache, and a love/hate relationship with their home. LOSING LEBRON examines how LeBron James was a symbolic representation of hope for the city of Cleveland, a city struggling to revamp its poor economy and attract new residents, and to maintain its pride.