HBO’s “The Shop,” which is produced by LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter, premiered Tuesday night with the Los Angeles Lakers forward surrounded in the barbershop setting by other athletes and entertainers.
Joined by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Candace Parker of the Sparks, comedians Jerrod Carmichael and Jon Stewart, rapper Snoop Dogg, and Michael Bennett of the Philadelphia Eagles, James and Carter drove a discussion that touched on a wide array of topics.
Among them were social injustices that James has decided to use his platform to speak out on, double standards for athletes, and raising children.
Also broached — by Carter — was whether or not James could publicly declare he’s the best basketball player in the world. Green emphatically supported the idea, implored James to do so, and explained the maturation he’s noticed in the 14-time All-Star, via HBO:
“I think you should say that. I think you should believe that. And you should definitely let the world know that. I think ‘Bron over the last four years became LeBron James. And it wasn’t nothing to do with winning, it wasn’t nothing to do with stats. He found himself. People didn’t start to view him as they view him now, until he became that force, that man to say, ‘I’m here.’ I feel like for years he shied away from saying, ‘I’m here.’ And when he started to say, ‘[Expletive] y’all. I’m here.’ That’s when he became who he is. No one would’ve ever said that until he did it himself.”
James was seen on camera nodding in approval while Green offered his assessment. One specific instance came when the Warriors forward was detailing how he believes James only came into his own nearly a handful of years ago.
Green’s assessment does fall in line with other critiques that it was not until James won a championship with the Miami Heat that he truly began to tap into his full potential. Up until that point, some questioned if he had the mental toughness required to succeed as a star of his caliber.
“The Shop” airs Tuesday nights on HBO and can currently be streamed online.