LeBron James is way more than a basketball player.
The three-time NBA champion is an extremely successful businessman, and he is in the process of building a media empire in Los Angeles.
LeBron is very serious about wanting to own an NBA team in the future and as ESPN's Brian Windhorst said this week on the "Five Reasons Sports -- Miami" podcast:
"He's gonna need a lot of money to do that. You're gonna have to have hundreds of millions. And that's what he wants to do. So he's gotta make deals that are gonna be very rewarding."
As you probably know, LeBron will be starring in Space Jam 2 -- which is slated to hit the big screen in July 2021.
Filming and production will start this summer, and the project is of monumental importance to the four-time NBA MVP.
Here is more of what Windhorst had to say during the aforementioned podcast:
"Really, LeBron's championship this year -- if Maverick Carter (LeBron's business partner) heard me say this he would probably get pretty upset by it -- but LeBron's championship this year is Space Jam. His season is over, he's now gonna have five months off, they're gonna film Space Jam in June and July.
"If that movie is a success and Warner Brothers gets their investment back and it makes money, LeBron is gonna have the possibility to make more movies -- whether he's in them or whether it's with his production company. If you make a successful movie, the door opens to you in Hollywood.
"And they've got big-time people associated with that movie. This is a major, major thing. And if this thing hits, it sets him up to make movies for years. If it doesn't hit, I think his media company takes a serious step backwards."
LeBron already took a step backwards on the court this year. While his numbers -- 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 51 percent shooting -- are still impressive, his defense was probably the worst it's ever been.
He played a career-low 55 games in his first year with the Lakers, dealt with lots of turmoil surrounding Anthony Davis' trade request, and will not appear in the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
The "LeBron haters" out there -- which include most Warriors fans -- have certainly enjoyed the pitfalls this season, and they will probably get a kick out of Windhorst's additional comments:
"I'm not saying that he's been in the writing room every day or anything, but he's gotta be focused on thinking about this movie. And that's his championship this year.
"They can tell me I'm wrong, but it's no coincidence that the year that he knew his eight-year run of Finals was gonna end -- and he knew that a long time ago -- that it's the year they're making Space Jam, that they're filming in the summer.
"I don't buy that's a coincidence, so I think the Space Jam thing is his big move for 2019."
The Lakers recently shut down LeBron for the rest of the season, so he will not be in uniform when the Warriors face the Lakers on Thursday night.