PageSix- LeBron James isn’t showing a lot of love to Kobe Bryant — his predecessor as the world’s greatest basketball player.
James produces the comedy “Survivor’s Remorse” — about a poor black kid who suddenly gets a multimillion-dollar NBA contract — on Starz.
In an episode airing in two weeks, team owner Jimmy Flaherty (played by Chris Bauer) says, “People will not pay to watch an a–hole play basketball.”
“Survivor’s Remorse” writer Mike O’Malley said at a sneak peek of the episode that neither he nor LeBron put that line in the script, even though “I am a Boston Celtics fan and Kobe Bryant broke my heart over and over.”
O’Malley said, “No, Jessie Usher ad-libbed it. Let’s just call it a gentle ribbing… LeBron and Kobe are friends off the court, and LeBron has great respect for Kobe.”
I am not writing this to build some fictitious rift between Kobe and LeBron. Mostly because Kobe is now retired and LeBron is now untouchable so it's basically pointless to do so, but also because I genuinely believe that this line was casually ad-libbed during production. No harm, no foul...unless you consider the integrity of this show, because that just got tossed in the garbage and immediately taken out to the curb.
People won't pay to watch an asshole play basketball? Generally having a controversial line directed at one of the most divisive athletes of all time leak prior to the premiere would boost interest, but not when that line is so patently false that it compromises the viewer's ability to suspend disbelief. I don't even know a damn thing about this show. Never even heard about it before today. That said, I now have no inclination to watch it if the team owner in it doesn't even understand how egos work. If I was forced to choose between paying to watch assholes and paying to watch cordial guys I would take the assholes 10x over. Everyone either loves an asshole or loves to hate an asshole and that makes an asshole's participation in any form of professional competition must watch television. Hell, if there is one thing you CAN count on a asshole for it's to be worth the price of admission. Nice guys might not always finish last, but they do when it comes to ratings. So if they are trying to instill affable tendencies into the main character of 'Survivor's Remorse' then they can consider my viewership the one that got away, because 'Ballers' already fulfills my quota of poorly written, hardly believable, sports centric entertainment.