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Losing LeBron

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Losing LeBron
A documentary film by Nicole Prowell Hart and Allyson Sherlock
Devolver Films

When NBA superstar LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010, fans residing in Cleveland were devastated. They were also angry and many continue to hold a grudge against the Cleveland area (Akron) native to this day. Some of these folks are just mad because James no longer plays for the home team and are holding onto sour grapes envy. But there's far more to it than that; the Cavs and the city of Cleveland have taken a massive hit financially since James' departure, suffering from reduced sales of game tickets and all that goes with it, from hot dogs to jerseys. That's caused a lot of people to lose their jobs in an already economically-depressed region and the film shows how this has snowballed into something that has affected people well beyond the arena. The story here is told through the words of fans and ex fans, some just espousing opinions about what a rat James is, others detailing various hardships that came about because of James' defection. Prowell Hart and Sherlock have done an excellent job of piecing these opinions together to fully tell the story, sometimes emotionally and sometimes matter-of-factly. James himself does not figure prominently in the film commentary-wise; there are a few snippets of game play and a clip from the famous "The Decision" press conference where he announced he was leaving, but that's about it. The idea that sports stars should be able to, like anyone else, do what's best for their career is also broached, but it is scenes like fans running their LeBron James game jerseys through a shredder that really demonstrates the extent of the animus. Losing LeBron was filmed during the 2010-2011 NBA season.

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