Who is 6-foot 8 inches tall, weighs 250 pounds, and is #6 for the Miami Heat? If you don’t already know by now, I’m talking about Lebron Raymone James. While Lebron has been the center of a lot of media attention in regards to his decision to move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat, I’m not here to talk about that. This is about Kristopher Belman’s documentary, More Than a Game. While many people could have the misconception that the documentary is all about Lebron and his claim to fame, it’s actually about much more than that. It’s about friendship, love, struggle, leadership, family, and true passion.
The documentary opens up with Coach Dru Joyce II giving his five starters- LeBron James, Dru Joyce III, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton, and Willie McGee- a pep talk before their High School National Championship game in 2003. The movie then proceeds to tell the story of how those five boys, four who were together since around the age of ten, got to that point in their lives through all of their struggles and hard work.
What’s unique about this documentary, is the fact that it greatly depicts the stark differences among all of the boys, while at the same time being able to unite all of their different personalities with the goal of winning and being the best for themselves, each other, their families, their town, and just because basketball was really more than a game to them. It was life. There’s the nice, once-but no longer so- humble leader Lebron James, the mature Willie McGee, the big, somewhat clumsy Sian Cotton, the little, but extremely inspiring and hardworking Dru Joyce III, and finally there’s the bad boy Romeo Travis. These five boys went on to become arguably one of the best high school basketball teams to have ever played.
It’s also amazing to note how this documentary came to fruition. The director, Kristopher Belman, was taking an introduction to documentary class at Loyola Marymount, and in order to show everyone that he wasn’t just some hick from a backwoods town in Ohio, he decided to make a ten minute documentary about a high school basketball team that was getting media attention, from his hometown of Akron, Ohio. To make the story short, he made a ten minute documentary, received a B+ for it, and decided to keep filming the players. He could have sold the Lebron footage to make a quick buck, but he was actually dedicated to what he was doing and decided to wait it out. Waiting it out seemed to have been the best move he could have made.
While there are things that Belman could have have paid more attention to-like the other players on the team or Lebron not being able to play for a while due to receiving gifts- the documentary seemed to achieve all that it sought out to achieve. Only those with no feeling can sit through this 105 minute film and not have some emotions stirred up within them. I SERIOUSLY suggest that people sit down and watch this movie. For those who need inspiration, watch this. For those who like basketball, watch this. For those who love or hate Lebron James, watch this. I give this movie an 8/10. This movie might also give you greater insight to why Lebron chose to go to the Heat, because like Coach Dru Joyce II always said, “Use basketball, don’t let basketball use you.”
Check the trailer out: