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January 19, 2011  | by: Vanessa Douglas

LeBron James

In the world of athletics, LeBron James, the 26-year-old basketball prodigy who recently signed with the Miami Heat, is known for his talent and the endorsements that it brings him.  But now the NBA All-Star will be entering a whole new (cartoon) world.

A recent New York Times article divulged that James will be producing a new series called The LeBrons, featuring various animated manifestations of himself. The first min-series will premiere this spring on James’ website and on its own YouTube channel.  The series will have ten episodes, each approximately six minutes long, and will focus on expressing positive messages to its viewers.

While James will be making live-action appearances on the show, the main characters are animated representations of his inner self.  There is Kid LeBron and Wise LeBron, the elderly counterpart, as well as Business LeBron and Athlete LeBron.  These characters, who originally starred in the Nike commercials that focused on the basketball star, will help James target not only his admirers, but an audience that is not necessarily familiar with his basketball persona.

The series already has sponsors (Hewlett-Packard, better known as HP, and Intel) and plans to use a portion of its earnings to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of America.  Influenced by the popular sardonic comic (and later animated series) The Boondocks, The LeBrons is a great way for the real LeBron to use his celebrity status in a unique and philanthropic way.  LeBron is a hero to many on the basketball courts, but his talents off the courts are undoubtedly creative and admirable.

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