Nominated for a Sports EMMY for Outstanding Editing (Long Form)
Nominated for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary (Television)
Narrated by acclaimed sports journalist and commentator Jemele Hill, SHUT UP AND DRIBBLE is a powerful inside look at the changing role of NBA athletes through the lens of our shifting cultural and political environment. The series was directed by Gotham Chopra and executive produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Chopra. The three-part documentary series is available now on SHOWTIME.
Prompted by Laura Ingraham’s public criticism of LeBron James and other NBA players' outspokenness on the current political climate, the first episode is an exploration of the league’s social and cultural influence across time. Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson risked their careers and paved the way for generations of future players. Julius “Dr. J” Erving’s style of play laid the groundwork for Larry Bird and Magic Johnson (and David Stern) to catapult the NBA into an era of higher visibility and prosperity.
1984 brought the arrival of the one and only Michael Jordan. MJ breaks barriers when his out-of-context quote, “Republicans buy sneakers too” becomes a signature declaration for a generation of players. In the wake of the Rodney King riots in L.A., two black players, Craig Hodges and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, make their voices heard and pay the price. Allen Iverson rises and becomes a trendsetter unlike anyone before him, even though his defiant style on the court gets him only so far in the NBA.
The very public brawl known as “Malice in the Palace” is the catalyst for new NBA rules. But it is also an opportunity for players to own their brands and create both social and financial equity for themselves. The NBA begins its transition to a “players’ league,” with players reaching unprecedented levels of economic and cultural influence. The murders of Trayvon Martin and Erik Garner create a chance for NBA players to stand up and be heard. In the present turbulent political era, players are now unwilling to just “shut up and dribble."
Production Companies: Dirty Robber / Religion of Sports / SpringHill Entertainment
Directed by Gotham Chopra
Executive Producers: Maverick Carter, Gotham Chopra, LeBron James, Rich Paul, Martin Desmond Roe, Datari Turner, Chris Uettwiller
Co-Executive Producers / Showrunners: Adam Feinstein, Alex Stapleton
Writers: Victor Buhler, Adam Feinstein, Rob Ford, Alex Stapleton, Nicole Rittenmeyer
Narration written by Jemele Hill
Story Consultants: Christopher Dillon, Laurens Grant, Ben Lyons
Executive in Charge of Production: Victor Buhler
Supervising Producer: Andrew K. Sachs
Line Producers: Dawn Manning, Jacob Mosler
Post Producer: Meg Cirillo
Segment Producers: Funmi Akinyode, Sarah George
Associate Producer: Victoria Harley
Music by Marc Anthony Thompson
Cinematography by Jessica Young
Editing by Kevin Barth, Adam Christian Clark, Dan Shulman-Means, Jeremy Siefer, Sam Citron, Lenny Mesina