LeBron James on new JJ Redick NBA podcast Credit: Jovan Buha on X

The Mind the Game podcast from LeBron James and JJ Redick is already a hit after just one episode, and on Sunday evening James explained why he took on the project in the first place.

For James, it was a matter of encouraging detailed conversation about the game and the culture around it rather than debating history and legacies 24/7.

“I thought we were losing the essence of the game of basketball and the true meaning behind the game of basketball, and teaching our youth and teaching people what the game of basketball truly means,” James told Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

James took a shot at debate shows and talking heads as well.

“I was getting frustrated with the daily comparisons, every single day,” James said. “Who’s better … or how does this affect your legacy? Or if this played in the ’50s, would he be this? Or if this guy in the ’50s played in the 2000s. It’s not good for the youth. Obviously if you want to hear that you can go to the barbershops, but you’re hearing it every day on national television. But I felt like our audience needed a different approach to understand the true essence of the game and how I fell in love with the game.”

As for Redick being the cohost, it sounds as if James simply appreciated that Redick was already creating this kind of content and had a production staff ready to snap into action.

“You have someone like JJ who has kind of the same mindset about the game of basketball, very smart, fell in love with the game for all the right reasons,” James explained. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while, but it just felt like perfect timing.”

The second episode of Mind the Game will be out Tuesday.

[Jovan Buha on X]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.