LeBron James reveals why he started podcast with JJ Redick

The debut episode of the “Mind The Game” podcast got 2.8 million views in one week.

Following the Lakers’ 150-145 victory over the Pacers on Sunday evening, LeBron James spoke about why he decided to start the Mind The Game podcast with JJ Redick. The project itself was a pleasant surprise to the basketball world and was released on last Tuesday with a lengthy episode on James and Redick speaking about several basketball topics.

Lakers reporter Jovan Buha asked James about the podcast, “You launched a podcast this week. What sparked the idea and why was JJ the right guy to partner with?”

James replied, “I feel we were losing the essence of the game of basketball and the true meaning behind it, teaching our youth what it truly means. I was getting frustrated with the daily comparisons. Who’s going to affect your legacy? If this guy played in the ’50s, would he be this if this guy from the ’50s played in the 2000s? It’s not good for the youth. Obviously, you want to hear it every day in barbershops. Approach and understand what really the essence of the game is, how I fell in love with it. And when you have someone like JJ who has the same mindset about the game, very smart, you know, fell in love with the game for all the right reasons. This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while.”

The podcast was officially announced by James and Redick on Twitter and first reported by The Athletic.

“Full episode up tomorrow. This is for everyone who truly loves our beautiful game. Shout out to @jj_redick for creating this with us. Wait until we add the visuals/clips to go along with it too! OMG,” James said in a quote post of the teaser on Twitter/X.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done to innovate in sports media…When I do a project, the only thing I think about is whether me and my friends would watch it. That is definitely the case with ‘Mind the Game.’ Everything doesn’t need to be designed for internet culture and clicks.”

Basketball fans were open to the fresh perspective that both Redick and James promised to give on the podcast, not just constraining themselves to only X’s & O’x conversations but also topics that in general celebrated the game of basketball and how the sport could get better.

The first episode of the podcast, entitled, “What Makes A Great Basketball Player” included topics such as the Lakers’ comeback victory against the Clippers in February, the impact of Steph Curry on the game of basketball, Jayson Tatum’s accomplishments since he was drafted by the Celtics in 2017 and plenty of other topics concerning play-calling and in-game adjustments.

The first episode of the podcast got 2.8 million views in the week following its premiere and the subsequent clips and segments from the debut on YouTube have gotten over 100,000 and 200,000 views.