NBA heads know all about the infamous Banana Boat Crew, which consists of BFFs LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. Each has staked their claim on the basketball court, while also expanding their respective brands to include ventures into fashion, social justice, entertainment, philanthropy and even team ownership.
Anthony, in particular, has lucrative partnerships with companies like Nike and Nickelodeon, and at one point even signed rapper Cassidy to his record label, Krossover Entertainment. So with his career winding down and his eyes on establishing his legacy outside of basketball, on Tuesday, the 10-time All-Star announced his latest venture: Creative 7.
Launched with his longtime business partner and co-founder Asani Swann, Creative 7 is a global, multi-platform company that will develop and produce original, premium content that includes documentaries, scripted television, feature film, animation, podcasts and more. Additionally, the company was established in order to “champion the narratives and voices that for too long have gone unheard.”
And for the record, if you think this is just some boutique hobby set up by a basketball player to help stave off boredom, try again. Creative 7 has already locked in partnerships with Hollywood heavyweights like Will Packer, Plan B Entertainment and Hock Films, and has every intention of rolling out a robust slate of projects that “speak to the evolution of the human spirit through adversity, social activism and compelling, entertainment-forward storytelling.”
“We are excited to finally announce Creative 7 and share the purposeful projects we have been dedicated to developing over the past two years,” Anthony said in a statement to The Root. “Asani and I founded Creative 7 because we both share a passion for creating original content that will give a voice to the silenced, advocate for the underserved, and celebrate the resilience of the human spirit. We are in a time of profound transformation so we believe it is more important than ever to spotlight the individuals and the stories that will uplift the world and inspire lasting change. Having the opportunity to develop these narratives alongside award-winning filmmakers and creatives has been an honor and inspired us to take our creativity to new heights.”
So what can we expect first from Creative 7? I’m glad you asked. They already have a series in development with Will Packer Productions that will explore how professional athletes are integral to society and culture, yet remain on the periphery of attaining true power within the multibillion-dollar industries that have been built from their talents. Also coming sooner than later is a project about the infamous Jersey 4 case, which will feature the assistance of Get Out producer Shaun Redick and his wife, actress and producer Yvette Yates Redick.
“In addition to collaborating with legendary filmmakers and paramount creative minds in the industry, we are excited to also be working with and championing emerging talent who are positioned to be the next great generation of filmmakers,” Swann said in a statement to The Root. “At the core, our goal is to amplify unheard voices and groundbreaking stories that push the envelope and will leave a profound impact. As a Black woman, I am proud to co-found a company like Creative 7 that celebrates diversity and inclusion and will strive to push representation in this industry forward.”
Y’all already know I love to see Black folks win, so I’m here for this and definitely wish both Carmelo and Asani tremendous success as they venture into the wonderful world of entertainment.