From 2006-2016, film releases averaged just over two years from announcement to release. By comparison, upcoming basketball sequel Space Jam 2 has been in development for five years. Maybe it’s because star LeBron James was waiting for a move to the Los Angeles Lakers (leaving Cleveland after four historic years), maybe it’s because of the director change, but regardless of the reasons, it is finally happening. Filming is scheduled to begin this June, and the film will be released in July 2021.
If you didn’t see the original Space Jam (1996), aliens steal the outstanding basketball abilities of five NBA players (Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues) and thus become superstar athletes, threatening the multi-verse of our reality and that of the Looney Tunes, thus causing the legendary Michael Jordan to call it quits on his Baseball career in pursuit of a return to the court – the universe is in his hands… quite literally. While Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes are focused on basketball, the NBA pro’s learn to deal with their loss of talent. Barkley goes to play ball with kids and plays so poorly that a kid calls him a “wanna-be that just looks like [Barkley].” The players get checked by a physician, psychiatrist, and even pray, bargaining with God to get their ability back. This portion of the film allows the personality of these players to come out, leading me to wonder who will be featured in the sequel (assuming that it features a similar plot).
The NBA is filled with great characters right now. The social media age has changed the way we perceive and interact with players, allowing us glimpses into their personal lives and personality that we could never have gotten without a feature piece in a magazine, or an interview on ESPN back in the day.
Which of these players would be best in Space Jam 2?
Well, here are my top 10 picks for players that should join LeBron in this highly anticipated sequel.
10. Tristan Thompson
First and foremost, Tristan Thompson is LeBron’s friend, and his contract is Exhibit A of all the evidence needed for proving that James takes care of his friends. LeBron’s agency that he allegedly definitely has no personal stake in got Tristan (who is a role player at best) a 5-year $82million contract. However, Tristan is also in the midst of a scandal after he cheated on Khloe Kardashian again. While Tristan has the connections, does Space Jam 2 need the potential Kardashian drama? Probably not.
9. Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson is the projected number one pick in the upcoming draft. He has the talent, and LeBron eve traveled to Charlottesville, VA to watch him play. Even Barack Obama went to watch Zion play this season!
Williamson probably won’t be in Space Jam 2 because he’s too young, but that’s okay because he shouldn’t be anyway – a Monstar with his physique and athleticism would be too overpowered.
8. Javale McGee
Former NBA (and film) star Shaquille O’Neal has a segment called Shaqtin’ a Fool, where he puts together a lowlight reel of flubs and bumbles. Here’s over nine minutes of Javale Mcgee Shaqtin’ a Fool.
He’s also played significant minutes for one of the best teams in history, winning two championships, and he’s LeBron’s teammate this season. If Javale were more than a dunk specialist and energy guy, he’d be in the film, and it would be funny watching him play basketball poorly under the suspicion that it’s because of aliens.
7. Chris Paul
July 8, 2015; an historic day in NBA Twitter history. The emoji war sparked by Deandre Jordan’s pending free agency was interrupted by a photo of LeBron and Chris Paul on a banana boat. Paul is getting a little old, but if he were still in his prime he’d be in this movie.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Dubbed “The Greek Freak,” the 24 year-old superstar is basically seven feet tall and can do it all on the court. He’s practically a Monstar in real life, and is also a pretty funny man that doesn’t mind being in front of cameras. The only thing holding him back is that he isn’t in LeBron’s inner circle, and we all know how things like business and agencies can ruin fun.