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#pounditThursday, January 20, 2022

Articles tagged: Space Jam

Klay Thompson goes ‘Space Jam’ to announce return to Warriors

Klay Thompson wearing warmups

It definitely feels like Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson has been out of action since roughly 1996. Now Thompson is going with the perfect movie from 1996 to announce his return to the court.

Thompson, who was reported to be returning to the lineup for the Warriors on Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, confirmed the news in a post to his Instagram page on Saturday. The five-time All-Star posted a video of Bill Murray arriving for Michael Jordan and the Tune Squad in “Space Jam.”

“How I’m pulling up to Chase [Center] tomorrow, Bill Murray is my spirit animal,” wrote Thompson in his caption. “I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE Y’ALL DUBNATION ! LET’S GET IT”

Thompson’s grand return in front of his home crowd on Sunday will mark 942 days since he last played NBA basketball. He tore his left ACL during the NBA Finals in June 2019 and then tore his right Achilles in Nov. 2020.

Some of Thompson’s teammates have warned him that he could be in for a rude awakening when he returns to the floor. But the ruder awakening will probably be for the rest of the league now that the 29-9 Warriors are getting one of the NBA’s all-time great marksmen back into their lineup.

Photo: May 14, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) stands on the court before the start of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers in game one of the Western conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James responds to early critics of ‘Space Jam 2’

LeBron James

LeBron James’ response to all those who are already criticizing “Space Jam 2” is simply to say, “Scoreboard.”

The Warner Brothers film starring James opened in theaters this weekend and is drawing less-than-favorable reviews to kick off its run. On Saturday, James fired back at the critics. The four-time MVP tweeted an article stating that “Space Jam 2” was set for a $32 million opening weekend to easily dethrone Disney’s “Black Widow” for the No. 1 spot at the box office.

“Hi Haters!” James wrote in his caption.

Despite the strong box-office numbers, “Space Jam 2” currently has just a 4.1/10 rating on IMDB as well as a 31 percent approval rate from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is much more complimentary though at 82 percent.

The film is obviously mostly geared towards children and anyone who is nostalgic for the 1996 original starring Michael Jordan. Still, there are plenty of people who were skeptical of a sequel from the very start.

Michael Jordan could make cameo in new ‘Space Jam’ movie?

Michael Jordan

The sequel to “Space Jam” may be getting a boost from the star of the original film.

Actor Don Cheadle, who plays the main villain in this summer’s upcoming “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” hinted this week at a Michael Jordan cameo.

“Michael Jordan is in the movie, but not in the way you would expect it,” Cheadle told NBC’s ‘Access Hollywood.’

Jordan, of course, headlined the original 1996 “Space Jam,” which became a major box office success and cultural hit. However, he did not agree to star in the sequel, which will instead star LeBron James.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” will have a pretty strong supporting cast around James as well. While we have yet to get Jordan’s official thoughts on the new movie, Cheadle’s comments indicate that His Airness is giving it at least somewhat of a seal of approval.

Parts of the movie ‘Space Jam’ eerily came true with coronavirus impact

The coronavirus outbreak officially reached a boiling point for the NBA on Wednesday, as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and the league quickly moved to suspend play for all teams. Those who have seen the popular 1990s film “Space Jam” started getting flashbacks as everything unfolded.

If you’ve seen “Space Jam,” you know that the NBA season was also suspended in the movie after it was believed that players were being infected with some sort of illness. The idea was that NBA players like Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing were having their talent stolen by cartoon aliens, but players around the league were concerned about the spread of “germs.” In one scene, players didn’t want to go into the locker room to dress for a game out of fear of getting sick.

There was also a scene where the NBA commissioner told reporters he is suspending the season indefinitely “until we can guarantee the health and safety of our players.”

But wait, it gets even weirder. Gobert tested positive and the NBA season was suspended on March 11, 2020. You know when “Space Jam” was released on VHS? March 11, 1997.

The reaction we saw from Mark Cuban on Wednesday showed just how shocking the coronavirus developments have been. This is an unprecedented situation that is evolving by the day, but it’s one that is not totally foreign to “Space Jam” fans.

Look: LeBron James teases with preview of ‘Space Jam 2’ jerseys

LeBron James

LeBron James teased his fans on Instagram Tuesday by sharing a slight preview of the “Space Jam 2” jerseys.

James has been spending time this summer filming the movie, which is set for a 2021 release, 25 years after the original movie starring Michael Jordan was released. He dropped his customary “Taco Tuesday” video on Instagram but was on set while he did it and seemed to be in costume.

James showed a preview of the jersey, which appears to be teal with orange and purple coloring around the edges.

Some noticed that the jersey looked similar to the 1996 All-Star Game jerseys:

The jerseys worn by the “Tune Squad” in the original movie were white with similar striping around the edges, so these appear to be different.

In addition to LeBron, Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and Klay Thompson are among the NBA stars expected to have a big role in the film.

Watch: LeBron James puts up shots at ‘Space Jam 2’ practice court

LeBron James

Details surrounding the making of “Space Jam 2” have slowly been trickling out over the past few weeks, and we now have our first look at the basketball court where the cast will be spending some time working out.

NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein has apparently built a court at his home where LeBron James and other players who will star in “Space Jam 2” can practice. Goldstein shared a video of LeBron putting up some shots at the “Club James court” over the weekend.

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Space Jam shoot at Club James court.

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Goldstein recently shared a photo on Instagram showing what the court looks like in daylight:

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#clubjames #spacejam

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As ESPN’s Nick DePaula notes, the court at Goldstein’s house could be the newer version of the “Jordan Dome” that was built at Warner Brothers studios during the filming of the first “Space Jam” movie.

A list of several NBA and WNBA players who are expected to make appearances in “Space Jam 2” was recently leaked, and the cast sounds pretty impressive. Whether or not it will live up to the original film is the bigger question.

Giannis Antetokounmpo passed on role in ‘Space Jam 2’

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo passed on a role in “Space Jam 2” because he is not interested in going “Hollywood.”

LeBron James is starring in a “Space Jam” reboot and set to film this summer. He has been seeking other NBA stars to join him in the film, but the Milwaukee Bucks emerging star turned down the role.

“I don’t like being Hollywood,” Antetokounmpo said via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I don’t like all this extra drama. I am just going to try to be me.”

Antetokounmpo also apparently did not want to give up two weeks of private workouts to train for the movie.

Though passing on such a role will limit Antetokounmpo’s chances of growing in popularity and becoming known among a new audience, NBA fans have to respect his choice. The guy seems extremely focused on his craft, which helps explain why he has jumped to MVP levels so quickly in his career.

Magic Johnson says he might be too expensive for ‘Space Jam 2’

Magic Johnson

The “Space Jam 2” film project is starting to come together, but don’t expect to see Magic Johnson acting in it.

Johnson spoke with the media on Thursday about the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers season. Now that the team has LeBron James, the topic of the NBA star’s movie came up. Magic joked that the movie might not have the budget for him because his acting quote is high.

“Space Jam 2” has been in headlines this week after SpringHill Entertainment confirmed they have added director Terence Nance and producer Ryan Coogler to the project.

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There is no information yet on a planned release date for the movie, which is now heavily anticipated. Well, lots of people are excited about it, except for one prominent person from the first movie.

As for Magic, we never really saw him as a good fit on the Monstars anyhow.

Mike Trout’s dugout drink has ‘Space Jam’ reference

Mike Trout secret stuff

The name of Mike Trout’s drink of choice in the dugout is a nod to a popular animated movie starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.

During Saturday’s 4-3 win by the Los Angeles Angels over the San Francisco Giants, Trout hit his eighth home run of the season in the third inning. After getting back to the dugout, Trout was shown on the broadcast drinking from a bottle that had the words “Michael’s Secret Stuff” wrapped on the side.

Trout was also spotted with the “secret stuff” earlier this month.

Those who are familiar with the movie “Space Jam” will surely remember the locker room scene where Bugs Bunny drank from a blue water bottle that also had the words “Michael’s Secret Stuff” on it.

Trout is off to an excellent start to this season. He hit a 2-run home run on Sunday, giving him an MLB-best nine dingers on the season. Perhaps Shohei Ohtani has been sipping some of Trout’s drink because his exploits at the plate recently had him moved up to the cleanup spot on Mike Scioscia’s lineup card.

Space Jam director: LeBron James will never be Michael Jordan

LeBron James Space Jam

The 20-year anniversary of the release of “Space Jam” was on Tuesday, once again sparking discussions about a possible sequel to the movie featuring LeBron James or some other NBA superstar. Joe Pytka, the director of the film, has one very simple thought about “Space Jam 2.”

Don’t do it.

In an interview with Derek Lawrence of Entertainment Weekly, Pytka said he believes making a “Space Jam” sequel would be a horrible idea.

“I think it’s ridiculous to try and make a different movie out of it,” he argued. “I can’t see it. I can’t imagine how it could be what that film was. Not that Space Jam is a great movie, but it had something that touched that period of time because of who those athletes were and it doesn’t exist anymore.”

No one would argue that “Space Jam” was a masterpiece, but it made a ton of money both at the box office and with merchandise. Most of that had to do with Michael Jordan being the star of the film, and Pytka doesn’t believe there is any athlete — not even LeBron — who could replicate that success today.

“I’ve worked with LeBron and I’ve worked with Steph Curry, and as good a player as LeBron is and as good a player as Steph Curry is, they’re not Michael Jordan,” Pytka said. “We will never see another player like him. He was a transcendent figure, much like Muhammad Ali. He was beyond his sport. These guys aren’t.”

It’s tough to predict how strong LeBron’s legacy will be when he’s done playing. There are kids today who are obsessed with Jordan and the Jordan brand who weren’t even alive when His Airness was dominating the NBA. Will LeBron’s brand remain that strong after he retires? Only time will tell.

In any event, it seems like a sequel to “Space Jam” will happen at some point. Jordan has never said the movie shouldn’t be made, but the player he would pick to play the lead role might surprise you.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk