Storyline: Space Jam Movie

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Actor Paul Scheer — best known for his memorable role as “Andre” in FX’s “The League” — is currently working on Showtime’s “Black Monday” with Cheadle, and during an appearance on the “Clip City” podcast to talk about his Clippers fandom, he let the tidbit about his co-star’s role in “Space Jam 2” slip as an aside in a conversation about Blake Griffin’s acting success (emphasis mine): “Actually Don Cheadle, who I do ‘Black Monday’ with, he’s the bad guy in ‘Space Jam,’ and he said LeBron’s really great. He was great in ‘Train Wreck’ too.”

Before he wore a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, Anthony Davis already fulfilled a childhood dream. He filmed Space Jam 2 this summer, which gave him an early glimpse of what it is like to work with LeBron James. Davis also gained more perspective on the time and work it takes to perfect something. “That was definitely frustrating — the ‘hurry-up-and-wait.’ You’re just there waiting around to shoot your scene,” Davis recalled in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “But just seeing the way they take everything seriously and how perfect they want everything to be, it was cool. I’ve never been on set for that much time. I think it was a cool experience.”

Although Griffin confirmed he won’t be in Space Jam 2 (“I wasn’t invited,” he told the crowd during the show), he has built up a strong IMDb portfolio and has the comedy chops to try this alternate career on a more permanent basis. Yet he insists there’s no end goal to his occasional forays into the comedy world. “Honestly, there’s not,” Griffin says. “I’m not doing this to one day have my Netflix special. It’s just something I enjoy. To me, it gives me a chance to give back.”

Well, on this Taco Tuesday, James was working. He was on set for the filming of “Space Jam 2,” which could have put a pause to James’ Taco Tuesday tradition. James wasn’t going to let that happen … and he gave us a glimpse of the Tune Squad jersey in the process. James posted to his Instagram Story a series of videos showing him enjoying some tacos and shouting “Taco Tuesday!” But that jersey … looks like the Tune Squad will be rocking the away kits this film.

Lillard spent a week in Hollywood for the shoot, which required both long days and sacrificing his facial hair. “That was different,” said Lillard of shooting the movie. “You all know I’ve always had a babyface, so this season I grew a beard out, it took me like six months to grow it. I show up on the set, they make me shave it off for the animation. That’s why I look like this now. It was bare-faced for the animation, 15-hour days, showing up on the set at 6 a.m., leaving at 9 p.m. It was long.”

Lillard wouldn’t divulge much of anything about his role in nor the plot of Space Jam 2 other than to say “it’s significant, it’s not a cameo.” The time commitment was significant, as was the requirement to be clean shaven, but despite the sacrifices, Lillard thinks it’ll be worth the effort. “I’m not going to say it was fun, eventually it was fun, and now I’m happy I did it knowing that I was a part of something like that,” said Lillard. “I think it’s going to be great.”

Being in Space Jam probably introduced you to a whole new generation of fans. How did your role in that movie come together and what’s it like to be part of a classic film? Muggsy Bogues: Space Jam was – and still is – such an iconic, classic movie. That’s not even something we thought about. The fact that it’s still relevant today is incredible. It was a family movie so everyone could enjoy it, from the parents down to the kids. Having the opportunity to take part in it was surreal for me. Michael , Patrick , , and myself all had the same agent: David Falk. I don’t know how it all came about behind the scenes. They felt like I should be one of the cast members. But, believe it or not, I got hurt and I needed surgery, so they actually brought in Tim Hardaway to read my lines and I think they were going to go with Tim because of my injury. But once I read my lines and they felt comfortable I could work through my injury, they actually created a little dolly to pull me on so it looked like I was walking. They made it work. I was thankful that they made it work.

When production on the movie began in 1995, Michael Jordan had just come back from retirement … so he and Pippen were teammates in the Chicago Bulls again — which had people wondering why didn’t #33 have a significant role??? So, when we saw Pip at LAX on Thursday, we needed that explanation!!! I think I was injured or recovering from offseason injuries,” Pippen said … “I wasn’t able to participate.” If he WAS healthy though, Pippen says he would have agreed to a role in a heartbeat.

It’s been well known that James has struggled to find NBA stars to be in “Space Jam 2” alongside him, but the King could have his co-star, and it isn’t Lonzo Ball. Warriors star Klay Thompson is “locked in” to star in the film along with James, FOX Sports’ Jason McIntyre reported Saturday on “The Jason McIntyre Show.” “Everybody thinks (Klay Thompson) is probably staying with the Warriors and I would agree with that,” McIntyre said. “But I heard some news this week that could change things. That Klay Thompson is now ‘locked in’ to do ‘Space Jam 2.’ I don’t think that news is anywhere. “I Googled it last night, I went on the internet. Nobody has it. I do believe an announcement will come out after The Finals that Klay Thompson is committed to ‘Space Jam 2,’ he will be in the movie.”

I’m not sure how excited I am to watch “Space Jam 2”. I think LeBron James is a slightly better actor than Michael Jordan, and the original “Space Jam” was nothing to shake a stick at. I’m the perfect age for Space Jam to have meant something to me, but having watched the film as an adult I can tell you it’s largely underwhelming. Still, Space Jam 2 is set to film this summer and we finally have a confirmation of that fact from LeBron himself. Speaking at All-Star Weekend, James told a crowd in Charlotte that they are indeed going to film once the season is over.

And perhaps nothing on the King’s off-the-court agenda has received as much attention as the upcoming reboot of Space Jam, starring James and produced by James’ SpringHill Entertainment. The director for the film, Terence Nance, has some high hopes for the film, which he believes will be a disruptive force in the industry, especially in regards to traditional standards of masculinity. From VICE’s Taylor Hosking: I asked if he had plans to shake up traditional conceptions of masculinity with Space Jam 2. “Pretty sure going to disrupt everything,” he told me in the fall of last year. “I’m excited about what that movie can be.”“Pretty sure going to disrupt everything,” he told me in the fall of last year. “I’m excited about what that movie can be.”

“Who doesn’t like ‘Space Jam’ and Michael Jordan?” LaVine said after the movie. “The season is about to start, so I’m just trying to keep it light.” He couldn’t remember exactly how old he was the first time he saw the film, which was released when he was 20 months old. He estimated he has seen it dozens of times, though Paul thought it was closer to 200. When LaVine was a child and the closing credits would roll, he would ask his father to rewind the tape and start it from the beginning.

After James signed on, Carter brought in Coogler, whom he had met through actor and frequent Coogler collaborator Michael B. Jordan (the three had driven from L.A. to Las Vegas to see a boxing match, and when Jordan fell asleep, Carter and Coogler talked “for three hours, just about life and work and hip-hop and friends and family, everything … we’ve been friends ever since,” says Carter). They tapped Terence Nance, who created HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness, to direct. Production is tentatively slated for 2019 during the NBA’s off-season. Like the original, the new movie is sure to be well stocked with cameos from NBA players. But Jordan? “We’ll see,” says Carter, “Hopefully there will be a role for Michael if he wants it. But Michael Jordan is Michael Fuckin’ Jordan. It doesn’t matter [if James] calls him, he’s gonna do whatever the hell he wants, which he has earned that right to do.” And then he adds: “LeBron and Michael are not sitting around talking about Space Jam.”

In his first project since directing the record-breaking Black Panther, Ryan Coogler is teaming with LeBron James on the long-anticipated follow-up to the Michael Jordan-Bugs Bunny hit Space Jam, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Coogler will produce the new Space Jam movie and Terence Nance, who created HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and directed the experimental film The Oversimplification of Her Beauty, will direct. Production on the Warner Bros. film is tentatively slated for 2019, during the NBA off-season. It will be James’ first starring role after a successful turn as a supporting character in the 2015 Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck.

Getting Coogler, whose credits also include Creed and Fruitvale Station, is a coup. The director is among the industry’s most sought-after artists. Not only did Black Panther break ground as a superhero movie from a black perspective with a black cast, but it has set a number of box-office benchmarks on its way to grossing $1.34 billion worldwide, including becoming the highest-grossing film ever by a black director. “I loved his vision” for Black Panther, James tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that when he was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio, there were no black superheroes. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”

By all metrics, when Space Jam was released in November 1996, the film was a smash hit. It opened No. 1 at the box office, was a merchandising juggernaut for all parties involved, and helped relaunch the Looney Tunes. In today’s Hollywood, those kinds of results would immediately warrant an immediate follow-up. Now, 20 years after the original, a sequel from Fast Five director Justin Lin and NBA superstar LeBron James is reportedly in the works, a move that baffles Pytka. “I think it’s ridiculous to try and make a different movie out of it,” he declares. “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.”

A few years ago, Pytka says representatives for Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard approached him to helm a sequel. He turned down that overture due to his belief that a new film wouldn’t work without the unprecedented global reach and appeal of the original production’s star. “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,” he argues. “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.”

Whitney Chapman, vice president and general manager of categories for Jordan Brand, provided a further explanation: “We’re really excited to actually tell this story about how the Monstars are coming back, and they’re coming back with a vengeance. They’re really pissed that they lost the game, and they’re here to wreak havoc on the game of basketball. Lots of propaganda going on and trying to have everyone to comply with this idea of their soulless game. This marketing campaign that’ll go global, the story’s really going to unfold around that, and then you’ll have to wait to see what happens on how this new basketballer that’s here today actually rises up to defy the odds of getting after the Monstars.”

Patrick Patterson: Please, please, Hollywood, I’m pleading with you, do not make Space Jam 2. The past couple of years, more and more rumors have been swirling about a Space Jam sequel. I’ve seen a lot of speculation over who will star in it, when it will be released and what the plot might be. So now, as an NBA player, movie lover and grown man who has a Looney Tunes painting proudly hanging in his home, I feel it’s time for me to finally take a stand. I’m a huge movie fan. Movies are a big part of my life. This summer I even had the opportunity to help cover the Toronto International Film Festival for the CBC. So please know that I don’t say this lightly: The original Space Jam is the perfect movie. The. Perfect. Movie.

Patrick Patterson: I think the reason the original Space Jam was so amazing was that it had absolutely no business being good. I’m a professional athlete, and I think most sports movies suck, particularly the ones that cast athletes in starring roles. It’s just a fact. But for some reason, by using like random aliens as a connector, this film about Looney Tunes characters and an assortment of semiprominent-to-prominent ’90s NBA stars just … worked. It captivated you. It felt like … it actually happened. Every sports fan has watched their team slumping and in the back of their mind thought, Damn, wonder if the Monstars took their powers. It seemed so real that the most unrealistic part of the entire movie was the suggestion that Michael Jordan lived in a modest two-story home at the peak of his stardom.

Patrick Patterson: Here’s the thing, that plot isn’t that much more ridiculous than the original Space Jam, and I just thought of it off the top of my head. So if they did make a Space Jam 2, what would be stopping them from making a Space Jam 3. Then maybe a Space Jam 4. Then maybe Space Jam 5: EuroLeague. And then nobody will ever want to watch a movie, cartoon or basketball game ever again because it’s all been ruined by this movie franchise that was never meant to be. This is a very slippery slope we’re on. I know this thing would make money. Kids dig bright fluorescent colors and characters that act silly. It’ll crush $200 million easy. Some things are bigger than money, though. Some things are sacred. I think the rich legacy of Space Jam is one of those things.

While he has put such talk on the backburner, LeBron James has been linked to a commitment for Space Jam 2, a sequel to the 1996 Michael Jordan vehicle. And the one thing about LeBron is he is known to share with his friends. So could Dwyane Wade, who already has shown some acting chops, be convinced to hop aboard? “I would. I would be interested in it,” Wade said. Wade said he sees nothing wrong with a follow up to the original. “Why not?” he said. “Obviously the first one was with Jordan and so many great players, so why not have one for this generation if it can be done?” Beyond Jordan, the original Space Jam also included Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and several other players of that era. Earlier during the postseason, James said of the project. “I have a great team that’s handling my affairs off the court. Ever since I signed with Warner Brothers, we’ve been looking to do some things and figure out some things that best fit both sides. My team is handling that, and I’m not going to take my focus off what my job is right now, and that’s being in the postseason right now.”

On Wednesday, James addressed the rumors surrounding his potential attachment to star in the film. Or, he kind of did. Via Fox Sports Ohio: “I have a great team that handles my affairs off the floor, James said after shootaround. “Since I signed with Warner Bros. we’ve been looking to do some things and figure out some things that best fit both sides. But my team’s handling that and I’m not going to take my focus off what my job is right now, which is handling the postseason right now. ” So that’s a non-denial denial. “I’m not focused on it” is not “I haven’t signed anything” or “I’m not going to do it” or “Are you kidding me why would I possibly risk my cultural status on this kind of idea.” So you can bet that there’s a good chance James winds up being announced as the star of the sequel this summer.
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April 9, 2020 | 9:12 pm EDT Update
Will the NBA’s indefinite suspension limit what the Warriors do with the checkbook in the offseason? “We’re looking at all of those questions and the possible answers. But I don’t really have a good sense yet because I really have no idea how this is gonna shake out,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Thursday morning. “We don’t know what the salary cap is gonna be, we don’t know what the luxury tax is gonna be. We don’t really know what we can plan on at this point. We just have to look at a lot of different scenarios. That’s what we’re doing right now. It could make a huge difference, it might make no difference.”
Storyline: Season Suspension
As Illinois goes through this together, the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks, is proud to be playing a critical role with our city, state and federal response to the pandemic. As announced on March 25, our arena and outside campus will be transformed into a logistics hub where we will be assisting with food storage for hunger relief, first responder staging and the collection of critically needed medical supplies.

Moving forward, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, will be utilizing the United Center as a satellite storage facility in response to the increased need for food. By alleviating space in the food bank’s warehouse, the Food Depository can bring additional volunteers into their facility to build more family food boxes in an environment that adheres to social distancing protocols. These boxes will continue to be distributed to those in need by the Food Depository’s partner network throughout Chicago and Cook County.
Storyline: Coronavirus

April 9, 2020 | 7:56 pm EDT Update

Pau Gasol contemplating retirement

With the league’s current campaign suspended indefinitely due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Gasol, who will turn 40 years old in July, is contemplating retirement at this point of his career. “With this recovery process and the injury that I have been dealing with for more than a year, it’s undoubtedly inevitable to think about retirement,” Gasol said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, via NBC Sports. “Also, taking into account that I will be 40 years old in a few months. So, [retirement] is definitely on my mind.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 14 more rumors
“It’s something that will come one time, sooner or later,” Gasol said of retirement. “We hope that time hasn’t come yet. But I also take the opportunity to focus on the Gasol Foundation and other off-court projects. And also think of what my next professional stage may be, my next challenges. All this while I’m still recovering, trying to give myself a chance to keep playing. Now, the priority is to overcome this pandemic among all. Everything else is completely secondary.”
In 2011, Jacob Hamilton was a 26-year-old cinematographer looking to expand his portfolio by directing a documentary. He came across a two-minute interview online titled, “The Man Who Invented the Jump Shot.” Four years later, Hamilton was screening his short film in Kevin Durant’s backyard, shocked to see one of the NBA’s best-ever jump shooters geek out over footage he’d gathered of Kenny Sailors from the 1940s. The film was still only halfway to the finish line. “Jump Shot” premiered at South by Southwest in 2019, but still hasn’t been released to the public. That will change next week, when the feature-length documentary will be available online April 16-18. Pre-order is underway at jumpshotmovie.com.
“Jump Shot” got two of its most important assists from NBA superstars Steph Curry and Durant. Hamilton had simply hoped for an interview when, through a connection between an executive producer and a chaplain for USA Basketball, the former Golden State Warriors teammates were introduced to Sailors’ legacy. The crew flew to Oakland and were invited to Durant’s home. Partway through the screening, KD asked for the film to be paused. Hamilton feared the worst, a bored millennial. In reality, the former Longhorns star was mesmerized. “These are moves that I’m doing today,” Hamilton recalls Durant telling them. “I was literally working on this in practice this week, and Kenny was doing this 60-70 years ago? This is unbelievable.”
Curry took his adoration a step further when he told Hamilton he was not only up for an interview, but wanted to get more involved. That’s how basketball’s greatest jump shooter became an executive producer. Both players are interviewed in the film, along with a lineup of basketball legends — from Dirk Nowitzki to Bob Knight, Nancy Lieberman and Clark Kellogg. Their astonishment at Sailors’ pioneering shot, particularly a photograph that appeared in Life magazine in 1946, will resonate with basketball fans.
April 9, 2020 | 6:35 pm EDT Update
When this all ends, whenever that is, what’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to doing on that first day? Dion Waiters: Just trying to hoop. Just vibe out and hoop. I’ve had damn near the whole season off. I’m trying to get back and hoop. I got something to prove at the end of the day. During this quarantine I’ve been dieting, getting my weight down, getting in shape. For me, it’s just playing basketball.
“I am in such debt to the people who worked so incredibly hard on the technical side to make what I believe is still magic — there might be some elves involved, it is Disney after all,” ‘The Jump” host Rachel Nichols told Insider. “I can’t believe that they were able to figure out a way to produce an entire television show with everybody at home, not a single person in our television facility.”
April 9, 2020 | 6:29 pm EDT Update
If nothing else at a time when the Clippers have more questions than answers amid the NBA’s hiatus because of COVID-19, the team is confident in at least one thing to be true. Should the season resume, the same roster that had been dogged by injuries since last summer is on track to be the healthiest it has been. “The Kawhi [Leonard] we’ll see will be in phenomenal shape,” coach Doc Rivers said, adding that Paul George “is another guy that’s goig to be in phenomenal shape. Reggie [Jackson], who was injured when we got him, will now be healthy.”
Since there is a pause on all roster transactions across the league, the 10-day contract Noah signed remains in effect one month later. That has left the former defensive player of the year able to work into shape under the supervision of the team’s medical and performance staffs. “It’s been great for him,” Rivers said. “There are certain individuals who this rest period, or whatever this is called, has been a benefit, and Jo is one of them for sure because he’s got a chance now to get healthy, and to get in shape and that will be a factor for him. He will be a guy that will be able to help us.”
A whopping 72% of Americans polled said they would not attend if sporting events resumed without a vaccine for the coronavirus. The poll, which had a fairly small sample size of 762 respondents, was released Thursday by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business. When polling respondents who identified as sports fans, 61% said they would not go to a game without a vaccine. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.6%.
Storyline: Coronavirus
NBA star DeMarcus Cousins first hired Noordin Said to be his personal security guard in 2015 during All-Star weekend in New York. From there, the two hit it off, and Said worked the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2017 All-Star weekend in New Orleans at Cousins’ side. Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green hired Said to be his personal security guard during the 2018 playoffs, and Said worked this season with Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo at most home games.
Storyline: Coronavirus
April 9, 2020 | 5:21 pm EDT Update
As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, NBA owners are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The league plans to keep all options to resume the season available for the time being, sources told ESPN, but the financial realities of the situation demand near immediate action. That has become clear in talks between the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and player agents, sources told ESPN, as the league tries to get its finances in order in the event the rest of the season must be canceled.
Storyline: Salary Reductions
The league’s CBA includes a force majeure clause, enabling owners to cancel games and recover salary in the event of a pandemic. This clause also gives the league a 60-day window within which it can rip up the CBA entirely — effectively beginning a work stoppage. No one wants to do that. But it underscores the gravity of the situation. Still, in recent years the two sides have worked as well together as ever, and the CBA isn’t set to expire until 2024.
The agreement between owners and players in the last CBA calls for roughly splitting revenue 50/50 and also splitting the coming losses. So, the owners want to hold back a percentage of players’ checks going forward — both giving them extra money they can use now, if needed, and also to help balance the books in the event some, or all, of the remainder of the season is canceled. From an economic standpoint, both sides would prefer to limit the pain of the shutdown to only this season and not start next season with IOUs on the ledger. Setting the money aside now would help do that.
Karnisovas will have full decision making over basketball operations, including the futures of Forman, head coach Jim Boylen, and the entire coaching staff. He was even asked about Paxson, and had the option of having the organization move on from the long-time Bulls executive if that’s what he desired. However, a source indicated that Karnisovas had no issues with the Reinsdorfs keeping Paxson around.
There were multiple reports that the search angered a handful of African American executives around the league, who felt like people of color weren’t involved in the searching process by the Bulls. A source close to the situation, however, indicated that not only did Michael Reinsdorf reach out to multiple minority candidates to try and get interviews – but was denied permission to do so by their current organizations, and in some cases simply turned down.
April 9, 2020 | 5:10 pm EDT Update
One of the most indelible images from the night the NBA shut down was a young girl crying at a Sacramento Kings game. Her tear-stained face and broken heart reflected how many people felt about the temporary end of life as we knew it and the indefinite stoppage of sports. That girl’s name is Sophie, and Kings player Harry Giles wanted to make her feel better. So he recently sent her and her brother a sweet video message. He apologized for the way their last game ended, and to make up for it, he invited them to a Kings game when sports are back underway. Not surprisingly, Sophie was extremely excited.

Shelby Delaney of the Summit Medical Center in Oakland was one of the first nurses to volunteer to help coronavirus patients at the hospital. Curry made sure the 27-year-old knew how important that was. “I can’t thank God enough for what you’re doing and just the sacrifice, the selflessness and the way everybody’s coming together,” Curry told her on the call. “Thank you so much for just what you do, your heart and the inspiration you provide for everybody.”
April 9, 2020 | 5:02 pm EDT Update
“I have an organization who basically gave me the keys,” Beal said. “‘We’re going to build around you. We’re going to get guys around like’ – if I go anywhere else, granted, it may be a good team, but I would be a piece. Who knows if my role would be the same? My role here is, I love what it is. I love [Scott] Brooks. I love what we have. I love our young guys. I think the fact that we actually have guys that are committed to getting better.”
Lowe opened the podcast by giving Beal the opportunity to address the omission: “I was angry, but I wouldn’t say I played angry because of that,” Beal said. “At the end of the day, I wanted to make the playoffs. The All-Star game was what it was. I’m not mad at you for your votes. For me, I will never take that moment away from the other 24 guys. Because that was me two years ago and a year ago. I can’t sit here and take that moment away from Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell and guys who got their first one.
April 9, 2020 | 4:50 pm EDT Update
Eric Gordon said he would not object to having a season restarted in a sequestered location, one of the ideas the NBA is considering. But he also indicated it is too soon to know if even that will be possible. “That sounds like almost our only option,” Gordon said. “That’s the only thing that can make sense. Just coop us up in a hotel for months and see if we can have that chance to have the season. It’s still a dicey situation, so we’re just hoping this virus calms down and goes away quickly. As of right now, it doesn’t seem like it is.”
Storyline: Season Suspension