There were a lot of pivotal “firsts” in the life of 6-year-old Austin Shone.
When I was six, I helped my dad pour cement into a small hole next to our driveway to put up my first basketball hoop. It would eventually develop a ring of rust and fall down because of too many games of “Jungle-ball,” only to be replaced by an inferior wheeled hoop with water in the base and sand bags on top.
When I was six, I started playing basketball in the Upward League at First Baptist Church in Grapevine, Texas. When I was six, I got a cool pair of red and white Shaquille O’Neal Dunkmans, which I wore with pride.
While those things were plenty exciting, there was nothing more thrilling than a trip to the neighborhood Blockbuster. One Friday afternoon after a trip to the grocery store with mom, I picked out the movie that would change my life forever.
As usual, I walked over to the sports movie section, filled with classic titles like “Air Bud” and “The Sandlot.” There was one movie that was superior to the rest. It was rare to find on those thin black shelves. There were only three copies. That fateful day … it was there.
“Space Jam” is more than a movie; it’s a cultural phenomenon. It’s the highest grossing basketball film of all time. There’s no better darty attire than a Tune Squad jersey.
Michael Jordan in his prime, teamed up with Warner Brothers’ craziest characters battling it out for supremacy against a bunch of jacked up aliens.
Bill Murray’s best golfing performance since “Caddy Shack.”
Barkley, Bird, Bogues, Bradley, Ewing, and Johnson.
The concept is surreal. Is it the real world? Is it animated? No, it’s freaking both!
I was enthralled. I brought it home. I popped it in the VHS player. One hour and 28 minutes later, life as I knew it had changed forever. I was too young to watch Jordan play during his career, yet to me this movie solidified him as the all-time GOAT.
For years, there have been rumors circulating about a sequel, but you heard it here first, Lebron James didn’t move to L.A. because he was overly enthusiastic about playing for the Lakers. He came for a chance to solidify himself as the new GOAT and the only way to do that is by out-shining Jordan in the newly announced “Space Jam 2.”
Now there are a lot of people who will tell you that nothing can beat the original “Space Jam.” To them one might say, “time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin, into the future.” It’s a new era of basketball.
LeBron James was phenomenal in “Trainwreck,” but all he did in that movie was dominate Bill Hader in a crappy, rundown gymnasium. Give that a little “spit-shine” and imagine the possibilities.
Picture this. LeBron and the Looney Tunes take down some Monstars that steal the powers of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Demarcus Cousins. Wait a minute, why are the five most talented players in the NBA all on the Warriors?
Is this movie just an animated recreation of the past four NBA Finals? No wonder Warner Bros. wants to make this movie. It’s good for the ratings and it will gross a lot of money, but it’s bad for basketball.
The movie will be released. ESPN’s “First-Take” will do a segment every day for a month talking about how this new movie stacks up to the original. How MJ’s acting matches up with LeBron’s. Bickering and banter will flourish, because that’s what the media does.
“Space Jam 2” will be a huge draw at the box office, but it won’t be making Blockbuster any money. Kids won’t rush home to pop the tape in, they’ll stream it on the iPad in the car seat. The movie will sell, but it won’t be tangible. It will be funny for a while, but it won’t be beloved.
“Space Jam” was more than a movie. It was an instrumental moment in the childhoods of millions. It taught us to “fly like an eagle,” and that with Michael Jordan, anything was possible. I simply don’t know if a sequel can measure up. Only time will tell.