LeBron James, who made a late-career move from Cleveland to Los Angeles with Hollywood dreams, just gave us the vaguest possible teaser for Space Jam 2.
So it's got a logo and a release year. The little subheading to indicate it's a sequel. Cool. Great job, Bron. Slay, King. Let's put a statue of you up outside Brentwood somewhere. Let's evaluate what he's doing here with the timing of this drop.
This is basically an anti-teaser -- it's fundamentally flawed, but also designed to give you just a little bit of hope to get you through the day. It's also almost assuredly not coming out of the kindness of the King's heart. James is a socially brilliant dude with one of the most carefully-constructed brands in the world. His entire career, dating back to his high school years, has centered around this idea that he's the heir ("air") to Michael Jordan. He's got enough self-awareness to know that his Space Jam sequel is going to be as legacy-defining as his actual basketball career. (If you want to do the baseball thing too, there's a league in Taiwan you can hit up right now, Bron.)
So when's the perfect time to drop just enough of a reveal about Space Jam 2 to make the public freak out? Right in the middle of the hype of Jordan's The Last Dance series, that's when. Do you think LeBron James can't force Alex Caruso to stitch a dinky hat together at the snap of a finger? It's a subtle, yet deliberate way to try to get out in front of the media narrative surrounding MJ's Ken Burns length documentary.
For his part, when do y'all think Jordan had the idea to put together an "I'm the GOAT, and here are the receipts" series? He squashed the concept for two decades and didn't agree until literally right after LeBron James played out his "hometown kid returns home and wins a championship" storyline. Jordan could not let James have a better narrative, so he decided to teabag it with this documentary.
Meanwhile, everyone in Northeast Ohio is kidding themselves if they think James didn't come back to Cleveland from Miami without thinking about the critics saying, "But Michael Jordan won all his titles without leaving Chicago." He absolutely had Jordan in mind when making that homecoming decision. He straight up told Sports Illustrated that he's been chasing "The ghost that played in Chicago."
So here's the deal. Stephen A. Smith can have the Jordan-LeBron GOAT debate on TV until he finally loses his voice. They played different positions during different eras of basketball. The only thing that can give us an accurate answer as to who was truly better is the Space Jam franchise. Monstars are the great equalizer. So if LeBron's sequel doesn't top the original, he better have a backup plan. Jordan's had enough time to think up several.
Top Image: Warner Bros.