Set the WayBack Machine for 1996. What? You hadn’t even been born yet? Well kids, gather ‘round, and let’s talk about a former NBA player – pretty good in his day – by the name of Micheal Jordan. He played for the Chicago Bulls, winning NBA Championships by the handful, and racking up mega-mega-sized endorsement deals that last to this day.
Along the way, Jordan starred in a movie called Space Jam. Half-cartoon, half real-life, it was a cute story of a bunch of animated characters (Bugs Bunny, et. al.) and Jordan playing hoops to save the Planet Earth. Along with MJ, the movie also features other greats such as Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley (currently appearing with Shaq on TNT’s NBA coverage). Oh yeah, regular moviestar Bill Murray, too (remember “Ghostbusters”?)
Fast-forward to today, and Space Jam 2 is in the works, starring another pretty good NBA star, a member of the Los Angeles Lakers named LeBron James. (I’m guessing you’ve heard of this guy…) Other big NBA names are being thrown around to also be a part of the updated flick… But there’s one guy who wants nothing to do with the new Space Jam – our man Shaq.
In an interview with Scoop B Radio and host Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, Shaq said the reason was simple: He wasn’t in the first Space Jam production, so he’s not interested in joining this new one.
O’Neal is no stranger to Hollywood. He’s appeared in movies including Blue Chips, Steel, and Scary Movie 4. He’s been in a few music videos as well. You can check out Shaq doing his throwdown thing in P.Diddy’s Bad Boy 4 Life (check out the full video below).
Along with Shaq, some other current NBA stars have already said “no thanks” to an offer to appear alongside LeBron and Bugs. 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (the “Greek Freak” of the Milwaukee Bucks) has told told ESPN that he turned down a role in “Space Jam 2” because “I don’t like being Hollywood.” Hmmmm….
Kevin Durant has also said no. Seems he’s working on his own new show for the soon-to-be-launching Apple streaming TV service. KD’s show is called “Swagger.” It might be a basketball-ego thing. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says other players have turned down James because they can see what’s coming. Star in a basketball movie with Lebron, and “I’m going to be the one you’re dunking on.” (The co-star NBA players, that is.)
Still, one player has stepped up and expressed an interest…but you’re gonna have to set the WayBack Machine again. Charles Oakley – who played with Jordan and the Bulls and several other teams, says he’d enjoy a little on-screen time.
Oakley was actually in the first Space Jam film with Jordan. He starred as himself (we’re wondering how hard that role was….). He played a member of the New York Knicks in an exhibition game against Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns.
So… Space Jam 2 – coming soon to a theatre near you – with no Shaq. We’ll be curious to hear what the Big Man has to say about (yet another) hoops story brought to the big screen – even one that stars a cartoon Bugs Bunny. Stay tuned…