10 NBA stars who should replace LeBron James in ‘Space Jam 2’

LeBron in Space Jam? Meh.

Joe Robbins

It’s been rumored for almost a year, if not longer. Now, reports indicate that a Space Jam sequel is indeed in the works — and that LeBron James will feature in the starring role, taking over where Michael Jordan left off in the 1996 original. According to Hollywood Reporter, James will join forces with Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin to bring Space Jam 2 to life.

The Cleveland Cavaliers star made his feature film debut last year in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, and he was fine. Many people seemed to enjoy James as an actor, which is within your rights as a human being. 

But if you’re being honest with yourself, you know the truth. LeBron’s success as an actor comes from our lowered expectations; he’s better than most athletes, sure, but that’s not saying much. For all of his on-court spectacle, James is a pretty boring guy. Short of manifesting drama with his teammates, he’s just bland. And that comes across in his work on the big screen, where he offers his lines with a grin and an inoffensive delivery.

You can have LeBron alongside Bugs Bunny & Co. But for our money, we’d rather spend two hours in a movie theater with any of these other guys:

10. Stephen Curry

Equally boring, to be frank, but you have to consider Curry in the starring role, since he’s arguably the best player in the league. Kids love him, after all, and he has the superstar profile to fill Michael Jordan’s shoes from the first film. The sequel could even pay homage to Jordan’s absurd cartoonish dunk with a similarly preposterous Curry 3-pointer shot from outer space. 

9. DeMarcus Cousins

Teaming up with the Looney Tunes would be the most stable basketball environment Cousins has seen in a long time. Plus, we really want to see him give this look to Daffy Duck:

8. Kawhi Leonard

We’d honestly rather see Kawhi stare in silence at the animated antics of his cartoon friends for two hours than watch LeBron recite lines that are being fed to him through an earpiece. And if we can somehow convince Leonard to take part in the film, that means there’s a chance Gregg Popovich will be involved. That, my friends, would make for one hell of a movie.

7. Andrew Wiggins

The Wolves could send either Wiggins or Karl-Anthony Towns to a Space Jam 2 audition, but Wiggins has the slight advantage thanks to his size. It’s easier to get wings in frame than big guys. Give the movie 18 months of pre-production, shooting, editing and all the rest, and we could very well have Wiggins ascending to superstardom right as this movie is coming out. It’d be perfect.

6. Damian Lillard

Lillard is an entertainer at heart, as we’ve seen in the ubiquitous "Meet the Hoopers" commercials during this NBA postseason. He’d give the role some needed personality. And when the game inevitably comes down to the final possession, the Tune Squad can rest easy knowing that it has "Lillard Time" on the side of good.

5. Isaiah Thomas

The Monstars are huge. They’re scary. And they don’t stand a chance against basketball’s tiniest star. Thomas would take one look at his gargantuan competition, hit them with the "Isaiah Thomas" face, then blow past them for bucket after bucket.

On second thought, maybe we can’t have IT in this movie. There wouldn’t be any tension in the actual game.

4. Pau Gasol

No words necessary here:

3. Draymond Green

He never stops talking. He wouldn’t let his team lose. He might roast and eat Porky Pig. He’d talk endless trash to the Monstars. Green’s practically living the role already.

2. Russell Westbrook

If an intergalactic force of aliens who can steal powers and play basketball ever does invade the earth, Westbrook is our chosen champion. And much like Jordan in the original was saved from the Monstars because they didn’t recognize him as a basketball player during his baseball sojourn, Westbrook too would fly under the radar. Who’s going to look at a man who dresses like this and think he’s an NBA star?

"That derelict gentleman over there? No, we don’t need to absorb his powers. Let him enjoy his tablecloth shirt and OH GOD WHY IS HE DUNKING ALL OVER MY FACE IT BURNS."

1. Michael Jordan

Why fix something that isn’t broken? In any situation where you might consider LeBron, M.J. is clearly the superior answer. And if we can’t get Jordan — since, you know, he probably isn’t in the kind of shape necessary to save the world from aliens — then we’re rolling with Kobe. Give Bryant some time to rest and recuperate, and he’ll be fine physically. 

One game on the line where all of our lives are at stake? Please, please give us Kobe or Jordan over LeBron. Please. We like being alive.