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Opinion: LeBron James Proves Haters Wrong With “Space Jam: A New Legacy”

Marco Negrete

As we recapped in our latest issue of Unboxed, we discussed how The King came out on top of his latest film.

Pretty much since the news first leaked that LeBron James was starring in a Space Jam film, the premature hate on this film was at a high only, well, Kanye and LeBron know. And when the plot leaked? The hate grew. Shoot, the movie even got hate for Lola Bunny’s outfit change. Yes, people were arguing on the internet about a cartoon bunny’s uniform. While annoying, this LeBron hate has followed him throughout his career. And like he’s always done on the court, he silenced the haters with his performance once again. And by performance, I don’t mean he delivered the best acting in the world, although it wasn’t bad. I mean performance in the full experience that led to its opening weekend success. Considering how massive the promotional campaign was, from hundreds of partnerships to all-star cameos, it actually helped drive excitement to watch it. 

Did it feel over the top? Yes, but that’s sort of what we expect when the biggest basketball star of the last decade-plus makes a film that was starred in by the player he gets compared to the most. Sure, he hasn’t admitted it in a long time, but LeBron is still chasing Michael Jordan in a lot of ways. In some lanes, he’ll never catch him, and in others, he’s already passed him. That all made the “Michael Jordan” part of the movie funny. But that’s not what this is about. This is about King James turning a disappointing early off-season into being the star of the summer on a different screen. 

I’m not a film critic, so I won’t spend too much time trying to describe the cinematic quality, but I think the plot was both creative and super in the moment. And I think the cameos from fellow basketball stars with supporting roles to the hundreds or maybe thousands of other characters throughout the movie, were all executed well. There were a ton of nods to pop culture, some full scenes and others slick references. The only thing I wish there was more of was nods to sneaker culture outside of the products. Considering how much the first Space Jam is connected to sneaker history, there were a lot of missed layups that I think could have been cool. But overall, the movie truly lived up to the hype in only a way only LeBron and his team can. And for those still salty that it exists, remember it wasn’t made for you.

Be sure to check out our latest podcast recapping Space Jam: A New Legacy with SoleSavy CEO DP and renowned sneaker journalist Ian Stonebrook. Make sure you’re subscribed to Unboxed to stay on top of the latest news.


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