Each year, during his Flight School summer basketball camp, Michael Jordan takes questions from campers. Sometimes, those campers ask questions about his Hall of Fame career, about the finer points of the game itself, and about his drive to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Sometimes, they ask him “WHAT ARE THOSE?” Kind of a mixed bag, Q&A-wise, is what I’m saying.
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This year’s model featured something a bit closer to the latter brand of inquiry than the former: a camper asking MJ to stuntcast his replacement in a reboot of/sequel to “Space Jam,” the hit 1996 film that saw him don a “Tune Squad” uniform to help the Looney Tunes avoid enslavement by an intergalactic theme-park owner (seriously) , that gave us “Hit ‘Em High” and “I Believe I Can Fly,” which remains the highest-grossing basketball movie ever made and which might at long last spawn a second film in the foreseeable future. Mike, to his credit, responded … though not with the ghost-chasing name most frequently attached to this particular project:
Yep, that’s right: given his druthers, His Airness would cast Blake Griffin as his replacement in a “Space Jam” sequel. Not, say, LeBron James, who signed a big “content creation” deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment one month after the studio filed new trademarks on “Space Jam,” and who has made no secret of his interest in exploring that world, saying that “we’re definitely missing Bugs and Daffy and Tasmanian Devil and every last one of them, so hopefully we can do some great things.”
Here’s where we remind you that Blake’s a Jordan Brand athlete, and that MJ’s not exactly shy about getting in plugs for his dudes or his brand wherever he can.
That said, the Los Angeles Clippers All-Star’s certainly a reasonable enough choice for the gig. While many other NBA players will surely lobby for a role in a new “Space Jam” flick, few would figure to have Griffin’s bona fides.
Remember, the former Funny or Die intern and sometimes stand-up has actually stepped into Mike’s Air Jordans before, taking on the M.J. role in a staged table read of the “Space Jam” script at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles in 2014:
On top of that, Griffin also made it clear last summer that he’d love to be involved in any “Space Jam” sequel/reboot during an interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
Basketball Insiders: Well, there is one movie everyone can imagine you in and that’s “Space Jam 2.” Your recent Marvin the Martian commercial got some “Space Jam” fans excited. Would you like to be in a “Space Jam” sequel if it ends up being made?
Blake Griffin: “Oh, absolutely, absolutely. I’d love to be involved in any capacity, really. ‘Space Jam’ was a huge part of my childhood. I actually had a “Space Jam”-themed birthday party as a teen. Then, when I turned 21, my friends got me a ‘Space Jam’ cake again just to re-live the glory days. It has been a big thing for me so being able to be involved in any capacity would be great, even just being one of the guys that’s in there would be cool. I think it would be a lot of fun. If you told me when I was 8 years old that I could possibly have a chance to be in ‘Space Jam 2,’ it would have blown my mind. That would just be like another check off the bucket list.”
Given the relationship between Warner Bros. and James’ development company, and LeBron’s stated interest in the project, it seems unlikely that Griffin would get a crack at top billing should the film actually get underway. Still, you’d figure Blake appreciates the vote of confidence from the GOAT; if nothing else, maybe it’ll help him get a featured supporting role. That’d look pretty good on the ol’ IMDb page, right next to the guest spots on “Greek” and “90210.”
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