I’m going to start this article like every High School graduation speech…
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “dedication” as “self-sacrificing devotion and loyalty.”
Well, by that definition, the intensive research undertaken before writing this betting preview (watching a lousy movie and studying the sequel’s trailer) qualifies as an act of dedication — suffered through for our readers.
First, I absorbed the previous Space Jam in its entirety, refamiliarizing myself with the franchise to prepare for any references to the original in LeBron’s movie.
I saw 90 minutes of the worst acting ever recorded and muttered “oh, come on” no fewer than 500 times — all to provide accurate picks and predictions for MyBookie’s four Space Jam: A New Legacy betting lines below.
- Next, I watched every available second of Space Jam 2 footage – including the official trailer and multiple nerds’ embarrassingly thorough trailer breakdowns, identifying a neverending stream of Easter Eggs and cameos in the promotional footage.
- Finally, I visited those dark recesses of social media dedicated to discovering leaks, finding spoilers, and analyzing fuzzy pictures on set. Unfortunately, there haven’t been many leaks that provide much help with any of the Space Jam 2 betting markets below. Still, every little bit of data reveals a slightly more transparent view of the plot.
While Space Jam 1 was undeniably terrible, the original release has one redeeming factor going for it. It has nothing to do with the film though — it’s on the soundtrack!
If you possess a modicum of culture and taste, you already know what I’m going to say:
Hit ’em High (The Monstar’s Anthem) performed by Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J & Method Man, and B Real.
Look at that lineup; nothing but rap legends!
When it comes to acting, there’s nothing LeBron could do to disappoint me. It’s impossible to do any worst than MJ, and I don’t expect someone who dedicated their life to another labor-intensive skill to be Laurence Olivier.
But if he hasn’t made sure the Space Jam sequel soundtrack has at least one track on Hit ’em High’s level — including the star-studded lineup — I’m boycotting any-and-all non-basketball LeBron ventures from now on. If he’s not on the court, he’s dead to me.
That said, King James loves rap — I’m confident he will come through for us.
Altogether, I feel reasonably confident in my predictions for the following Space Jam 2 betting lines.
Wagering on movies and entertainment events always presents an exciting challenge. And ultimately, the payouts are often secondary to the incomparable rush a $100 bet or two adds to the movie-viewing experience.
Nothing will ensure your total and sincere investment in the story than attaching real-life financial consequences to key plot points.
So, hurry to your favorite entertainment betting site and…
- throw down $25 on your deep-seated certainty that Godzilla will absolutely dominate King Kong in a fight;
- put a few bucks on your favorite karate student winning the All-Valley tournament on Cobra Kai;
- handicap the scoring totals for Bugs and Babs Bunny in Space Jam 2’s final basketball game. The world of movie betting is your oyster!
Space Jam: A New Legacy – What We Know
Before we get into the footage, rumors, and leaked footage comprising what we know for sure about Space Jam 2, everyone should watch the trailer. When betting on movies, promotional footage provides a benchmark against which we can assess the feasibility of prevalent leaks and unconfirmed spoilers.
The plot revolves around LeBron James and his movie son getting trapped inside of Warner Bros Studio’s servers. The basketball star loses his son in the computerized world and seeks assistance from the Looney Tunes.
They help James assemble a team to challenge the Goon Squad, who we later see keeping LeBron’s son on their sideline. From the looks of things, custody of the kid is on the line for the final contest.
“During a trip to the Warner Bros. studio, NBA Superstar LeBron James and his son accidently get trapped within a world that contains all of Warner Bros.’ stories and characters, under the control of a malfunctioning, all-powerful force named Al G (played by Don Cheadle),” Mekler wrote.
“With the help of Bugs Bunny, LeBron must navigate through a never-before-imagined world filled with iconic movie scenes and characters as they re-assemble the Looney Tunes to rescue his lost son.” read a second tweet.”
The trailer shows just that. It appears that Lebron and his son get trapped inside Warner Bros’ servers, where all the characters from throughout the movie studio’s 100-year history live amongst each other.
At some point, Lebron will be charged with building a roster to take on the Goon Squad. He’ll have the millions of characters existing within the WB’s extensive catalog of shows, movies, and other intellectual properties. The trailer even shows James compiling a list of possible teammates with names like Superman, King Kong, and Gandolf being considered.
He’ll travel to various fictional universes stored on Warner Bros’ servers, trying to persuade a vast sampling of fictional icons to join the cause. Hijinks will ensue; along the way, Lebron finds himself in a succession of dangerous and quirky environments, from Tune World to Westeros to Mad Max’s Fury Road.
- Iron Giant
- Morpheus and Agent Smith from the Matrix.
- Pennywise – the evil clown from It.
- Drogon – A dragon from Game of Thrones.
- Gotham and Metropolis – the DC universe’s two most prominent cities.
- Scooby-Doo and the Gang
- Jim Carrey’s character from The Mask
- The Animaniacs
- Casa Blanca
- Droogs from A Clockwork Orange
- And so many more. You could never spot all the references to old Warner Bros properties in real-time. The entire premise of the movie appears to be, “hey, check out how many nostalgic references we can cram into this thing!” (It will take weeks for the overly online comic book crowd to analyze every frame and complete a comprehensive list of every Easter Egg and cameo in Space Jam 2.)
I’ll bet recruiting goes substantially worse than Lebron anticipated; with the tip-off fast approaching, the NBA superstar still won’t have a full roster. Ultimately, the Looney Tunes will have to assist LBJ’s desperate struggle to win back custody of his movie son. To do so, they must first defeat the kid’s alien captors in a basketball game.
- LeBron falls behind big, and all hope seems lost.
- The NBA super-duper-star conjures up an impassioned halftime speech that not only rallies the squad to play better but teaches crucial life lessons and puts what’s transpired inside the Warner Bros servers into perspective.
- King James will remind the audience that being present when your friends and family need you most is worth far more than winning any basketball game. Judging from an exchange between LeBron and his son in the trailer, his presentation will also acknowledge the importance of listening to your loved ones when they’re trying to tell you they’re unhappy.
- The kid will assist or inspire his dad on the sidelines somehow, much to the chagrin of the Goon Squad.
- LeBron will lead an unprecedented scoring rally down the stretch, culminating in a buzzer-beater and a 1–2-point margin of victory.
Basketball Pros in the Space Jam Sequel
LeBron James will be joined onscreen by a collection of his peers in professional basketball. These NBA/WNBA stars appear in Space Jam 2:
- James’ Lakers teammate Anthony Davis.
- Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers,
- Former-Houston Rockets star (at the time of filming; now on the Suns) Chris Paul,
- Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors,
- and three WNBA players: Diana Taurasi and sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike.
We can assume some of those names will have their abilities sapped by the new Goon Squad. Others – including players not mentioned in the pre-release-day credits — may only appear on screen for brief cameos.
Another possibility is that one or two NBA players suit up for King James’ team. Maybe his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis?
Will Lebron James Score More than Jordan’s 44 Points in Space Jam 1?
- Matchup Odds
The oddsmakers tapped into a fascinating dynamic with this wager — pitting LeBron’s scoring total in the sequel’s final game against Michael Jordan’s 44-point performance in 1996.
According to the betting odds, bookmakers are relatively confident that LeBron James will put himself over and break MJ’s 44. It will be quite the statement if they’re right.
- What’s weird is that James and his collaborators on the film are fully aware that people will pay attention to the fictional contest’s stats. It also doesn’t need to be said that, given the luxury of going second, Team LeBron could double Michael Jordan’s Space Jam point total if they wanted.
- The Lakers star may feel it’s appropriate to show deference to his predecessor and humbly fall short of the mark. When everyone knows you’ve done the math and are aware of the optics, the only cool move left is to score fewer than 44 points, orchestrating the team’s comeback victory in other facets of the game. Then you wait for social media to mention LeBron’s overall performance being superior to Jordan’s.
- Worst case scenario: They take the coward’s way out and have LBJ match Jordan’s 44.
LeBron has all the shrewdest, most calculating PR machines behind him – they see and consider every angle. The sequel star has nothing to gain from one-upping MJ’s total.
The intelligent compromise is to fall just shy of scoring 44 thanks to putting a greater emphasis on passing, rebounds, and defense. It’s not that the NBA’s current King couldn’t match Jordan’s scoring prowess; he just knew the Toon Squad’s best chance of winning was if LeBron focused on getting other players involved and doing the dirty work on the court.
LeBron comes across as respectful for not outscoring Jordan, yet everybody knows who had the better all-around game. No matter which of the GOATs you pick, an argument exists: MJ fans will focus on the 44; LBJ stans will play up the value of the multiple stats he leads.
It’s a perfect meaningless internet argument that can never be won.
That’s how you keep everyone looking strong and selling lots of Nikes!
O/U – Bugs Bunny Total Pts Scored in Final Game
MyBookie is also offering a duo of over/under bets for Bugs and Lola Bunny’s final scoring totals. Bugs’ line is set at 12 points, while Lola only needs 8 points to cover. I strongly suspect the oddsmakers have their projections reversed.
- Matchup Odds
- Over 12-120
- Under 12-120
In 1996, it made sense to have Bugs Bunny – the most famous Looney Tune – record the second-best performance after MJ. In today’s social and political climates, Warner Bros has much more to gain from going in a different direction – more on that in a minute.
Beyond that, do kids even know who Bugs Bunny is anymore? I can’t imagine today’s youths are still watching Looney Tunes. Saturday morning cartoons aren’t even a thing in our streaming on-demand world. If the writers have any incentive to recalibrate how screen time is divided, it may be due to Bugs’ name not carrying as much weight these days.
Kids won’t care if Bugs Bunny isn’t the top Looney Tune, so it’s possible Space Jam 2 writers didn’t feel the same pressure to show favoritism to the iconic cartoon character.
On the other hand, maybe Bugs will continue to be presented as the star. Even then, I believe we’ll see a decline in his scoring. In 1996, Mr. Bunny scored 10 points on 5/5 shooting — all dunks. And that was with significantly fewer moving pieces and characters vying for attention. By the time they finish the onslaught of cameos and pop culture references from the past, there may only be a few minutes left.
There are three main reasons:
- The Space Jam sequel takes place in a much larger, more complex universe – meaning more mouths to feed.
- The “Bugs Bunny” and “Looney Tunes” brands don’t have the same name recognition with younger generations, meaning less pressure to adhere to any preconceived notions about the amount of screen time different characters need. If Bugs Bunny doesn’t need to dominate every storyline, he’ll appear in fewer scenes and have fewer scoring opportunities.
- In light of evolving social dynamics, some potential ticket-buyers want to see recent cultural changes reflected in the movie’s plot and character interactions. To understand what that means, start at Lola Bunny’s transformation.
O/U – Lola Bunny Total Pts Scored in Final Game
- Matchup Odds
- Over 6+160
- Under 6-200
When the first rounds of promotional material for Space Jam 2 were released, Lola Bunny found herself at the center of a national controversy. She was redesigned to be less sexualized, losing her hourglass figure and trading 1996’s cropped sports top for a baggy jersey and compression shorts.
I don’t think the changes to Lola will stop at her clothes and the shape of her anthropomorphic rabbit body. There’s a moment in the trailer where Lola Bunny re-enacts an iconic moment from James and Wade during their Miami Heat run. Just like Dwyane, the cartoon smirks at the camera with arms agape while LeBron thunders home a violent dunk.
They’re not going to give D Wade’s swag to Lola for a single clip. If she’s that confident, it’s because she’s emulating more than his celebrations. I firmly believe that the female Bunny will emerge as LeBron James’ most capable teammate.
For years, there’ve been heated public debates over gender identity issues and where they intersect with social constraints and historical norms.
The studio – riding the liberal wave — will have requested a powerful, if not incomparable, athletic performance from a female character.
Right on time, they’ll be rewarded with a 10,000-word blog at Jezebel, examining Lola Bunny as an inspirational figure. They’ll ponder Space Jam 2’s true meaning and what it means for generations of girls and women who are sick of being told they can’t become a cartoon rabbit that shoots 8/10 from three to finish with 31 pts, 13 ast, and 7 rebs.
Not only will the new-look Lola Bunny cover the six-point totals line with ease, but she’ll also finish the game with more points than Buggs and the second-most-impressive stat line after LeBron.
Will Bill Murray Appear in Space Jam 2?
- Matchup Odds
For as much as they’ve bragged about the unholy number of cameos and Warners Bros Easter Eggs included in the film – as well as the promotional material – they must still have a handful of shocking surprises, right?
I was reluctant to predict any of the actors from the first Space Jam appearing in the sequel. Beyond renewing the franchise that Michael Jordon launched, it sounds like Ryan Coogler and LeBron James want the sequel to be its own thing. Rather than calling it “Space Jam 2,” the subtitle is “A New Legacy,” for godsakes!
But then I’m reminded of the common thread connecting roughly 99% of the urban legends involving Bill Murray: he’s constantly popping up at random obscure places where nobody would have ever imagined encountering the legendary comedic actor.
Partaking in his second Space Jam could be the most “Bill Murray” thing the Saturday Night Live alumni could ever do!
However, I doubt Murray will return to play himself again. In the original film, the aging actor suffered from delusions of being able to compete in the NBA despite being old and injured. He also behaved like Mike’s assistant for a lot of the movie.
Bill checked into the contest late against the Monstars but finished without recording a single stat. What do you do with that story arc in the sequel? He barely plays again but at least scores this time? I don’t think so.
The far likelier outcome is that Bill Murray appears as one of his beloved characters. From the list of the 30 greatest Murray movies, I found three produced by Warner Bros:
Osmosis Jones, Caddyshack, Little Shop of Horrors.
In the case of Osmosis Jones, Bill Murray’s character could be considered the film’s “world.” The comedy’s animated scenes all took place inside Frank DeTorre’s (Murray) body!
Can’t you see the protagonists flying into Bill Murray’s body to find the Osmosis Jones universe?
Otherwise, Caddyshack is the obvious choice. People still love crazy-ass Carl Spackler and his deranged war against the gopher. Maybe he’ll pop in to whack a few explosive golf balls or renew his onscreen rivalry with the rodent who haunted the mentally ill groundskeeper decades ago.
Will Michael Jordan Appear in Space Jam 2?
- Matchup Odds
I’ll keep this section short and sweet since the betting margins are so wide.
- I don’t think there’s a chance in hell Michael Jordon would agree to play a bit role in what’s essentially a LeBron James vehicle. Watching back, he wasn’t too enthused about acting as the star of the movie either.
- Nor do I think James wants his predecessor there casting his enormous shadow over everything.
Again, it’s all in the title – can’t start a “New Legacy” with the first NBA superstar ever to compete against basketball-playing cartoon monsters hanging around.