For fans of basketball, there is no most polarising conversation than the Jordan vs Lebron debate. On the one hand, you have the long-time Jordan enthusiasts, who point to his six rings as undeniable proof that the Chicago Bulls man remains the greatest of all time.
At the same time, you have the new guard, Lebron fanboys, who highlight the fact James has won four rings at three different franchises: Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and most recently with the LA Lakers.
Unfortunately, both their on-court exploits are ridiculous, making the Jordan vs Lebron debate so hard to decipher. But now, finally, we have a way of settling the Jordan vs Lebron debate once and for all – not on the basketball court, but the big screen.
This new space jam movie is the only thing that will settle the @kingjames vs Jordan debate
— Casey Stewart (@caseyistrying) March 6, 2021
When Space Jam was first released in 1996, it was the culmination of Michael Jordan-mania.
After his short-lived retirement in 1995, Jordan returned to basketball and promptly helped the Chicago Bulls go on another three-peat, as shown in The Last Dance.
Space Jam drew heavily from Jordan’s real-life dilemma, using the Looney Tunes characters to lure Jordan from retirement and take on a super team of aliens. The movie was a smash hit, banking over $200 million at the box office and solidifying the Jordan brand.
So when news first leaked that a Space Jam sequel was in the works, it simply had to be Jordan’s successor stepping up to the plate.
— Complex (@Complex) May 2, 2016
James’s confirmation that he would star in Space Jam 2: A New Legacy added a new layer to the Jordan vs Lebron debate. The first Space Jam film had been well received, critically appraised and helped introduce basketball to a whole new audience.
Sports films are typically lacklustre, stuffed full of cliche and two dimensional, but Space Jam deftly avoided being a flop. Jordan played the loveable baller perfectly, while Bill Murray provided the comic relief.
Fast forward twenty-five years, and Space Jam 2: A New Legacy finds itself thrust into the limelight as the new frontier for the battle of GOAT status. Adding fuel to the fire of the Jordan vs Lebron debate was Space Jam 2 director, Malcolm D. Lee, who came out publicly and stated: “Space Jam: A New Legacy is a better movie than Space Jam. LeBron’s got that going for him.”
Director Malcolm D. Lee says 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' is better than Michael Jordan's OG 'Space Jam' 🏀
"LeBron's got that going for him"
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) March 4, 2021
Naturally, these comments garnered a mixed response online, with Jordan fans quick to defend the legacy of the 1996 original.
There’s no possible way Lebron’s space jam is gonna be better than Jordan’s.
— the way (@MistaCharles) March 8, 2021
The Space Jam sequel is a recipe for disaster. The original was played off of Michael Jordan's career and performance in commercials. LeBron James isn't likable, nor is his career nearly as dynamic. https://t.co/JklpEo37FZ
— Raymond Fava (@RaymondFava) March 4, 2021
If The Last Dance taught us anything, it’s that Michael Jordan doesn’t appreciate anyone claiming to have the edge over him – Malcolm D. Lee better watch his back.
'Space Jam: A New Legacy' director says LeBron James' movie is better than Michael Jordan's original 'Space Jam'
'LeBron's got that going for him'
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) March 4, 2021
Meanwhile, James said that while he hasn’t spoken to Jordan about the movie, he hopes he approves of the sequel and his new role in it. “It’s something Mike created and is his,” James told EW.” I held that with a lot of responsibility. “In my younger days, part of my thinking was Space Jam was so good; how can I stop this?”
MORE look’s at ‘SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY! 🐰
— Space Jam News (@LegacyJam) March 4, 2021
James added that while he’s aware of the Jordan vs Lebron debate, he’s not too worried about it. “There’s always going to be conversations about LeBron trying to do everything Michael [did]. But I’ve gotten older, and you know who you are. You know what you stand for.”
Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released on July 15th, 2021 and follows a mostly similar format to its predecessor. This time around, Lebron and his son accidentally 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).
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.
As the hype continues to build around Space Jam 2, it seems that the only real way to settle the Jordan vs Lebron debate once and for all is with a trilogy movie.
Space Jam 2 should end with an end credits scene of Michael Jordan watching on his iPad, he puts down the tablet, and does the Thanos face from the end of Avengers. Thus setting up Space Jam 3: Jordan v. LeBron. pic.twitter.com/k8DQd81HFf
— Joey (@joeyofdethmetal) March 4, 2021