We get our fair share of emails involving conspiracy theories, predictions, and random scuttlebutt. With LeBron James-to-the-Lakers chatter swirling for two months now, everyone seems to have a theory why it is or isn’t happening.
Here’s mine from The Herd in June:
The most random prediction we’ve received comes from a fan who broke out his crystal ball and tied LeBron’s move to the Lakers … to Space Jam 2. We’re running this as-is:
LeBron James and Paul George will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. It’s a done deal. A big reason has to do with Space Jam 2.
LeBron’s production company, SpringHill Entertainment, made a deal with Warner Bros to greenlight Space Jam 2. LeBron’s buddy/co-founder Maverick Carter along with Justin Lin have had numerous meetings with Jeanie Buss and WB executives. Filming will start next summer once LeBron officially joins the Lakers.
If LeBron, his partners and their production company, want to hang with the Hollywood big boys, they will need one huge project that will make them legitimate. That project is Space Jam 2. But to get the green light to start with pre-production, they will need more than $100 million for budget. That is not the case at the moment.
The movie industry is all about perfect timing, generating hype and having good connections. You need that one window of opportunity, that one event or moment in time, to generate the buzz needed to build up momentum for a movie. With the original Space Jam, it was only until after Michael Jordan returned to the NBA from playing baseball that there was enough hype to justify its budget. Jordan’s Return was that opportunity, that event, that window what was needed to create the hype that would green light the original Space Jam. Right now, no matter how popular LeBron is worldwide, there simply is not enough singular hype behind him to justify the budget for Space Jam 2. But signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent is that opportunity, his window, the catalyst that will galvanize the hype and buzz needed to manufacture/justify the budget for this movie.
There’s no better time than now. LeBron is still the best player in the universe and Space Jam 2 must be made while he is still relevant. This will be a project of epic proportions. The entire 2018-19 Lakers season will be inundated with its marketing leading up to the release of the movie. You’ll be seeing plenty of the Looney Tunes gang during Lakers home games and all over social media. And since LeBron will be joining the Lakers, expect Space Jam 2 to be Laker-centric, including Laker legend cameos. They will simply ride the hype of LeBron’s signing with the Lakers.
This is a business decision – not a basketball decision. It is not about having a free ride to the NBA Finals every year by staying in the east. It’s not even about playing for the Lakers. It’s about playing in Hollywood while Rich Paul and Maverick Carter hang out with Hollywood’s big whigs in the Staples Center suites to discuss future Hollywood projects. And if he wins a couple more championships in the process, even better. LeBron and his people have been planning a move to LA for a while now. Let’s not forget he has his own house on the Warner Bros. studios’ lot.
The masses will naively consume all the stories, the leaks and the drama that will be reported in real-time during the course of this next year when it had already been planned for LeBron and Paul George to join the Lakers all along. It won’t be a coincidence when LeBron signs in LA and Space Jam 2 starts filming. Paul George will play out the year with Russell Westbrook, then will be heading home next summer, no matter what he says about how great OKC is through the media.
Bringing Magic and Pelinka on board was the best thing the Lakers could have ever done. LeBron idolizes Magic. With Magic leading the Lakers, LeBron’s desire to come to LA to expand his entertainment and business endeavors along with his own personal brand (imagine jersey sales with LeBron’s name on a Laker uniform) has grown even deeper. LeBron has billionaire aspirations and Los Angeles is the place to do it.
Just read between the lines. Look at what is NOT being done or being said. Chauncey Billups did not take the Cavalier’s GM job. LeBron is not trying hard to convince Kyrie to stay. LeBron is not getting involved with personnel moves. No one is flocking to Cleveland to help the Cavaliers’ chances of knocking off the Warriors. LeBron is not denying any of the Lakers rumors. The Lakers were not aggressive in trading for Paul George. So on and so on..
Magic and Pelinka know what they are doing. They have executed everything precisely. It’s all… part of the plan. So enjoy all of the drama and ignore all the noise. Becoming a Los Angeles Laker is LeBron’s final act of his basketball career as he transitions into life as businessman and Hollywood mogul. LeBron James and Paul George will be donning the purple and gold next summer. Count on it. It’s a wrap.
There’s plenty of speculation to chew on there. Worth noting: This summer, Space Jam 2 director Justin Lin said that the movie was still happening, just not anytime soon. Foot Locker pushed an ad for it staring Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers.