space jam

UPDATE: Maybe or maybe not there is a “Space Jam 2”; LeBron James not in… yet

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UPDATE 11:33 p.m.: Well, someone maybe tied Warner Brothers may be putting together a team for Space Jam 2, but contrasting earlier reports LeBron James’ people say he is not yet attached, updates Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The report says there are no efforts by Warner Brothers to make this film, at least officially.

What to make of it? Movie ideas bubble up and this may be something in an early but far from solidified form. Something with some names attached, something leaked to a media source to help it gain momentum.  It may or may happen.

We need to emphasize LeBron is not attached right now. That could change. You can bet there have been talks and LeBron is probably interested, but that is different from being inked to the project. I still bet if the entire rest of the project comes together LeBron would be in.

8:27 p.m.: The Monstars are back.

Probably. Having a script in development is a long way from an actual movie, but this seems to have enough people attached to it — there is enough star power and juice — that this particular project could become a reality.

LeBron James is working with the sons of NBC Sports legend Dick Ebersol and Warner Bros. to produce Space Jam 2, according to Deadline.com (via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, apparently an avid reader of the Hollywood trades).

Broadcasting veteran Dick Ebersol‘s sons have come on board to develop the sequel to 1996 animated/live-action hit Space Jam as a starring vehicle for James, the Miami Heat star who broke his nose during last night’s game against the Oklahoma City when the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka got him in the face after a dunk.

Another Space Jam film? Why not? The first film, which broke ground for Warner Bros and starred then-Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan and a slew of other top NBA players, ended up grossing $230M worldwide for the studio and even launched a kids TV series.

Let’s be honest, at this point playing with Daffy Duck can’t be worse than a few of his Miami Heat teammates. And sources tell PBT Bugs Bunny is already on the Dwyane Wade knee maintenance program and is taking two out of every three days off before shooting.

This is actually a huge move for the LeBron James brand. Of course, some will complain he is treading on sacred Jordan turf, but if you really think that you need to go watch this film again — it was crass Jordan marketing. Like it or not LeBron is becoming the biggest international star since Jordan. This can only help boost that image domestically and internationally. If he wants to be an icon, this is exactly the kind of move LeBron James should make.

Let’s just hope they take the Pixar route here of putting together a good script to build around and not just slap a bunch of stars up on the screen and call it a movie. Because I saw Space Jam and…

Klay Thompson goes up for 360 dunk in exhibition… and he’s not a dunker (VIDEO)

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Klay Thompson has an amazing skill set — one of the best pure shooters in the league, he can put the ball on the floor and create, and he’s a very good perimeter defender.

He’s not a dunker. Oh, he can dunk, but he’s not the guy you’re inviting to the Dunk Contest.

Case in point, this video out of China where Thompson was part of an exhibition and tried to show off his dunking skills.

Thompson’s shoe sponsor is China-based Anta, which explains why he’s there playing some exhibition ball. In case you missed it, Thompson had a Finals shoe released.

Those are about as good as the 360 dunk.

Sixers will talk contract extension for Joel Embiid this summer, want to lock him up

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Could Joel Embiid be Philadelphia’s Stephen Curry?

No, I don’t mean taking 30-foot bombs that demoralize opponents (although, no doubt Embiid is game for trying it). I mean in having a contract extension off his rookie deal for less than the max, a value contract that allows the Sixers the cap room to secure a title contender around him.

After three seasons in the NBA, Joel Embiid is eligible for a contract extension this summer (one that would be negotiated now but not kick in until the 2018-19 season). Teams lock up their stars at this point, and Embiid is that — he was dominant in the 31 games he played. But it’s 31 games in three seasons, how much do the Sixers want to pay here?

Sixers owner Joshua Harris said extending Embiid is a priority for the team this summer, speaking at a press conference, via the Courier Times.

“Look, I’d just say we want Joel to be on the team for a long time,” Harris said. “We want us all to grow old together. That’s the way I would put it.”

A max contract for Embiid would be five years at about $130 million, an average annual salary of $26 million. Because of his injury history, would he be willing to sign five years at $100 million, maybe with an opt-out after four? That extra cap space may not sound like a lot, it’s not a Curry-level savings, but it would help the Sixers’ team building.

If the two sides can’t reach a deal by Oct. 31 (the deadline), Embiid will play out this season then be a restricted free agent next season. If he stays healthy, he will get a max deal from another team that the Sixers would just match (the Sixers and Embiid could also reach a deal).

The Sixers are not about to let Embiid go, they have their young core they believe they can contend with in a few years. Plus he is a fan favorite. The only question left is cost.

Josh Jackson’s first pitch is… just a bit outside

Associated Press
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Josh Jackson is not going Bo Jackson on us and playing baseball in the offseason.

The highly-rated forward out of Kansas who was the No. 4 pick of the Phoenix Suns was invited to throw out the first pitch before Friday night’s Diamondbacks game.

To quote Bob Uecker, he was just a bit outside. He tried the corner and missed.

Lonzo Ball was able to make his first pitch, ergo, he will turn out to be a much better NBA player. Obviously, these skills correlate.

Report: Re-signing Nerlens Noel Mavericks’ top off-season priority

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This is a Mark Cuban owned team, you don’t think the Mavericks are going to make a serious run at a free agent come July 1? Pelicans’ point guard Jrue Holiday has long been known to be a target, but there will be others.

But keeping their new core together, including restricted free agent Nerlens Noel, is the top priority, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Rumors like this are out there in part from Dallas to hope to chill the market for Noel. While he could be a defensive force who provides some scoring around the rim, with Noel’s injury history they may be able to get him at less than max money — because if he’s at the max the Mavericks are flirting with the luxury tax (and Cuban isn’t going to want to pay the tax for a borderline playoff team at best).

What Dallas fears is what Brooklyn did last season to Allen Crabbe in Portland and Tyler Johnson in Miami — some team to come in with a max or near-max offer sheet that drives up the price. Dallas will match, they will keep the young core together, it just gets more expensive.

Next season in Dallas will be a deserved big farewell to Dirk Nowitzki. He will be the focus, but behind him Dallas will try to be building for the future. They made the trade deadline move to make sure Noel is a part of that, the only question now is how much it costs them.