Space Jam Scene Features NBA Players Refusing to Play Due to Outbreak Concerns

With Space Jam 2 finally in pre-production after being rumored for years, what better time to revisit the original camp classic? But some fans going back into Space Jam came away with a very different takeaway -- an ironic connection to today's news that the NBA will suspend play in light of the global COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. There is no clear answer yet as to when the NBA will feel confident to resume the season, and while the NCAA has elected to complete tournament play without audiences in the seats, the NBA has had at least one player diagnosed with the virus, setting off a chain reaction of people who were in close proximity to an infected person.

So what does Space Jam have to do with it? Well, fans online have been sharing a scene in which NBA players refuse to play due to fears about a contagion.

You can check it out below.

Of course, in the clip, the players are instructed to simply change in the hallway to avoid whatever contagions might be hiding in their locker room. In the real world, this was probably considered only briefly before the decision was made to delay the remainder of the season.

The spread of COVID-19 has been designated as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, leading to the NBA suspension (and rumors that the NHL will do the same tomorrow, amid a flurry of other cancellations, suspensions, and delays for large gatherings around the world.

LeBron James will stand in for Michael Jordan in the upcoming sequel. Like the original movie, there will be other human co-stars helping LeBron and his Tune Squad teammates, under the direction of Malcolm D. Lee.

“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams.”

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James will be joined by Avengers: Endgame's Don Cheadle and Star Trek: Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green. NBA and WNBA stars will also be along for the ride. Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City), Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Chiney Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks), and Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks) are all signed on to appear.

Space Jam 2 is scheduled to debut on July 16, 2021.