While one half of the Splash Brothers will be appearing in the highly anticipated sequel to Space Jam, the other is declining LeBron James' offer to participate in the film. Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry recently revealed that he had to turn down a cameo in the film due to a scheduling conflict, while his teammate Klay Thompson will play a role in the film.
"I know LeBron and Ryan Coogler are going to be doing amazing things. It's going to be awesome," said Curry. "Part of it was in terms of things that I had going on. It was just the timing, to be honest. Not being able to commit. And I know Ryan really well. We had a lot of conversations about it."
Curry expressed some regret about the conflict because he's a big fan of Coogler, the Black Panther director who is serving as Executive Producer on Space Jam 2. Coogler is from Oakland, where the Warriors have played for decades.
"He's at every playoff game," Curry said of Coogler. "Obviously, that's hard to turn down. The guy does amazing work."
Of course, there are other aspects at play here. There's grueling schedule of the NBA, which runs from late-October to mid-June depending on how deep a playoff run a team can make — and the Warriors, consistently one of the best teams in the NBA, have been to the Finals for the last five years. Then there are shoe contracts, which previous reports indicated played a major obstacle in Curry's appearance in the film.
LeBron has a lucrative ongoing deal with Nike, which is one of the primary sponsors of the Space Jam movie (not to mention, the film was based on a commercial that featured Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny of the Looney Tunes). Curry is under contract with Under Armour.
A new report revealed Space Jam 2 will feature appearances from players like Thompson, Chris Paul, Diana Taurasi, and Anthony Davis, meaning the film isn't lacking in star power despite Curry's absence.3comments
Meanwhile Curry just debuted one of his first major media projects on the ABC Network, with the extreme mini golf gameshow Holey Moley.
Space Jam 2 is scheduled to premiere in theaters on July 16, 2021.