It was already going to be a hard thing for NBA superstar Lebron James to accept. What am I referring to? I’m referring to the fact that Michael Jordan was far more popular at the time of the original Space Jam launch than Lebron James is for the sequel’s release date. Now, however, that situation is becoming even more problematic.
After being knocked out of the playoffs in the first round — and might I say in a solid route — Lebron James is beginning to show his age on the court. So was MJ at the time the original Space Jam came out. So that shouldn’t be a problem… except that James is becoming very unpopular. How unpopular? Lebron James has reached the point where his appearance in the NBA Finals last year, during a pandemic when everyone was stuck at home, resulted in the lowest-rated NBA championship series since the San Antonio Spurs swept him more than a decade earlier.
But it gets worse.
According to the website SportsInsider.com, their study showed that Lebron James is now officially the “most hated” player in the NBA.
“The research used geotagged Twitter data from the last month, tracking negative mentions of NBA players such as, “I hate LeBron.” Over 70,000 tweets and hashtags were tracked, and the findings stated LeBron was the NBA’s most hated player in 24 different states.” — Mediaite’s Coverage of Sports Insider’s Study
Now we get that being one of the greatest players of all time in any sport is going to garner some haters. Even Wayne Gretzky was hated by somebody… surely… maybe? But to be the absolute, most-hated player in your sport is quite the accomplishment. That’s a Lance Armstrong-after-being-caught level accomplishment.
With Lebron James soon to appear with Bugs Bunny and the gang, you’ve gotta think that the film executives are none-too-thrilled with the decline in popularity for their aging star. And while Lebron James will certainly drive some attendance, NBA viewership has been on a very steady decline for the past decade — a decline that has accelerated in the last couple of years. It might be that Space Jam 2 is coming about five years past its maximum potential.
So will audiences believe Lebron James can fly, or is this one mon-star of a movie that will stink worse than a cancelled Pepe Le Pew? It turns out that… is up to you. So let us know in the comments below if you’re planning to see the movie in theaters, catch it on streaming, or if you have no interest at this time.
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