5 NBA players who could’ve starred in Space Jam 2 before LeBron James

(Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)
(Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages) /
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(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) /

3. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving turned a 30-second Pepsi commercial into a feature-length movie when his “Uncle Drew” alter-ego landed him the titular role of the basketball comedy film that came out in 2018.

Irving held his own alongside professional comedians Lil Rel, Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll, and he got help from a basketball-playing supporting cast that included Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie.

Irving has also voiced a cameo role for an episode of “Family Guy.”

Irving’s window to land the lead role in a Space Jam-sized project would’ve been from 2016-18.

That window opened when he hit the go-ahead shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to help the Cavs win their championship, and it stayed open after he was traded to the Boston Celtics and spent most of the 2017-18 season as a legit MVP candidate, leading a major-market franchise to a high playoff seed.

A knee injury ended Irving’s first year with Boston early, and then this past season was a disaster — from his clashes with teammates to an uninspiring playoff exit — that resulted in Irving leaving Boston for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

Irving has some reputation rehabilitation to do moving forward, and maybe he’ll get back to that superstar level he was not long ago. Maybe just in time for Space Jam 3?