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 Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) /

1. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant did pretty much everything else just like Michael Jordan, so why not do another Space Jam like his idol?

The media narrative that grew around Kobe was that the five-time NBA champion and future Hall-of-Famer was so focused on winning and outworking everyone else that he wouldn’t make time in his schedule during his playing days for such trivial pursuits like acting.

Don’t believe that hype.

A lot of people forget, but Kobe had Hollywood dreams of his own and he didn’t wait until he was retired to go after them.

During his rookie year, Kobe appeared in an episode of the sitcom “Moesha” starring Brandy. The same year that he won his first NBA championship in 2000, he made another small-screen cameo on the sitcom “Bette” starring Bette Midler.

Kobe got involved in music, too. He released a rap single “K.O.B.E.” in 2000 and had an album schedule to drop, but it never made it to the public. Kobe also appeared in a Destiny’s Child video.

It was during that period of time, after Jordan had retired and Kobe began submitting his application for “the next Jordan,” that it would’ve made a lot of sense to put him in a Space Jam sequel. From around 2000-03, before he ran into legal trouble and his reputation took a Tiger Woods-like hit, Kobe would’ve been an ideal leading man.

Starting in 2006 or so, highlighted by his legendary 81-point game, Kobe bounced back and got into the good graces of the public again. He won league MVP in 2008, then led the Lakers to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010.

He was on top of the sports world again, but by that time his public persona was less of the fun-loving youngster and more of the intensely dedicated killer competitor.

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Kobe didn’t really dive back into the entertainment world until after he retired in 2016. He now has his own TV segment, “Detail,” on ESPN. Kobe reached the pinnacle of his new profession in 2018 when as a producer and writer he won an Academy Award for Dear Basketball in the Best Animated Short Film category.