Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC

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The Los Angeles Lakers fired Frank Vogel from his job as head coach on Monday after a brutal 33-49 regular season. One of the greatest assist men in NBA history — who later coached the Golden State Warriors for three seasons — is reportedly near the top of the list of guys who LeBron James would like to see as the Lakers next head coach.

Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
© Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports How much influence will LeBron James have on the Lakers’ coaching search?

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LeBron James would be very enthused by the prospect of Mark Jackson landing the Lakers head coaching job, sources tell @sam_amick.

Jackson, an NBA analyst on ESPN, coached the Warriors from 2011-2014.

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— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 12, 2022

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Once Los Angeles was officially eliminated from playoff contention in the late stage of the 2021-2022 campaign, James sat out the last few contests with an ankle injury. “King James” ended up playing 56 games and averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.1 blocks and 37.2 minutes.

“When James was asked about his plans for this August, when he’s eligible for a two-year extension worth $97.1 million that would secure his services through the summer of 2025, it came as a surprise to hear him hedge on his Lakers future even the slightest bit. Even with the stir James created at the All-Star break, when he left the masses wondering if he might want a trade this summer, the late-February meeting between his agent Rich Paul, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka had left everyone talking about a long-term partnership again. And now… this,” Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote. “‘The conversation hasn’t been talked about,’ James began. ‘Technically it’s because (with) the collective bargaining agreement (it) cannot even be discussed until later on in the year. So, you know, I know what’s out there. But we can’t even — myself and Rich — can’t even begin to talk with Rob, or the front office at all, because of the collective bargaining agreement. So (when) we get to that point, we’ll see.'”

Amick continued:

“Based on my conversations with people who have a strong sense of such things, it’s clear James is considering playing out this contract rather than signing a two-year extension this summer,” he wrote. “If flexibility and freedom are the goals here, James (who is owed $44.4 million next season) could go back to the year-by-year approach he perfected in his second Cleveland stop.”

Looking back to the summer of 2019 — according to Amick — if it had been up to James, now Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue would’ve been chosen as the Lakers head coach at the time instead of Vogel. James, Anthony Davis and Vogel of course would go on to capture the 2020 NBA championship in the “Bubble,” before being eliminated in the first round last year and missing the postseason this season.

As far as what Jackson would bring to the table if hired as the next leader in Los Angeles, the 57-year-old compiled a 121-109 coaching record during his three years with the Warriors from 2011-2014, as well as a 9-10 postseason mark over two playoff appearances. Jackson has been involved in the league for 35 years since being selected 18th overall by the New York Knicks in the 1987 NBA Draft.

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More must-reads:

  • LeBron James on roster moves: ‘Not my decision’
  • Lakers fire Frank Vogel as head coach after disappointing 2021-22 campaign
  • The ‘Recent NBA MVPs’ quiz

Related slideshow: 20 facts you might not know about Space Jam: A New Legacy (Provided by Yardbarker)

Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC
Report: LeBron James 'very enthused' by prospect of Mark Jackson becoming Lakers HC

20 facts you might not know about Space Jam: A New Legacy

“Space Jam” was the peak of Michael Jordan’s pop culture impact, and also arguably the last time Looney Tunes was a mainstream success. While Bugs and friends have fallen by the wayside, Warner Bros. decided to bring them back, and bring basketball back, in “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” The journey from MJ dunking on the Monstars to this sequel was a bizarre one. We’ll cover that, and more, in these 20 facts.

It was the first Looney Tunes movie in almost two decades

In 2003, Warner Bros. released “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” Though it was directed by big Looney Tunes fan Joe Dante and had current internet darling Brendan Fraser as the lead, it proved a total flop. As such, Looney Tunes did not get a single feature film until “Space Jam: A New Legacy” came out in 2021.

The sequel could have starred Jordan…or maybe not

After the success of “Space Jam,” the development of a sequel to star Jordan began. In said sequel, Mel Brooks would have voiced the antagonist, an alien named Bezerk-O. However, it turned out a producer had lied about Jordan agreeing to be involved to keep production going. Once the ruse was found out, the project was shut down.

A few non-basketball ideas were considered

Without Jordan, some other ideas were bandied about. For example, Jeff Gordon starring in “Race Jam” and Tony Hawk starring in “Skate Jam.” Also, a Tiger Woods movie that never got a “Jam” name. Oddly, they also considered a non-sports idea starring Jackie Chan called “Spy Jam.” None of them happened, of course.

LeBron James was attached early

LeBron is basically the heir apparent to MJ, so it makes sense he starred in the film. However, it was slow going until the movie finally hit theaters. Warner Bros. first announced plans for a “Space Jam” sequel starring LeBron in 2014.

A lot of names were attached

Maybe part of the reason why the movie took so long to be completed is the fact that there was a lot of turnover. Justin Lin was the first director attached, but he dropped out. Kobe Bryant wanted to direct, but he didn’t want to appear. Then, Terence Nance was hired to direct. Meanwhile, the script has six credited screenwriters and four writers given “Story By” credit.

LeBron’s whole family is fake

LeBron James is real, and he has a real family, but they aren’t involved in the film at all. Every family member in the movie does not share their name with LeBron’s actual wife and children.

The voice of Lola was replaced

Modern movies love stunt-casting voice actors. In “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” that did not work out well for Kath Soucie. Soucie had originally voiced Lola Bunny in “Space Jam,” and was originally announced as reprising the role. Then, Soucie was replaced by Zendaya, presumably based on the strength of her turn as Meechee.

The movie’s original director was replaced

Terence Nance? He didn’t last long. Nance began shooting the film on June 25, 2019. Then, on July 16 of the same year, it was announced he was leaving the project due to “creative differences.” At this point, Malcolm D. Lee stepped in to direct the film.

Even the composer was replaced!

Hans Zimmer, a legend in the composing world, was initially hired as the composer for this movie. That was in January of 2020. By April, it was announced that Kris Bowers would be the “co-composer.” Ultimately, by January of 2021, Zimmer was gone, and Bowers was the sole composer.

Elmer and Yosemite Sam got their guns back

When HBO Max started streaming new “Looney Tunes” episodes, one notable change was a lack of firearms. This pretty much robbed Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam of their entire characters. However, for “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” the duo were able to have guns once again.

Pepe le Pew got the boot

Originally, everybody’s favorite HR violation of a skunk Pepe le Pew had a brief appearance. It was even filmed by Nance when he was the director. However, once Lee took over his scene was cut.

Granny got a bigger role

In the first “Space Jam,” Granny’s role with the Tune Squad is as a cheerleader. However, apparently, her services were needed in a different capacity in the sequel. Granny is a member of the team in this movie.

Al G. Rhythm references a couple iconic head coaches

We haven’t even mentioned Don Cheadle playing a character named Al G. Rhythm, and the less said about that the better. That being said, he serves as the coach of the Goon Squad. In doing so, he cribs from a couple of famous coaches. He dresses in a hoodie reminiscent of Bill Belichick, and he throws a chair in anger like Bobby Knight infamously did.

Some very R-rated characters are in the movie

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” is both a basketball movie and a thinly-veiled advertisement for the Warner Bros. back catalog. As such, we see literally dozens upon dozens of Warner Bros. characters in scenes, even if some are just in the background. This led to one bizarre choice for a family movie. You can see Alex and the Droogs from “A Clockwork Orange,” a film featuring a vast array of depraved, disturbing violence.

A hoped-for cameo didn’t happen

While Michael B. Jordan is in the movie, there is no appearance from His Airness MJ. Lee has said he wanted to have a post-credits scene with the basketball-playing Jordan that riffed on “The Last Dance.” Alas, it didn’t happen.

There was a TV movie that served as an ad

Look, they weren’t hiding it. Cartoon Network aired a made-for-TV movie of their show “Teen Titans Go!” that’s called “Teen Titans Go! See Space Jam.” The whole thing is designed to serve as an advertisement for the “Space Jam” sequel. However, as “Teen Titans Go!” is often a meta, winking show, they handled the job they were handed the best they could.

One city watched the movie more than others

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” made back its budget, as it made $162.8 million worldwide against $150 million. However, we have to remember that it was simultaneously released on HBO Max. The streaming analytics company Samba TV reported on how many people watched it that first weekend. The top city? That would be Cleveland.

“South Park” poked fun at it

Apparently Matt Stone and Trey Parker weren’t fans of “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” To be fair, they weren’t the only ones. The movie has a 25-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, in their Paramount+ specials, the “South Park” guys posit that the “Space Jam” sequel is the primary reason why society collapses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You know who else didn’t like it? The director of “Space Jam”

Joe Pytka was not pleased with the sequel to his movie. The man who directed the original “Space Jam” is on the record as despising “A New Legacy.” One of his biggest complaints? LeBron not being a “transcendent figure” like Jordan. He also called Bugs Bunny’s role in the sequel “heartbreaking.”

Lee wants a sequel

Lee apparently enjoyed directing “A New Legacy” enough to want to return to the world of Looney Tunes. He has said he’s interested in directing a sequel. However, he too is thinking that maybe basketball should be set aside. Lee wants to make a movie with Dwayne Johnson, the erstwhile The Rock, focused on wrestling.

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