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10 Reasons Why Space Jam Is The Greatest Sports Movie Of All Time

10 Reasons Why Space Jam Is The Greatest Sports Movie Of All Time
By Gary Connaughton
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The sequel to the 90's classic Space Jam has finally been announced, with NBA superstar LeBron James set to join up with the Tune Squad on their latest adventures.

There have been rumours for years that a follow-up was in the pipeline, but it is going to have tough act to follow. The original is the greatest sports movie of all time, and anyone who disagrees is just plain wrong.

But don't take my word for it, let's just look at the reasons why it is undeniably true.

It's The Only Time We Got To See Michael Jordan In A Major Acting Role

Michael Jordan was the biggest sports star on the planet for over a decade, and Space Jam is his only major acting role.

For someone who had little prior experience in the industry, Jordan put in a pretty decent performance to carry the film.

Peak Bill Murray

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The movie portrayed Bill Murray in all his glory, and the few scenes in which he features are hilarious.

The moment when he turns up to save the day for the Tune Squad is probably the highlight of the film, especially when he takes the coaching burden away from Jordan to draw up a game-winning play for the team.

'I don't play defence.'

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIV_9--awCI

It Touches Upon Jordan's Real Life Disenchantment With The Sport

Jordan's retirement from basketball in order to pursue a career in professional baseball was one of the most shocking moments in the history of the NBA. Here was a player who had just come off the back of winning three championships in a row, quitting at the peak of his powers.

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His father, who had just passed away, always wanted to see his son play baseball. This is rumoured to be the reason behind his decision.

The movie was filmed in the summer of 1995, a few months after Jordan had made his surprise reintroduction to the NBA, where his Chicago Bulls team were eliminated by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

While he had returned to the sport at this stage, throughout the beginning of the movie, he repeatedly claims 'I don't play basketball anymore'. Ultimately, he was too much of a competitor to turn his back on the challenge of The Monstars, a situation that mirrored his real life u-turn.

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He went on to win three championships in a row from 1996-98.

The Original Space Jam Website Is Still Online

The official website has remained unchanged since it was originally posted online, and is a real call back to a simpler time. You can look at it in all its glory here.

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How The Monstars Acquired Their Skills

The extraterrestrial visitors literally stole the talent from 1990's NBA players. Sucked it right out of them. This contributes to some very clever scenes in the movie, where All-Stars Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing make a tit of themselves on the court.

Interesting tidbit: one of the players to have his talent stolen, Muggsy Bogues, is the shortest NBA player of all time, standing at 5foot 3inches tall.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7UriDzC8Yw

The Looney Tunes Could Ball, Once They Got Some Of 'Mike's Special Stuff'

After a shaky start, the Tune Squad really grow into the game. This had a little something to do with Bugs convincing his teammates to drink some of 'Mike's special stuff' to increase their playing abilities.

Little did they know that what they were drinking was just in fact plain old water, and they had the ability within themselves all along. Lola Bunny was especially impressive.

The scene to begin the second half, and rally the team to an unlikely comeback, is one of the greatest sporting sequences in cinematic history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5qLMuXylgU

It Is A True Underdog Story

The storyline is centred around a ragtag team full of cartoon misfits playing against a powerful alien force, who possess the skills of some of the planet's top athletes. And they have to win, or else they will be enslaved for all eternity.

Name a better underdog story.

People Have Been Crying Out For A Sequel For 20 Years

The LeBron James-led follow-up to the movie has finally been announced, but many have been craving for a sequel to the movie ever since its release. Few other movies have such a devoted fan base.

There have been a number of false dawns over the years, and while this announcement has been met with excitement, there will be huge pressure on LeBron to fill Jordan's shoes.

It Features The Greatest Dunk In The History Of Basketball

A dunk from half-court, to win the game, with two literal monsters trying to drag him to the ground.

Unbelievable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S9W9xZikkA

The Whole Movie Is Unadulterated 90's Nostalgia

Once you revisit this movie, you are instantly transported back to your childhood.

Right from the opening scene of a young Jordan playing in his front yard, all the way to him making a miraculous return to the NBA at its conclusion, it delivers.

It is a 90's masterpiece.

SEE ALSO: 'This Is Elite Level Sport. Being A Paralympic Athlete Isn't Just A Hobby'

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