4.12.19

Space Jam 2: An analysis of the best kicks for the Tune Squad

After years of rumors and gossip Warner Brothers announced that Space Jam 2 will have a release date of July 16, 2021. The long-awaited sequel will feature LeBron James and the Looney Tunes, who teamed up with Michael Jordan over 20 years ago to defeat the Monstars in a basketball game to win their freedom from a group of aliens.

This movie may be the most important cultural moment in the past decade, and expectations will be incredibly high. There will be constant discussion about which other actors will sign on and which NBA players will make guest appearances (My money is on the Banana Boat Crew of D-Wade, Carmelo, and Chris Paul). However, the crucial piece of this movie, and the thing director Terrence Nance must absolutely nail, is the Looney Tunes. Their voices, facial expressions, and actions need to be perfect. One other important piece to consider what footwear is the Tunes will be rocking, because there will almost certainly be another basketball game with incredibly high stakes. After rewatching Space Jam (Bill Murray still kills it), I focused on what shoes the Looney Tunes, specifically the starters, would lace up.

In what might be the defining game of his career, MJ, who also served as coach of the Tune Squad, decided to start Bugs Bunny at point guard (PG), Lola Bunny at small forward (SF), Daffy Duck at power forward (PF), and the Tasmanian Devil at center (C). I’m assuming LeBron is going to start alongside the same four, which is going to bump Lola to SG and Daffy to SF. Hopefully some of the bench has spent time in the G-League refining and adding elements to their game. Specifically, Foghorn Leghorn and Road Runner are going to be crucial rotation players that LeBron can throw out there to give the defense a different look. Alright, let’s get into it.

Bugs Bunny (PG) – Kyrie 5

This is an easy one. Both Kyrie and Bugs are crafty individuals. Kyrie has an endless supply of tricks that he dips into around the basket, including head-fakes, ball-fakes, shoulder-fakes – all designed to make defenders look silly. Bugs is also a master of deception. Whether its tricking Elmer Fudd into shooting Daffy, getting Yosemite Sam to walk off a cliff, or planting dynamite behind Wile E. Coyote, Bugs has leveraged his quick-thinking and extraordinary deception skills to stay alive.

Both players put their bodies on the line and do an excellent job of taking care of them. Kyrie is constantly getting hit as he twists and turns in the lane, and Bugs is constantly around hazards like dynamite and falling boulders. Kyrie has transitioned to a vegan diet, which he credits to improving his health and improving his energy. And Bugs only eats carrots, so you know his vision is off the charts.

If you put Bugs in a pair of Kyrie 5s, it’s sure to help him elevate his game. The wrapped outsole should give him the traction he needs to attack the paint and either finish or kick to an open shooter. The Air Zoom Turbo cushioning will keep Bugs feeling fresh all game long.

Daffy Duck (SF) – Harden 3

While at first glance this may seem like an odd pairing, Daffy and Harden have a lot in common. Both are underrated comedians.

Harden is better than Chris Paul in those State Farm commercials, giving top-class facial expressions that make us wonder whether the disinterested/disgusted attitude is an act, or if he really doesn’t care about his insurance setup. Meanwhile, Daffy’s comedy credentials are unimpeachable. He is the gold standard of comedic partners, committing to every bit with unmatched energy.

Both have incredible self-confidence. Look at the shots Harden takes. Oh, that’s his seventh step-back three from 30 feet? Does anyone realize how ridiculous that is? I won’t even attempt a step-back three in open gym. Daffy, on the other hand, genuinely believes he is the funniest, smartest person (duck?) ever. He is a constant schemer. He constantly devises new plans to get Fudd to go after Bugs or ways to torment Porky. There is also no one who laughs harder at Daffy’s jokes and pranks than Daffy himself.

If Daffy laces up the Harden 3, he’s going to get the benefit of responsive Boost cushioning, and of the leather upper which helps support quick changes in direction.

Tasmanian Devil (C) – Jordan WHY NOT 0.2

This was another easy one. I bet you Russell Westbrook watched Tasmanian Devil highlights on loop as a kid. There is no one who plays harder or with more energy in the league than Westbrook, and there is no one who can destroy a jungle faster or put as much effort into eating Bugs or Daffy as Taz.

Both are incredible players who rely on their physical gifts to make plays that are inconceivable to most people. Taz literally spins in a circle to move faster, and Westbrook spins to avoid defenders. While they love their jobs, but both have interests outside of work, particularly fashion. Westbrook can be regularly seen showing up to games sporting a style that makes people audibly go “oh!” Taz is a gigantic fan of other people’s fashion. For example, when Bugs Bunny dresses up as a female Tasmanian Devil no one appreciates it more than Taz.  

Taz is going to need a shoe that holds up to his style of play, and that’s why we put him in the WHY NOT 0.2. The midfoot saddle is going to make sure Taz’s feet stay secure as he spins down the court. The aggressive traction pattern will help prevent Taz from slipping at any crucial moments.

Lola Bunny (SG) – KD 11

If Lola wasn’t a bunny, I’d swear her and Durant were related. They both are incredible basketball players. Durant is a seven-foot scorer who can get his shot off over everyone and is an absolute menace on defense. Lola is a skilled, all-around player too. She can space the floor with her shooting, attack closeouts, and be the focal point of the offense when LeBron needs a breather.

Lola and KD are both talkers, too. KD is one of the more quotable athletes in press conferences and post-game interviews. He also has done multiple podcasts covering a wide range of topics and recently did a lengthy interview with ESPN centered around his business interests outside of basketball. Lola doesn’t have the same national presence as Durant, but that doesn’t stop her from talking. Whether it’s on the phone or in person she is always talking to someone, usually Bugs, and usually trying to convince him to take her on a date. I bet if Lola and KD became friends they could talk for hours nonstop.

Lola would also benefit from playing in some KD 12s. The combination of Nike React foam and Nike Zoom Air would keep her bouncing around all game long. Plus, the Flyknit material wrapping her foot would keep her light on her feet.

Hopefully in Space Jam 2 LeBron has a little bit more time to get his team prepared than MJ did. Giving him a week of practice will allow him to craft an offense style and a defensive scheme as well as get his team all the gear they need. If I could offer a recommendation to him it would be to check out Eastbay.com for everything his team needs. Also, you should slide over to Eastbay and check out our huge selection of apparel and shoes. 00

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