LeBron James Nominated For Worst Actor, “Space Jam 2” For Worst Picture At The Razzies| It’s Never An L To Be In The Same Category As Bruce Willis

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

LeBron James’ debut acting performance last year in “Space Jam: New Legacy” was probably discussed way more than it should have been by humans over the age of 30, and the harsh critiques on social media of James’ acting abilities bordered on the absurd. 

The disrespect wasn’t left in 2021. In fact, King James is nominated for four mock awards at the Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture and Worst Actor

Last Monday, the spoof awards show announced the list of nominees for the 42nd Razzie Awards, which acknowledges the worst acting, directing and films of the past year.

The Razzies — which calls itself the “ugly cousin to the Oscars” — will announce “winners” in the categories on Saturday, March 26.

The shots at Bron’s acting ability are of course all in fun. He doesn’t seem to be sweating it a bit.

But in the back of his uber-competitive mind, a guy like James, who is successful in every venture he tackles, can’t be happy to share the stage with the 2021 losers of cinema. 

Save for a few decent reviews, the public couldn’t wait to rip the movie apart. Bron probably got a raw deal in this one. After all, Malcolm D. Lee didn’t lose money on the movie. The estimated budget was about $150 million, and the reported gross revenue was $162.8 million. 

Michael Jordan’s “Space Jam” grossed $250 million, but he was no Morgan Freeman

The magnitude of his celebrity and charisma carried him through. If you poll any kid on the globe ages 3 to 17, they probably loved Bron’s sequel.

Seeing LeBron who is already larger than life, on the captivating big screen just enhances his legend for generations to come. His mission was really accomplished, regardless of the nature of his critical reviews.

At this point in his illustrious career, as he chases down the Sky Hook for the all-time NBA scoring mantle, LeBron is strategic about his moves. Even his failed construction of this Lakers team has borne personal fruits. He’s playing at a high level, is posting All-Star numbers and avoiding the venomous criticisms that have been levied against everyone from head coach Frank Vogel to Anthony Davis to media target Russell Westbrook. 

The disaster that is the Lakers has actually heightened the appreciation that people have for LeBron’s individual skills. So, the Lakers basketball team could easily win a Razzie this season, but Bron would still get an Oscar for his contributions to the team night in and night out.

In the larger scheme of things, doing the “Space Jam” movie is a huge win for Bron. It’s also the ultimate display of respect for Jordan’s legacy. Despite the magnitude of Jordan’s brand, LeBron has never backed down from the comparisons. If he waere trying to avoid comparisons to His Airness, then Bron, being the ultimate strategist, would never have recreated a movie that MJ starred in decades earlier.

Despite the reviews, the opportunity to do the movie had too much upside. For one, if the younger generation didn’t see Bron play in his prime, they definitely saw the “Space Jam” movie. And only legends make those kinds of movies.  

It takes a rare NBA player to carry an entire movie. Dr. J did his thing in “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.” Not bad for a ’70s low-budget flick starring the creator of air travel in hoops. 

 

Shaq did it with “Kazaam.” Then dropped the sequel 

And he played solid leading and supporting roles in movies like “Blue Chips.” Ray Allen got the job done (just barely and with a lot of help from Denzel Washington) in “He Got Game.” But starring in movies is not something that NBA players do every day.

Getting nominated for a Razzie is also a twisted way of showing respect for someone’s cinematic efforts and popularity. You have to have some level of importance to be nominated. The organization has created an entire category for legendary action-movie star Bruce Willis, even compiling a list of his worst performances in the eight movies he acted in last year.    

That’s not bad company, no matter how you cut it.


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JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.