When 'Space Jam 2' Wrapped Production, LeBron James Gave A Touching Farewell Speech

There's been talk about Space Jam 2 since NBA superstar LeBron James signed a movie and TV deal with Warner Bros. back in the summer of 2015. Nearly a year later, the project started to become a reality with Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin coming on board. The filmmaker didn't stick with the project, which ended up being directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who replaced the previously hired Terence Nance. So it's been a long road for Space Jam 2.

Thankfully, Space Jam 2 did end up getting in front of cameras, and now it has the title of Space Jam: A New Legacy. The film is currently set for release in the summer of 2021, but we'll see if the coronavirus pandemic allows Warner Bros. to keep that release date. In the meantime, we have some wonderful words from producer and star LeBron James that recently surfaced from a recording of his farewell speech on the last day of production. If you're looking for your daily dose of inspiration, here you go.

TMZ obtained an audio recording of LeBron James' candid speech when Space Jam 2 was wrapping production (or at least when he was done shooting). James recalled how he didn't hesitate when the opportunity to make the sequel came along. He said:

"I'm gonna be honest completely with you guys – when I found out about the project, I was like it's 'Space Jam'! It's a movie that I grew up watching. People in the movie that I idolize. I was like absolutely, I gotta do it. There's no way I can turn down 'Space Jam'!"

Then James shifted gears a bit and got even more personal about his small town roots and the adversity he faced before basketball changed his life:

"I'm just a small kid from Akron, Ohio – a very small town outside of Cleveland. From a single-parent household, I'm the only child, my mother had absolutely nothing. She was walking around high school when she was 16 years old and she was pregnant with me as a high school sophomore. So, I'm really not supposed to be here."

As a reminder of the racism that's always been present in our country, James also talks about how the situation he found himself growing up in typically doesn't result in the kind of success that he's had. James added:

"Growing up in the inner city, as an African-American kid, there's no way you're supposed to fucking make it out. And, the fact that I'm who I am as an African-American adult now with three kids of my own, and I made it out of the situations that I was in. This shit is like extra credit for me man."

Not every inner-city kid is lucky enough to become an all-star professional basketball player. But this is why representation and diversity is important. This is why we must continue fighting against the kind of institutional racism that keeps Black kids from breaking the oppressive cycle of prejudice and injustice. Everyone deserves a fair chance at a good life. Even though you may not be hearing about it as often on the news, this is just another reminder that Black Lives Matter.

You can listen to the full speech LeBron James made over here. Otherwise, Space Jam: A New Legacy is slated to hit theaters on July 16, 2021. But we'll have to wait and see if that date holds up.