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NBA legend LeBron James spends most of "Space Jam: A New Legacy" trapped in the "server-verse" of the Warner Bros. Studios computer system after being kidnapped by the unhinged villain Al G. Rhythm (Don Cheadle).
These movie beats, for sure, are not based on James' real life. Even the bit where animated James turns into superhero Robin is fictional (James would so transform to Batman!).
But the movie's at-home elements, such as at James' rocking mansion with that blue basketball court and his loving onscreen family, seem as if they could be real. Here's what's true and what's not true about James' life in "Space Jam" (in theaters and HBO Max).
Does LeBron James own that mansion with the high-tech blue basketball court?
In the 1996 original "Space Jam," Michael Jordan was portrayed living in a neighborhood house on a tree-lined street, with his bulldog Charles love-attacking him as he walks up the front steps.
James' "New Legacy" mansion has been supersized, eye-popping from the outside, with sweeping views of the city and a stunning blue basketball court with cool gadgets.
But no, it's not even one of the Lakers star's several homes. James has two Brentwood, Los Angeles, residences, purchased for $21 million and $23 million, respectively, according to the Los Angeles Times, who reported in 2020 that the NBA superstar also bought a nearby Mediterranean-style Beverly Hills compound for $36.75 million –with two guest houses and a screening room.
The movie's blue basketball court was built over a tennis court near Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. It had the desired wow effect on Cedric Joe, who plays James' son Dom.
"When I saw that court, I was speechless," Joe says.
"We felt it was a great nod to the lifestyle (LeBron James) has earned and achieved," director Malcolm D. Lee says.
And the basketball passing machine that responds to James' voice commands for speedy assists does not exist. Yet.
"I'm sure when it is on the market, LeBron will be the first to get it," Lee says.
Is LeBron James' real family in 'Space Jam'?
Jordan's family and real kids were not in the original, but their names (Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine) were used. "New Legacy" features actors portraying James' family, with different names to highlight the fictional storyline.
The real "James Gang," as James affectionately calls them, includes daughter Zhuri Nova, 6; sons Bryce Maximus James, 14; and LeBron "Bronny" James Jr., 16; with wife Savannah James. James walked the carpet with Zhuri and Savannah at the Los Angeles "Space Jam" premiere this month.
Onscreen, the family includes Ceyair J Wright as older brother Darius; Harper Leigh Alexander is daughter Xosha James; and Sonequa Martin-Green as James' screen wife, Kamiyah.
There was never a discussion about using James' real family, even for smaller roles in the fictional story.
"LeBron's playing a version of himself," Lee says. " It would have been tough for him to play that role (with his real family)."
Did LeBron's 'New Legacy' son meet LeBron's real son?
In his film debut playing James' youngest son Dom, 16-year-old Joe watched in awe as his screen dad effortlessly shot multiple takes of an alley-oop scene ("he was jumping so high each time like it was nothing. Mind-blowing") and bonded over occasional shoot-around.
"I beat him in a free throw contest; my free throw game is really good," Joe says.
James never gave him advice about playing the fictional storyline of a son more interested in video game programming than basketball. Nor did 5-foot-8 Joe meet 6-foot-1 high school basketball star Bryce, James' younger son, before filming.
The two met at a Disneyland press event for "New Legacy."
"I introduced myself and took some pictures," Joe says. " I realized that Bryce is a lot taller than I thought."
Does LeBron sign his kids' name on his shoes?
A pivotal "Space Jam" moment centers on James discussing how he inscribes his children's names on his shoes before a game. This is true. James has made the most out of packing handwritten messages on his size 16 basketball shoes, adding names, phrases and acronyms.
.@KingJames in a special LeBron 15 colorway for the play-in game.
On one shoe: The names of his children, wife, and mother.
The other: #WashedKing — an ode to those who’ve written him off at this stage in his career.
(📷: @brkicks) pic.twitter.com/WQLzlSTgXc
— Boardroom (@boardroom) May 20, 2021
Straightforward callouts highlight his three children ("Bronny, Bryce, Zhuri," or the "James Gang"), along with mother Gloria and wife Savannah, respectively dubbed "Mama James" and "Queen James."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Space Jam': A New legacy': Is that LeBron James' real court, family?