Even though LeBron James is still arguably the greatest basketball player on the planet, that doesn’t mean all the basketball stunts coming up in Space Jam two are going to be done by the King. Body doubles are commonplace in the acting world and James has even worked with this particular double before.
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Lakers’ LeBron James Body Double Cast For Space Jam 2
While James could undoubtedly perform just about anything the production team needs on a court, LeBron and the Lakers won’t be taking any injury risks after losing James for an extended period of time last season. Instead, Space Jam 2 is calling on Sheldon Bailey to step in and put his body on the line when LeBron and his $37 million contract can’t.
Bailey has worked as a body double for LeBron James for a number of years while also doing work for Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Speaking to Hype Magazine last year, Bailey shared a bit of insight as far as what life is like to be the body double to the King.
“For the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to be a body double for LeBron James. This role has taken me all over the country and across the world and it has put me in direct contact with some of the best directors and producers in the world. Even though I had a lot of fun playing Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard in the past, there is no comparison to the work I have gotten as LeBron James. Being his body double has done so much more for my career.”
While Bailey would go on to say that he doesn’t have much of a relationship with James, he noted that James “always seems happy” to see him on set.
Lakers Built to Fit Around LeBron James Much Better Than Last Season
Whereas last year’s team featured an overabundance of young lottery talent that didn’t necessarily fit together, this version of the Lakers is drastically different. Long gone is the youth movement, replaced by Anthony Davis and a cast of savvy veteran shooters and defenders. By bringing on players like Danny Green, Quinn Cook, and Troy Daniels, the Lakers already have a better group of shooters populating the perimeter. However, the addition of DeMarcus Cousins on a team-friendly deal could be the ultimate piece to the puzzle.
Aside from being an All-NBA talent when healthy, Cousins’ multi-level scoring ability at the center position helps to significantly open up the floor for LeBron James to attack the rim. Cousins is a good enough shooter to the point where opposing centers have to respect his shooting ability and by dragging them out of the paint, allows LeBron to take his defender one on one to the rim.
The defense seems to be considerably stronger as well. While Anthony Davis is one of the league’s best defenders, Danny Green and Avery Bradley are some of the league’s most underrated perimeter defenders while deeper rotational players like Jared Dudley bring a hard-nosed defensive mentality off the bench.