Skyler’s Swishes: For the Culture

This week’s top NBA moments happened off the court.

“Skyler’s Swishes” is a column by Skyler Trepel recapping the top three events from the past week of NBA play.

Space Jam: A New Legacy trailer drops

The long-awaited Space Jam: A New Legacy trailer finally came out! There have been talks of a Space Jam sequel since Michael Jordan defeated the Monstars back in 1996, but it’s finally here.

LeBron James already has a solid reputation as a Hollywood actor, especially after his comedic turn in Train Wreck. However, this will be his first true starring role, and he looks ready to step up to the plate after this trailer.

Another person to note in the trailer is USC football recruit Ceyair Wright playing LeBron’s fictional son Darius James. Wright is not only a talented actor, but will soon be seen picking off passes at the Coliseum.

The world has been through one of the hardest times in human history over the past twelve months, but Space Jam: A New Legacy looks to be the fun escape and celebration of movies we need. This trailer is so wacky that you can find the Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, Fred Flinstone, Yogi Bear and even Game of Thrones White Walkers.

After some tension builds through LeBron’s other fictional son Dom James, played by Cedric Joe, not wanting to follow in his dad’s basketball footsteps, his son is seemingly captured by a digitized computer world. It turns out that Don Cheadle runs this world, called the Serververse, as he takes a heel turn in becoming a digitized villain holding LeBron’s son captive.

James gets transported to a 2D cartoon universe with the Looney Tunes, and fans can’t help but begin to bathe in the new-age nostalgia filled with classic Looney Tunes humor. 2D quickly turns to 3D as James and the Looney Tunes get re-animated.

James isn’t the only professional basketball player in this film. The new villains, referred to as “The Goon Squad,” are played by Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis, Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike. Of course, James and the Tune squad must face off against them in a basketball game for the ages.

The first Space Jam inspired a whole generation to pick up a basketball, so it will be interesting to see the cultural impact this movie will have.

Steph daps it up with 2 Chainz

Basketball and hip-hop have always been closely associated, but once Allen Iverson made hip-hop culture truly ingrained in the NBA through his style, the two have been linked. Shaq rapped with the Notorious B.I.G., Kobe released a rap song and Damian Lillard has a successful rap career.

LeBron James even executive produced 2 Chainz’s album “Rap or Go to the League,” the album itself referencing the synonymy between the NBA and hip-hop culture. 2 Chainz himself went to college on a basketball scholarship and was seen dapping it up with Steph Curry after the Golden State Warriors played the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Atlanta is known for having a rich hip-hop culture, which makes this moment even more special as the two worlds continue to come together with Curry signing his jersey for 2 Chainz. And of course, Steph dropped 37 points, including this spectacular play where he splits through two defenders before finishing through the contact.

Aaron Gordon gets back at Dwyane Wade

Aaron Gordon had one of the greatest dunks of all time in the 2019 dunk contest as he jumped over the Boston Celtics 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall. Dwyane Wade infamously gave this dunk a score of nine, which led to his former teammate Derrick Jones Jr. winning the dunk contest in a slight showing of nepotism.

Fans were so shocked that it was the talk of NBA Twitter for weeks. After being traded to the Denver Nuggets on the 2021 NBA trade deadline last month, Aaron Gordon chose to wear No. 50 and was asked by Wade why he chose this number.

“It spoke to me, man,” he said. I got the most 50s ever in the dunk contest. It’s a good number for me, man. I feel like it’s a good number for me.”

Wade is smart enough to know that he was making up for not giving Gordon a 10 by giving Gordon the opportunity to call him out. Even one of the greatest players of all time is humble enough to admit when he’s made a mistake, even if it is tongue in cheek.

“Skyler’s Swishes” runs every Monday.