‘Space Jam 2′ casts LeBron James’ basketball double
LeBron James is fully committed to Space Jam 2. Just because the Los Angeles Lakers superstar has decided to invest so much of his off-court time and energy into bringing Michael Jordan’s iconic film back to the big screen, though, doesn’t mean he’ll be putting himself at physical risk while filming.
Enter Sheldon Bailey, a veteran actor and professional basketball player who was officially announced as James’ body double for Space Jam 2 on Wednesday, per Harrison Faigen of SB Nation. Basketball fans likely know Bailey best from his role as ATM, a main character in acclaimed video games NBA 2K18 and and NBA 2K19. He also starred in Nickelodeon’s comedy series Game Shakers for three seasons from 2015 to 2019, playing the role of Ruthless, the “larger than-life-sidekick” of the series’ main character, Double G.
Bailey, 6-foot-6 and broad-shouldered, played college basketball at Winthrop and Florida International. He also played professionally in China, Taiwan, Ecuador, and the CBA and ABA before turning his focus to acting.
Space Jam 2 has been beset by struggles to sustain a working cast and production crew since the film was announced last year. Many NBA players sought for supporting roles declined, and the film switched directors from Terence Nance to Malcolm D. Lee last month. Also starring in the film alongside James are Anthony Davis of the Lakers, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, as well WNBA stars Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and sisters Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks. Don Cheadle, of Iron Man and Avengers fame, has a significant role in the sequel, as does Sonequa Martin-Green of Star Trek: Discovery.
Space Jam 2 is set for release on July 16, 2021.