What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

LeBron James teams up with Ryan Coogler, Terence Nance for ‘Space Jam 2’

Production is scheduled to begin in 2019 during the NBA offseason

5:55 PMLeBron James plus Ryan Coogler plus Space Jam?

What once existed as just a rumor finally seems to be becoming a reality – and it may be bigger and better than anyone expected. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James has tapped Coogler as the producer for James’ long-awaited Space Jam 2. Whoop, there it is, we are officially headed back to Looney Toons World.

“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James told the Reporter. “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”

Coogler, who most recently shattered box office records with his recent direction of Marvel’s Black Panther, is also responsible for films such as Fruitvale Station. Those worried about the possibility of messing with the greatness of the original Space Jam, Coogler’s 2015 spinoff of the Rocky franchise Creed, starring Michael B. Jordan, was also a box office success.

Leave it to James to try to topple a juggernaut like the Michael Jordan-led Space Jam of 1996 – to this day it remains the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time. The film has generated approximately $250 million.

It was also reported that Terence Nance, creator of the HBO late-night sketch comedy television series Random Acts of Flyness, will direct Space Jam 2. Production is scheduled to begin in 2019 during the NBA offseason.

Very little is known about any potential casting for the film, including which NBA stars will make cameos. All I know is I need Boban Marjanovic to replace the Shawn Bradley cameo and Isaiah Thomas to replace Muggsy Bogues. Lance Stephenson’s gotta be a Monstar.

Picture this: Kawhi and Kobe together in California

The Raptors forward worked out with the Lakers legend in Newport Beach

11:43 AMKawhi Leonard will soon be in Toronto in preparation for his first season with the Raptors. The two-time NBA All-Star forward will be a free agent next summer, but a source has told The Undefeated that he will be open-minded about re-signing with the Raptors.

Even so, the Los Angeles-area native posing with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after working out in Newport Beach, California, on Thursday night will only add to the intrigue of Leonard potentially coming home to sign with the Lakers. While Leonard was injured with the San Antonio Spurs last season, there were numerous reports that he wanted to resume his career in Los Angeles.

Leonard also worked out with new Lakers forward LeBron James, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman several weeks ago at UCLA. While Durant and Osman were there, much of the social media intrigue was about Leonard and James working out together and perhaps joining forces with the Lakers.

Raptors fans, however, should be well-aware that their basketball staff members Phil Handy (who posted the photo), John Corbacio and Jeremy Castleberry attended both workouts with Leonard. Also, Handy, a new Raptors assistant coach, previously worked with Bryant with the Lakers and James and Osman with the Cavaliers. Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland also once helped Leonard improve his shooting form by using examples of Bryant, who has also worked out with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma and Candace Parker this offseason.

Milwaukee police officer involved in Sterling Brown arrest fired

Officer violated department’s social media policy

5:22 PMA Milwaukee police officer who was involved in the controversial arrest of Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown was fired from the department, according to remarks made by Milwaukee police Chief Alfonso Morales on Thursday.

The officer, however, was not fired for the “racially-based use of excessive force” that he was accused of by Brown’s attorney, but for violating the department’s social media policy. Speaking at Marquette University, Morales said the officer was “not involved in the initial part” of the investigation into the arrest of Brown, but “it was more of the social media,” according to Journal Sentinel reporter Ashley Luthern. Morales added that while the officer wasn’t accused of lying during the investigation, he faced a “credibility issue” on par with former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman, known for pleading the Fifth Amendment during the O.J. Simpson murder trial after being asked if he ever used the N-word or planted evidence in any case.

According to the Journal Sentinel, Erik Andrade was the officer who was under internal investigation for violating the social media policy, which states officers can use social media sites “to the degree that their speech is not disruptive to the mission of the department” but not in “any manner which brings or is likely to bring discredit upon the department.”

Andrade was one of at least 11 officers who stopped, immobilized with a stun gun and arrested Brown for a parking violation back in January. When Brown filed suit against the department and the city of Milwaukee in June, it came to light that Andrade made a handful of questionable posts on his personal Facebook page.

The morning after the arrest, Andrade posted, “Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work this morning! Lol#FearTheDeer.” Months later, he shared a post comparing Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant’s hair to an ice cream cone with black sprinkles on it, and made his own post joking about hoping “JR Smith double parks in Walgreens handicap Parkin spots when he’s in Milwaukee” after the Cleveland Cavaliers guard made a boneheaded play at the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Brown filed a federal lawsuit on June 19 claiming unlawful arrest and excessive force after the Jan. 26 arrest. He is seeking an undetermined amount of money for compensatory and punitive damages.