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We Used Math To Cast The Original ‘Space Jam’ Monstars With Today’s NBA Talent

UPDATE (July 16, 2021, 11:45 a.m.): “Space Jam: A New Legacy” comes out today, and let’s be clear about one thing: We love the new Monstars — excuse me, the new Goon Squad. It’s a legitimate squad that’s going to cause some major problems for LeBron, Bugs Bunny and company.

But we can’t help but feel this was a missed opportunity for the original Monstars to run it back. When we first heard about the reboot in 2019, FiveThirtyEight attempted to cast the original Monstars with today’s NBA talent. Who is the modern-day Patrick Ewing? Who is the new Muggsy Bogues?

LeBron James is making a sequel to the beloved 1990s film “Space Jam,” but we heard he’s been having a little trouble finding the right co-stars among his fellow NBA standouts. LeBron, we’re here to help. We used our CARMELO projection system to figure out which modern NBA players are the on-court dopplegangers of the original film’s supporting cast: Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues. That lineup wasn’t enough to beat the Looney Tunes the first time, but maybe a modern iteration could.

The villainous Mr. Swackhammer now has a guide for whose powers to steal in order to run it back against LeBron.

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Tony Chow is a video producer for FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Emily Scherer is FiveThirtyEight’s designer.