Space Jam: A New Legacy wrapped up filming in summer of 2019, with LeBron James starring in the sequel. While the movie's release is a long way off, a recording of James’ farewell speech to his cast and crew has been released by TMZ. And spoiler alert: It gets emotional. You can listen to the full audio on TMZ Sportsbut here is the entire transcribed speech. James started by acknowledging what a nostalgic 1990s icon the original Space Jam is:

I’m gonna be honest completely with you guys -- when I found out about the project, I was like it’s Space Jam! It’s a movie that I grew up watching. People in the movie that I idolize. I was like absolutely, I gotta do it. There’s no way I can turn down 'Space Jam'!

He admitted he had second thoughts after realizing what a huge time commitment the movie was, but embraced the opportunity all the same. Then, James got personal about his small-town roots:

I’m just a small kid from Akron, Ohio -- a very small town outside of Cleveland. From a single-parent household, I’m the only child, my mother had absolutely nothing. She was walking around high school when she was 16 years old and she was pregnant with me as a high school sophomore. So, I’m really not supposed to be here.

James also touched upon his racial background, and how societal expectations made him feel like he was beating the odds with his success:

Growing up in the inner city, as an African-American kid, there’s no way you’re supposed to f—ing make it out. And, the fact that I’m who I am as an African-American adult now with 3 kids of my own, and I made it out of the situations that I was in. This s— is like extra credit for me man.

Well, that got deep. James’ impassioned speech has us ready for more behind-the-scenes Space Jam content, but we might have to wait a while. Space Jam: A New Legacy is currently set to be released next July, but that could be affected by Warner Bros.' ever-changing release schedule due to Covid-19.

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