This is a story about me, my brother and 100 hours of “Space Jam.”
Dear 'Space Jam,' thank you for bringing me and my brother together
I’ve been watching “Space Jam” my entire life — really. The movie came out one month before I was born, and my older brother’s obsession with the film was in full swing by the time I arrived on the scene.
My family’s love for Michael Jordan stretches back even further.
My parents spent roughly a decade in Chicago. This is where they got married, where they had their first child. This is also where Michael Jordan helped the Bulls win three consecutive NBA championships — my dad remembers all of them.
“The whole town went crazy," he told me. "People turned out in droves, burning cars, turning over police cars. It was just bizarre."
Jordan was already a household name for my family, and my dad’s love for him only grew when my family moved to Chapel Hill.
A family friend gave my brother, Alex, a tape of Michael Jordan playing in one of those tournaments. He watched it endlessly. He loved Jordan in the all-consuming way that two-year-old boys love things.
It was almost inevitable he would take an interest in “Space Jam,” too
“Alex is a huge Michael Jordan fan and 'Space Jam' comes out. It has Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny," my dad said. "How do you go wrong?”
As soon as it was released, my brother began to watch “Space Jam” nonstop. I was born shortly after. Even without being able to crawl, I partook in the madness.
“It was like background noise," my dad said. "It was on constantly."
My mom remembers it, too.
She told me about how my brother would run around reenacting the final scene of the movie. We would sing the soundtrack in the back of the car as she drove. She told me I used to wear Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls jersey for days on end. (Here’s proof, in case you thought I was lying. My mom describes this picture as “iconic.")
“It was probably instrumental in your language formation,” my mom told me.
The movie continues to be a focus of my household, even 20 years after its release.
I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t heard at least one "Space Jam" reference. Even as my brother and I grew up and became interested in different things, “Space Jam” has always been one of the few things we can both get excited about. There is a very short list of things I can get my brother to watch with me, and it looks like this: the Danny Phantom Christmas special, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Space Jam."
I called my brother to see how he felt about “Space Jam” at 22 years old.
“I’ll probably watch it tomorrow,” he said.
So thank you “Space Jam,” for making sure that I can always find some common ground with my sibling.
Thank you for a lifetime of memories and “iconic” photographs. Thank you for being unapologetically bizarre and mysteriously relevant.
Twenty looks good on you.
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