Scottie Pippen Reveals Why He Was Left out of 'Space Jam'

As Space Jam 2 gets underway, Scottie Pippen has revealed the simple reason he was absent from the original movie back in the 1990s.

Michael Jordan made an instant cult classic in 1996 when he co-starred in Space Jam. However, while the Looney Tunes crew were all by his side, Jordan's running mate Scottie Pippen was conspicuously absent. This weekend, TMZ Sports caught up with Pippen and asked why.

"I think I was injured," he said, "recovering from off-season injuries. So I wasn't able to submit."

The reporter asked if that was the only reason Pippen was left out of the movie, guessing that he would have been "front and center" if he were healthy.

"Oh yeah, for sure," Pippen said with a smile.

Like many fans of movies and basketball alike, Pippen is excited for the upcoming Space Jam 2. The unlikely blockbuster hit is being rehashed, with LeBron James now filling the central role that Jordan took on in the original. The movie will be produced by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and feature an all-star cast of other current NBA players.

For Pippen, it does not need to recapture the magic of the original, but instead somehow create some magic of its own.

"I don't think it has anything to live up to," Pippen said. "It just has to be a great piece. I think just re-living it... It will be great to see it put back together with a new generation."

Last week, it was announced that James would be joined by Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook in the cast of Space Jam 2. The movie is a dream project for both James and Coogler and, undoubtedly. many others in the cast and crew. On June 24, that dream finally came true, as James tweeted that filming was underway.

"Man this really just hit me! I’m really shooting Space Jam 2!! This is so surreal and doesn’t even make sense to me! Where I come from man and what I saw growing up this doesn’t add up to me!! I’m truly grateful and beyond blessed. This is CRAZINESS," James tweeted.

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Unfortunately, while excitement may be at a fever pitch, fans will have to wait quite a while to see the movie. The unique blend of live-action and animation takes quite a while to get right, and the editing process is fraught with perils. It will be a couple of years before Space Jam 2 is out -- a long time for James to maintain this level of hype.

Space Jam 2 is due in theaters on July 16, 2021.