However you might feel about basketball, two things helped to popularise it in the '90s with non-traditional sports fans in Ireland - one of them was the videogame 'NBA Jam', and the other was 'Space Jam'.
'Space Jam' had classic Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck team up with basketball legend Michael Jordan to defeat a gang of interplanetary monsters. Bill Murray turned up in there as well.
The movie wasn't a critical success, but it was a commercial success. The movie made over $230 million at the box office and the franchising spin-offs made - wait for it - $6 billion in total revenue. With figures like that, it's no wonder that Warner Bros. wanted a sequel, or at the very least, a spin-off.
in 2003, I was requested to meet with Warner Brothers about doing a film tentatively titled “Skate Jam.” They were bringing back Looney Tunes with “Back In Action” & then wanted to start on my project immediately. A week later Back In Action bombed & Skate Jam was shelved forever pic.twitter.com/9giKzBnlWH
— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) January 5, 2019
That's where pro-skating legend Tony Hawk comes in. As he tells it, Warner Bros. were planning a sequel to 'Space Jam' back in 2003, but with skateboarding. As Hawk tells it, "I was requested to meet with Warner Brothers about doing a film tentatively titled 'Skate Jam'. They were bringing back Looney Tunes with 'Back In Action' (and) then wanted to start on my project immediately."
Of course, 'Looney Tunes: Back In Action' bombed at the box office that year and didn't even make back its production budget at the box office. Sadly, 'Skate Jam' was shelved and heard no more.
And here we are, some 16 years later, languishing in a timeline where there's no 'Skate Jam' with Tony Hawk, ecological disasters on a weekly basis, and a failed businessman-turned-reality TV star running the largest economy on the planet.