TMZ Sports obtained audio of the farewell speech LeBron James gave to the “Space Jam” cast and crew on his last day of shooting … and it’s emotional stuff.
The NBA superstar — wearing his #6 ‘Toon Squad’ uniform — addressed the cast and crew in Summer 2019 (before the COVID pandemic) … and explained why it was so important for him to take the role in the first place.
“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’!”
Bron joked that he had second thoughts when he realized the production schedule was so demanding, but ultimately decided it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
“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.”
“Growing up in the inner city, as an African-American kid, there’s no way you’re supposed to f*cking 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 sh*t is like extra credit for me man.”
Bron proceeded to thank everyone involved with the movie — saying, “Ya’ll say you appreciate me, but I’m sh*t without ya’ll.”
The NBA superstar also posed for a picture with the film’s writer/producer Ryan Coogler and director Malcolm D. Lee.
You’ll notice LeBron’s official jersey and shorts feature an orange spiral surrounded by blue — with the ‘Tune Squad’ logo emblazoned on the front.
It should be noted on James’ shorts is the #6 (a number he wore during his time with the Miami Heat) — NOT the #23 he currently wears with the Lakers.
Of course, the uniforms are a far cry from Michael Jordan‘s OG “Space Jam” kit … those were a simple red, white and blue.
As we previously reported, James invited some of his NBA pals and teammates to participate in the movie — including Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Anthony Davis.
Even Don Cheadle — who we got a photo of on set — is on board for the movie too!!
The piece is set to drop next summer … start gettin’ that popcorn ready now!