Mike is the G.O.A.T., but I really like LeBron.

That makes me an anomaly. I can appreciate both.

For those who of us who tend to love Jordan, there’s a tendency to criticize everything LeBron does.

Mike has more championships.

Mike’s shoes are more popular.

Mike made the better Space Jam.

So instead of viewing Space Jam 2: A New Legacy on its own merit, much of the conversation was comparing it to the original Space Jam.

Personally, I loved the storyline of the sequel.

Here are three things that made Space Jam 2: A New Legacy well worth the price of admission.

(Spoiler Alert: I’m going to talk some about the movie.)

The scene where a young LeBron James throws away his Nintendo GameBoy. If you were grabbing popcorn and missed opening scene, this was critical to understanding the movie. Seconds after missing a game-winner in a youth basketball game, LeBron has a heart-to-heart with his coach. The coach tells LeBron he has a shot to be an all-time great if he just gives his all to basketball.

In the scene that follows, LeBron tosses his hand-me-down Nintendo GameBoy in the trash outside of the gym. Essentially, it was LeBron showing us – in a somewhat autobiographical fashion – how early he went all in on basketball to try to change his family’s situation. You have to understand this to put the movie in its context.

LeBron’s goes One v. One with his son. This is where the tears started flowing for me. It’s a critical point in the Toon Squad-MonStars matchup. The Toon Squad needs a basket, and LeBron calls a clear out. His son is playing for the MonStars. Instead of posting his son up, he picks the ball up and gives his son a speech.

It’s as if LeBron is thinking back to his own childhood – the one where he chose to throw his GameBoy away – and inviting his son to a path where basketball doesn’t have to all-encompassing. It’s a beautiful picture of fatherhood.

Pulling up at Coding Camp. A major theme in Space Jam 2: A New Legacy is LeBron’s son charting his own course. In the beginning, LeBron is upset that his son won’t take basketball seriously. LeBron tells him he can’t go to a camp he wants to attend, because it’s at the same time as a prestigious basketball camp.

In the final scene, LeBron ends up secretly driving his son to the coding camp rather than the hoops camp. The film fades out as LeBron’s son, his basketball tucked under his arm, heads into the coding camp.

It resonated with the dad in me at a profoundly deep level.

And yes, I cried at this scene, too.

Of course, as a Christian, you always notice when there is a Christ figure in a movie. When Bugs Bunny willingly gave his life – and then resurrected – to save the Toon Squad, it was hard not to think of the gospel.

And, of course, I cried at that part, too!

LeBron doesn’t have to “Be Like Mike” to make a good Space Jam movie.

Was it better than the original? Maybe not.

But I think the story behind it was better.

And the movie was well worth the price of admission.

Writer’s note: Thanks for reading. I’m working on a new fiction book called Does Heaven Have a Ghetto? and a children’s book series called Grits and the Grimels. You can can keep up with by signing up for my monthly author newsletter here.