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Marco Belinelli and Space Jam – Chat with the NBA champion

Michael Jordan, Looney Tunes and Charlotte...

Marco Belinelli and Space Jam – Chat with the NBA champion Michael Jordan, Looney Tunes and Charlotte...

Marco Belinelli was 10 years old when Space Jam came out for the first time in the cinemas, in the States. It was November the 15th of the 1996. In Italy we had to wait for a few years but the myth of Jordan crosses the ocean in an immediate way, banging basketball in a new dimension. Marco Belinelli entered in that dimension, through a long run that has brought him to become first Italian to win an NBA ring, in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs. But the trip of "Beli" is not over: Sacramento before, then Charlotte. It is here that his career joined to Michael Jordan, the same Jordan protagonist of his favorite movie. From 2010 in fact, MJ is the unique owner of the Charlotte Hornets, working on an ambitious project under his guide. 

We have reached Marco, talking with him of Space Jam, NBA and of his new life in Charlotte.


What’s your first memory of Space Jam, the first thing you associate to the movie?

Twenty years ago I was a child, the only thing I remember is the time I went to see the movie in theatre, in San Giovanni Persiceto, and I stayed twice in the room, looking it two consecutive times. At that time Space Jam represented life: I was a child that lived of basket, cartoons, Jordan and the whole rest. It was something incredible.

There are many ways in which Space Jam changed basketball and pop culture in general. What is, in your opinion, the greatest legacy Space Jam left to basketball?

Surely Jordan, the Jordan brand together with the imagination of the Looney Tunes, the cartoon’s world in general had a powerful impact. For a little boy who loves basketball it was something that happens once in a lifetime. It is something like Back to the Future, Space Jam is one of that movie.

Una foto pubblicata da Marco Belinelli (@mbeli21) in data:

How did you react to the news of the sequel?

Looks, for me Space Jam must be Michael Jordan. There are surely champions now in the League, like LeBron James, who are extraordinary, but for me, Space Jam will remain the one with MJ, Ewing, Bird and all the others. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now to Charlotte and I constantly have in bench Jordan, Ewing, that is also one of the protagonists, and I still cannot believe it.

This is a question you would have heard million times, but I cannot lose the chance to ask you it: how’s been your first meeting with Michael Jordan?

The first time was after the trade that brought me to Charlotte, he called me and I ha the chance to talk with him. Then he called me another time to ask me about the injury I had. In these two months in Charlotte I have seen him once, he was sitting in the bench during the first night, cheering for us. It is a something very strange, I didn't think that he could be so shocking.

Una foto pubblicata da Marco Belinelli (@mbeli21) in data:

What’s your favorite character among the Looney Tunes?

Obviously Bigs Bunny remains one of my favorite, then – even if he was "looney" only for a few - Michael Jordan. 

How is Charlotte, how’re you doing there?

I am often all right to Downtown, there is a lot of life. I now live in a big building near to the Arena, I’m very comfortable.