Goon Squad vs. Monstars: Meet the new cast of NBA-inspired villains in ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’
Say goodbye to the Monstars, say hello to the Goon Squad.
Fans of the original Space Jam with Michael Jordan will recall the villains in the movie being “a quintet of aliens who work for their evil galactic carnival worker Mr. Swackhammer,” as Fandom notes. The group was featured early on in the movie as small aliens. But then they stole talent of NBA stars at the time, including Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley and Muggsy Bogues.
The group has undergone a change in LeBron James’ version of Space Jam. For starters, they’re no longer the Monstars. Instead, they are called the Goon Squad, a play on the name of James’ team, the Toon Squad. Secondly, these monsters have more characteristics than the Monstars.
The Goon Squad more closely resemble the basketball stars that inspired them. James’ version of Space Jam also includes WNBA players.
Below, we’ll go over the Goon Squad cast.
MORE: Everything to know about Space Jam: A New Legacy
Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard are the NBA stars featured on the Goon Squad. WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike make up the rest of the Goon Squad.
The names of the Goon Squad are The Brow, Wet-Fire, Chronos, White Mamba and Arachnneka.
The Brow, played by Anthony Davis, is a bird-like opponent. The Brow was seen flying in the trailer, which seems like an extremely unfair advantage in a basketball game, but I digress. The Brow obviously plays on Davis’ notable unibrow.
Klay Thompson plays Wet-Fire, an opponent that changes between being water-based and fire-based. In the trailer it almost seemed as if these were two different characters, but it’s the same one. Being “wet” in basketball means you have a good jump shot, which Thompson is known for. And then being on fire is a sports term for when you’re playing well, or on a hot streak.
Damian Lillard plays Chronos, who appears to be a robot-like villain. As Wikipedia notes, Chronos is “the personification of time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature.” This relates to Lillard, who’s known for “Dame Time,” or when he makes a clutch shot at the end of games. Often times, Lillard will even point to his wrist, where a watch would be, to signifiy when it’s Dame Time.
Diana Taurasi plays the White Mamba, a play on Kobe Bryant’s famous Black Mamba nickname. In fact, Bryant was the one who gave her that nickname as the two became good friends throughout their careers, per ESPN. The White Mamba is a snake-like villain.
Nneka Ogwumike plays Arachnneka, a black and red spider-like basketball player with six arms and two legs. The name is a play on arachnid (a class of joint-legged invertebrate animals such as spiders) and Ogwumike’s own first name, Nneka. There are rumors that Ogwumike’s sister and fellow WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike also appears in the film, but she’s not part of the Goon Squad.
There’s no apparent answer for this other than the movie creators wanted to switch things up. Even James got a bit tongue-twisted while promoting the film earlier this year.
“I think I’m gonna play for the Toon Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” James said in June. “We’re gonna gear up to beat the Monstars, or the Goon Squad I guess they’re called now.”
Not only will the Monstars be replaced in the big game, but they won’t even be featured at all in Space Jam: A New Legacy, according to reports. Although Michael Jordan is expected to appear in some fashion.
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