BURBANK, CA—Saying he wanted to thank the four-time NBA MVP for encouraging him to put his dangerous party days behind him, famed Looney Tunes star Bugs Bunny described Thursday how his friend LeBron James helped him get sober for their appearance together in the forthcoming Space Jam sequel.
Speaking candidly about his troubled past, the now-recovering rabbit told reporters he owed his life to James, who he said supported him through the darkest moments of his addiction, including multiple incidents in which the All-Star small forward found him passed out and barely breathing in his rabbit hole, surrounded by a pile of half-eaten carrots and a dozen empty jugs labeled “XXX.”
“After all those decades of drugs, women, and alcohol, I had definitely hit rock bottom,” said a noticeably emotional Bugs Bunny, who, after taking a long drag on a cigarette and letting the smoke puff out of his ears, confirmed he was three weeks sober. “One time when LeBron found me, I was as good as dead. All I remember is him shaking me and yelling my name, ‘Bugs, Bugs!’ Then my eyes popped open, spun like slot machines, and landed on three bottles, at which point I vomited coins all over him.”
“No one else wanted to stand up to me because I was a big celebrity,” the Looney Tunes star added. “But LeBron looked me right in the eyes and asked, ‘What’s up, doc?’—and I could tell he meant it.”
The newly clean Hollywood Walk of Fame inductee, who credits James with getting him into rehab, admitted he frequently lashed out on the set of Space Jam 2, at times going so far as to shoot cannons, guns, and rockets at his co-stars, including Blake Griffin, Porky Pig, and Rosario Dawson. According to sources, Bugs Bunny would often storm off the Warner Bros. lot by drunkenly digging underground and tunneling away, only to zigzag out of control and hit lamp posts or mailboxes.
Though he ignored the three-time NBA champion’s initial offers of help, Bugs Bunny said James finally got through to him with “a bit of tough love,” telling him, “You need to shape up,” and then proceeding to compress him into the shape of a ball, jump 10 feet through the air, and dunk him through a basketball hoop.
“That was a wake-up call I’d been waiting for my whole life,” the rabbit said of the incident, adding that the force of James’ dunk sent him crashing down through several sets of floors below and somehow lit his tail on fire. “When I came to, I had a huge lump on my head and there were all these tiny Bugs Bunnies flapping around my head in a circle. Then they stopped, looked at me, and said, ‘Bugs, you need help.’ And they were right.”
“Everyone else had given up on me, but LeBron, he peeled my flattened body off the floor, stuck a basketball pump in my mouth, and inflated me back to my normal self,” he continued. “He knew how to get through to me. The last conversation we had before he intervened, I was so hopped up on cocaine that my heart was beating three feet out of my chest and hitting him in the face.”
Witnesses on set told reporters the iconic hare suffered multiple relapses during production, straining the relationship of Space Jam 2’s top-billed pair. The final straw reportedly came when James threatened to quit the film after Bugs Bunny stumbled onto some railroad tracks while under the influence, stole a handcar, and crashed it into a wall that clearly just had a tunnel painted onto it.
“I wouldn’t have blamed him for walking away, but he gave me one more shot,” said the former addict, mentioning that Michael Jordan and Foghorn Leghorn haven’t spoken to him since the filming of the first Space Jam, when he was known to shoot up in his trailer with several female rabbits who looked exactly like him but wore makeup and women’s clothes. “Now, for the first time, I’m sober during rabbit season. And I no longer wake up hungover in strange beds, having no idea where I am because I got drunk and forgot to take a left at Albuquerque.”
“When I was at my lowest, I swear I heard the end-credit music of my life start to play and saw those big, red, concentric circles closing in on me,” he added. “Thanks to LeBron, though, I didn’t hear ‘Th-th-th-th-that’s all folks’ or see those words written out in a cursive script. And hopefully, I won’t have to for a long, long time.”