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Jun 27, 2024 11:16 am

Bronny James, anxious dad await NBA fate

Bronny James

Bronny James is ready to make a name for himself in the NBA.

The oldest son of four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, Bronny James went undrafted in the first round on Wednesday and remains hopeful he’ll find a home Thursday night.

LeBron James worked out with Bronny James earlier on Wednesday before they watched the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, consisting of 30 total picks. The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Tennessee All-American Dalton Knecht with the 17th overall pick.

The Lakers are waiting for LeBron James to decide his plans for next season. James’ deadline to exercise his player option with the Lakers is Saturday. He’s expected to opt out of the deal and enter free agency before signing a short-term deal for his 22nd season.

There were questions about Bronny James’ readiness for the NBA after one unspectacular season at USC. He recovered and received medical clearance from cardiac episode last July to average 4.8 points per game in 2023-24. His medical matter, modest production and height — Bronny James measured under 6-foot-2 at the draft combine — all complicate his draft grade. But Bronny James shot very well in combine drills and posted a 40.5-inch vertical, indications there’s more than genetics to his skill set.

Bronny James worked out privately for two teams before the draft — the Phoenix Suns and Lakers.

LeBron James was mostly focused on playing the role of dad this week, and the emotion of his son on the verge of a pro basketball career hit him with full force on Wednesday.

“Not a feeling in the (expletive) world better than being around raising my boys to MEN! Pops over here getting emotional as hell just thinking about yall journey so far! Thank you both for allowing me to be your DAD and be apart of your compass through life’s trials and tribulations!,” James wrote via Instagram as the caption to a photo of their workout at The Summit gym in midtown Manhattan.

Bronny James said in an interview at the NBA Draft Combine in May that he wanted to be viewed as his own person, not the son of LeBron James, when he starts his pro career. The inference was a deviation from LeBron James’ comments to The Athletic in 2022 that he would play his final year with whatever team for which Bronny played, coveting the chance to share the court.

“Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be,” he said in 2022. “I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”

Represented by Klutch Sports and Rich Paul like his father, the agency made clear prior to the draft that Bronny James and LeBron James are not planning to be a package deal.

–Field Level Media

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