Bronny James on Being Son of Lakers’ LeBron: ‘A Lot of Criticism Gets Thrown My Way’

Timothy LogoFeatured Columnist IVMay 20, 2024

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 07: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shouts to his son, Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans, during Bronny's game against the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion on February 07, 2024 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Most young prospects don’t hit the NBA with the sort of expectations that come with being LeBron James’ son. It’s the unique burden that Bronny James bears.

“It’s tough,” he admitted on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Monday. “A lot of criticism gets thrown my way. But you know, I’ve got to deal with it. We all know what I’ve been through. I just try to make the best of my opportunities that are given to me.”

SiriusXM NBA Radio @SiriusXMNBA

“It’s tough. A lot of criticism gets thrown my way”

🔊Bronny James explains what it’s like being the son of an all-time great@RobbieHummel | @BronnyJamesJr

The younger James has to face questions about whether he would receive the same amount of attention were it not for his father’s prominence, especially since his one year at USC didn’t exactly impress.

James averaged just 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes per game, making 25 total appearances (six starts). He shot 36.6 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from three, all concerning metrics.

There is some context to be considered. He suffered cardiac arrest in July and wasn’t able to make his freshman debut until December. That was undoubtedly a setback.

“He was in a tough situation in college,” an executive told ESPN’s Jamal Collier. “He had the health issue, and their backcourt was already set. Isaiah Collier is a legit lottery pick, and Boogie Ellis as a senior ahead of him. So I can see where [James] needs more time, but in a few years he’s got a shot to be an NBA rotation player.”

James is a solid defender and secondary playmaker, but he isn’t an aggressive or efficient scorer at this point in his career, making him a pretty big project as a prospect. It’s possible that he won’t be drafted at all and there’s a strong argument to be made that he would be best suited returning to school, though it wouldn’t be a shock if he went in the second round.

Further casting him in his father’s shadow are the reports that some teams might consider drafting him just to give themselves a better chance at signing his father. A team potentially prioritizing nepotism on its draft board isn’t Bronny’s fault—and there have since been reports that LeBron’s free agency decision won’t come down to whether a team drafts his son or not—but it’s the sort of storyline that most players simply will never endure.

The truth is that there are only a handful of players in the entire history of basketball who have played at LeBron’s level, so his son could never be expected to do the same. But Bronny is facing an additional level of scrutiny—would he even be in consideration for an NBA roster were it not for his father?

B/R Hoops @brhoops

These players improved their draft stock at last week’s Combine, per @NBADraftWass:

– Bronny James
– AJ Johnson
– KJ Simpson
– Baylor Scheierman
– Enrique Freeman
– Nikola Djurisic


Bronny’s draft stock right now 📈

Jonathan Givony analyzes how James went from a fringe prospect to a potential second-round pick 🔗


“People love [Bronny’s] attitude, his enthusiasm, the way he understands what type of player that he is.” @DraftExpress ranks Bronny James No. 54 in his latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft 🏀 📈

That’s for him to prove going forward. He mostly impressed at the NBA Draft Combine, improving his draft stock. Time will tell if he’s able to carve out a role for himself at the NBA level and create his own legacy.

Related Articles

Back to top button