Will LeBron James and son Bronny play together in the NBA?
After LeBron James signs a two-year contract extension with the Lakers, speculation grows that he wants to be part of the league's first active father-son duo with Bronny
The big news is that LeBron James just signed an $85M dollar, two-year max contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The big speculation is that James is waiting until his son, 16-year-old LeBron ‘Bronny” James, Jr. is old enough to make the league and play with him. Several major sites and reporters claim that if the NBA drops its controversial “one and done” rule where a player entering the league has to do at least one year of college or be 19-years-old for NBA eligibility that Bronny can come to the league straight out of high school.
Before the rule was changed, James was drafted in 2003, from St. Vincent – St. Mary High School in Akron, where he won three state championships in four years.
Bronny, a 6’2 freshman at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles, may be able to join his dad by his graduation as it is widely expected that the ‘one and done’ rule could be changed by then.
But although NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in 2019 that he believed it would likely change by the 2023 season, per The Washington Post, recent talks between the league and the NBA Player’s Association have stalled, putting a potential LeBron/Bronny NBA linkup further out or reach.
“The appetite among NBA teams for eliminating this rule, I’m not sure exactly if it’s there right now,” Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. said on The Woj Pod hosted by ESPN’s basketball reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, earlier this year. “In talking to GMs and executives, I think that they’ve made it clear to their owners that they aren’t in any rush whatsoever right now to eliminate one-and-done. They like the way that things are set up right now with players going to college for a year, or going to Australia or now the G League.”
Those speculating that LeBron has playing with Bronny in mind are emboldened by an interview he gave in 2018.
“I’m 33, [LeBron James Jr.] is 13. … If he has a chance [to play in the NBA], and it seems like he can make it, you got to,” he told ESPN after a game, per Bleacher Report. He expressed similar sentiments in a GQ article in 2017.
“I don’t know if I could play washed, but I damn sure would love to stick around if my oldest son can have an opportunity to play against me,” he told GQ. “That’d be, that’d be the icing on the cake right there.”
Bronny has to make the league, though, and LeBron, an Iron Man among NBA players who’s played 16 seasons would have to last for three of four more. To put James’ career in perspective, only one of the first 29 picks in his 2003 draft class, Carmelo Anthony, is still an active NBA player. Kyle Korver is the only other player in the entire draft still active.
According to Sportscasting.com, though Bronny has the name recognition like his father and the potential to be great, he’s still a freshman and not currently the best player on his team. That distinction, according to the site, belongs to teammates BJ Boston and Zaire Williams. (Their former teammate, Zaire Wade, son of Dwyane, transferred to another school).
Yet after four championships with three teams, James has proven himself capable of anything – even willing his son into the league to play beside him. Although several NBA dads have sent sons to the league – including Dell and Steph Curry, Doc and Austin Rivers, Mychal and Klay Thompson, Tim Hardaway and Tim Hardaway, Jr. and most recently, Kenyon Martin and Kenyon Martin, jr. who just signed to the Houston Rockets, no father-son duo has ever played in the NBA at the same time.
Despite his tremendous career and all the accolades he’s received, James says doing that would be the sweetest.
“You want to ask me what is the greatest achievement of my life?” James said to media before the 2018 NBA Finals in a clip that aired on his web platform Uninterrupted.
“If I’m on the same court as my son in the NBA. That would be number one in my lifetime as an NBA player.”
Check out highlights from Bronny’s freshman year below:
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