July 16, 2024

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Lakers draftee Bronny James could make history with dad LeBron

Lakers draftee Bronny James could make history with dad LeBron

LeBron “Bronnie” James Jr. takes his talents to… Los Angeles, where history awaits him and his father.

James, the son of NBA star LeBron James, was drafted by his father the Lakers with the 55th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft on Thursday after not being selected in the first round. If the duo takes the court together, it will be the first time a father and son have played together in NBA history.

The 6-foot-2-inch goalie from USC was highly debated before he was selected. Although much of the hype may come from his last name, his playing style has steadily evolved over the years to prepare him for this moment.

Yahoo Sports NBA draft analyst Kristen Beck predicted James would be selected 55th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.

“James is far from a finished product, but he proved he belongs in this draft class as a prospect at the combine, shooting the ball well and showing more scoring potential in the lane with his floater,” Beck wrote in her latest mock draft article.

Despite sharing genes with one of the greatest basketball players of all time, experts weren’t as keen on James entering the draft as they were when his father was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in 2003. One reason was that it was James’s disappointing freshman season at USC. The guard averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Add to that a poor Trojans team, and it’s clear that James’ first and only college season didn’t go as planned.

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On July 25, James collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest during a basketball practice at the University of Southern California. He was hospitalized and listed in stable condition before being released three days later. The health disaster derailed what was supposed to be a warm-up for his college season. He was unable to practice until late November before suiting up in December for his first college game.

James showed flashes of potential during the year. One of his best performances early in the season was against Oregon State when he scored 15 points.

James only scored more than 10 points three times. For every exciting quick shot that reminded fans and scouts of his basketball pedigree, there came a puzzling shot or decision on the court that raised questions about James’ legitimacy as one of the most promising players in the NBA.

“We wouldn’t talk about him if his name was Joe Thomas.” An NBA executive told the New York Post,“A small goalkeeper who won’t grow much, but he has a very good sense of how to play. He’s not great on the ball, but he’s a good shooter, strong, vertically athletic and a good defender at the moment.”

Despite the reluctance of many scouts and executives, history shows that the children of NBA players often excel at their positionality.

“You don’t want to rank him high just because of his father, so maybe you’ll rank him lower,” one unnamed Eastern Conference general manager told Yahoo Sports’ Tom Haberstroh.

Haberstroh has noticed a trend with players like Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, who had a father in the league, sometimes turning into All-Star caliber players.

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“While we’re talking about Bronny’s candidacy, it’s worth pointing out that the success of second-generation players like Brunson is not the exception; it’s the rule. He’s surpassed Jalen Brunson (33rd in 2018; son of Rick), and Domantas Sabonis (11th in 2016). ; son of Arvydas), Stephen Curry (7th in 2009; son of Dell) prospects — not to mention perennial All-Stars like Kobe Bryant (13th in 1996; son of Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant), and Klay Thompson (11th in 2011; son of Michael) and Devin Booker (13th overall in 2015; son of Melvin) weren’t even top 10 picks.”

Many thought James would be drafted simply because his father told The Athletic in 2022 that he wanted to play with his son in the league before he retired.

“I’m going to play my last year with my son,” LeBron said at the time. “Wherever Bronny is, I’m going to play there. I’ll do anything to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at this point.”

Since then, LeBron has backed away from his comments a bit. According to his agent Rich Paul, who also represents Bronny James, the 39-year-old “is no longer comfortable playing with Bronny.”

“If he does, he will, if he doesn’t, he won’t.” Paul told ESPN,. “No agreement has been reached that guarantees that if the Lakers draft Bronny at 55, he will join him [LeBron] “He’ll renew his contract. And if that’s the case, I’ll force them to sign him at 17. We don’t need to abuse their influence. The Lakers can pick Bronny and LeBron won’t renew his contract. And LeBron won’t go to Phoenix for a minimum deal. We can Smash this now there are other teams that love Bronny.”

This is what Paul said publicly. Maybe things were different in secret. As the second round ended, former Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers, now an ESPN broadcaster, said Paul was calling teams and telling them that if they picked Bronny, he would play in Australia instead.

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This means that Paul had a specific destination in mind, which now appears to have been achieved.

James finished his high school career at Sierra Canyon as a four-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American. The guard averaged 14.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals his senior year in high school.