Kevin Garnett Would ‘Take a Chance’ on Bronny James, Draws Kobe Bryant Comp

Kevin Garnett

Getty Kevin Garnett, formerly of the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Garnett, one of LeBron James‘ oldest and fiercest rivals, has good feelings on the future of Bronny James after what he saw at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

Garnett said he would “take a chance” on Bronny James if he were running a team, primarily because of the former USC Trojan’s genes — a paradigm he loosely correlated with that of the late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, whose father was also an exceptional professional basketball player.

Garnett made the comments on his “Ticket & The Truth” podcast, which he co-hosts with former Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce.

“Bronny looks really good, [Paul]. He looks really good. He looks poised, he looks like he wasn’t rattled by everything that was going around, he looks like he’s used to the moment, he had a good session where he shot the ball well,” Garnett said. “If I am a team bro, I would actually take a chance on that. Because greatness runs through bro’s veins. You got to know at some point, he’s going to have a growth spurt and it’s going to click.”

Garnett then made the comparison to Bryant, though he was clear that he doesn’t see Bronny James as “Young Kobe.”

“[Bryant] had great bones and great makeup to build off of. Bronny shows some of that same make,” Garnett continued. “I’m not calling him young Kobe or none of that, but I’m saying that potential, when you see him go through the shooting drills, when you see [he] got the vertical, when you see him going [through] the athletics. … I saw it. I was watching it, and I was like, ‘Man, if somebody got that early and was able to develop that.'”

Bronny James ‘Legitimized Himself’ as NBA Draft Prospect at Combine

Bronny James

GettyBronny James, formerly of the USC Trojans.

Garnett wasn’t the only interested party to walk away from the combine in Chicago last week feeling better about Bronny James than previously.

Among them was Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who said several NBA people believe that the younger James “legitimized himself” over the week.

“This is a positive week in Chicago for Bronny James. He has moved in to the late second round of our latest projections. We gonna have him at 54 in our next update. That’s all the way from the backend of our top 100″ Givony said during an interview with “NBA Today” on May 17. “Talking to NBA people out here, they feel like he has legitimized himself as a real NBA prospect. He’s not some kind of sideshow, LeBron’s son that the cameras are following.”

Bronny James Displayed Athleticism, Improved Shooting at NBA Combine

Bronny James, Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James

GettyBronny James, formerly of the USC Trojans.

Givony went on to cite several aspects of Bronny James’ week that are playing into his favor, including a 19-of-25 performance in the 3-point shooting drill (good enough for No. 2 overall) and a vertical leap measuring 40.5 inches (No. 4 overall at the combine).

Bronny James struggled in his first 5-on-5 game, per Givony, but went on to exhibit versatility, professional-level defensive skills and a “feel for the game.” Givony also noted that Bronny James — who averaged just 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists across less than 20 minutes per game during his freshman campaign at USC — has a realistic sense of who he is as a player, which NBA personnel also liked.

His measurements, which came in at 6-feet, 1.5-inches tall and 210 pounds, render him undersized for the league. However, if he hits a growth spurt as Garnett suggested he might, that becomes less of a concern.

Bronny James also suffered cardiac arrest in July 2023, though doctors have medically cleared him to continue playing basketball.

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