Lakers’ Draft Target Bronny James Clears the Air on Potentially Playing With Dad LeBron

Lakers star LeBron James with son Bronny

Getty Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans greets his dad, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, before the game against the Stanford Cardinal.

NBA Draft prospect Bronny James made it clear that playing with his father LeBron James is not at the top of his priority even as the Los Angeles Lakers are very open to potentially drafting him, according to The Athletic.

“My dream has always just been to put my name out, make a name for myself, and get to the NBA, which is everyone’s end goal that’s here,” Bronny James told reporters at the Draft Combine in Chicago. “I never thought about just playing with my dad, but of course, he’s brought it up a couple of times. But yeah, I don’t think about it much.”

Nevertheless, he would be happy if he realizes his NBA dream and at the same time wear the same jersey as his father.

“When I get there, I don’t think it would be just like me and my dad,” Bronny James told reporters. “I would be happy about getting to the league instead of me thinking about playing with my dad. That’s not my mindset right now at all. I’m just trying to put in the work and see where it takes me from there.”

In 2022, James senior told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd that his last year in the NBA “will be played with my son.”

But James has since changed his stance, telling ESPN in January that he would consider it fulfilled if Bronny steps on an NBA court with him “either in the same uniform or a matchup against him.”

The Lakers superstar has a $51.4 million player option which he needs to decide on June 29, two days after the NBA Draft. By then, James would know if the Lakers follow through on their openness to fulfill his father-and-son dream.

Bronny James Turns Heads in NBA Combine Drills

Bronny James was off to an impressive start at the NBA Draft Combine as he logged in a 40.5-inch vertical and made 19-of-25  3-pointers, including hitting 12 in a row to close the drill.

Bleacher Report’s draft analyst Jonathan Wasserman said it was a promising showing for the one-and-done freshman, who overcame a cardiac arrest last summer to continue playing basketball.

“While scouts don’t typically put heavy stock into shooting drills, it was still promising to see James restore some of the shotmaking credibility he brought to USC, considering he only hit 16-of-60 threes during his one season.

Aside from making dozens of jumpers, he showed poise and composure while more cameras and crowds shifted toward him compared to his peers. James’ professionalism is obvious and could certainly make it easier for teams to talk themselves into gambling on the high-profile 19-year-old,” Wasserman wrote on May 14 after Day 1 of the NBA Draft Combine.

Bronny James Compares His Game to 3 Notable Defensive Players

Bronny James struggled from the field in his scrimmage debut at the NBA Draft Combine, making only 2 of 8 shots. But he was active defensively, recording two steals while scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds in 19 minutes.

His team, St. Andrews, won 89-81, as he wound up a plus-4 as a starter.

After the scrimmages, the Lakers’ draft prospect talked to reporters and was asked who among the active NBA players resembles his game.

Bronny James’ answer is a glimpse of his potential ceiling in the NBA.

He referred to Jrue Holiday, Davion Mitchell and Derrick White, who are all guards whose calling card is playing dogged defense.

Holiday is the most decorated among the three players Bronny James mentioned. The Boston Celtics point guard is a three-time All-NBA Defensive First Team and a two-time NBA All-Star.