Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James could soon add a unique accomplishment to the impressive slate of accolades he has garnered in his illustrious career: becoming the first father to share the NBA court with his son.
As for now, rules still prevent high school players to participate in the NBA Draft. But that could change by 2023, making Bronny James eligible to declare for that year’s class after finishing K-12 education.
Bronny has shown an NBA-caliber potential since transferring to Sierra Canyon, which boasts one of the best high school basketball programs in the country. Most recently, he put on a show in the 71-53 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary during the Chosen-1’s Challenge event at Staples Center on Sunday.
LeBron sat next to Lakers teammates Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook that day, watching his son score a team-high 19 points to lead Sierra Canyon to a blowout win over his former high school team.
The four-time NBA champion has said watching his boys play basketball “it’s always just a proud dad moment” — even if it results in his alma mater’s defeat.
“I’ve always told them to just play hard, have fun and stretch before every game,” LeBron said.
“Play as a team, be a great teammate and just play the game that you love to play. To be there Saturday night at Staples where it’s my home against my Alma Mater, and to see the way my oldest son performed in front of the whole family and friends and things of that nature, nothing brings more joy to me at this point than seeing my kids smiling and having fun and doing what they want to do.
“So that puts everything into perspective when I’m able to do that, that was great for me.”
LeBron added there’s “absolutely” more to the idea of playing with Bronny in the NBA than just speculation.
“My son is putting in the work, and we never talk about it, but his dream is to play in the NBA,” he said.
“That’s what he hopes, to get into the NBA and play at a high level and he has my support and my blueprint. So obviously with health and a little bit of luck, that will be the ultimate thing to be on the same court as my son playing this beautiful game. So that’s a long time, a long time between here and there so we’ll just take it every day and try to maximize each and every day as his own.”
LeBron’s free agency timeline aligns with Bronny’s high school graduation
LeBron extended his contract with the Lakers in 2020, tying him to L.A. through the 2022-23 season. Intentionally or not, that means the All-Star forward will enter free agency right when Bronny graduates from Sierra Canyon.
Stars will have to align if LeBron and his son were to become not only the first-ever father-son pair to play in the NBA at the same time, but also to share the court as teammates. But the Lakers superstar seems to have made sure to possess the necessary contract flexibility in case they do.
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