A tumultuous first season with the Los Angeles Lakers did not pan out as many expected, as the team missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year.
For LeBron James, it snapped his NBA Finals streak at eight consecutive appearances and marked his first time not appearing in the playoffs since his second season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With the 2019 NBA Playoffs days away from beginning the respective Conference Finals, James is remaining connected to the hardwood in a different capacity. He traveled with his eldest son, Bronny, and Strive For Greatness for their participation in the 2019 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) tournament in Indiana.
On Saturday, Bronny and his team faced Michigan-based Bates Fundamentals, who are led by top class of 2022 prospect Emoni Bates. While Bates finished with 43 points, it was Bronny and Strive For Greatness who cruised to a win.
They were assisted along the way by James, as he not only provided instruction and words of encouragement to his son but the entire team.
This of course was not the first time James made his presence felt on the youth circuit. Prior to an AAU game last summer, he emphasized the need to accept whatever role would put the team in the best position to succeed.
Also last year, James attended one of Bronny’s AAU games in Las Vegas against Dwyane Wade’s son, Zaire, at Bishop Gorman High School. James joined the layup line and staged an impromptu dunk contest.
If the 16-year veteran has it his way, there will be a time when he and Bronny share an NBA court together. Should the NBA continue making progress toward changing the Draft eligibility rule, the earliest that would come is in 2022.