Bronny James reveals harsh reality of being in LeBron James’ shadow before NBA Draft

Tony Nguyen | Los Angeles Lakers
May 21, 2024

There is always pressure on players entering the NBA Draft. When you are the son of arguably the greatest NBA player of all-time, though, that pressure reaches an entirely new level. Bronny James happens to be in that exact position heading into the 2024 NBA Draft.

Of course, Bronny is used to the pressure at this point. He’s received no shortage of attention for a few years now. Still, constantly being in LeBron’s shadow can prove to be difficult.

“It’s tough. A lot of criticism gets thrown my way,” Bronny said of playing basketball while being the son of LeBron, via SiriusXM NBA Radio. “I gotta deal with it. They don’t know what I’ve been through. I just try to make the best of my opportunities that’s given to me.”

Bronny endured an up-and-down first college basketball season at USC. He displayed signs of potential at moments, but there are people around the NBA world who feel as if Bronny would benefit from a second college basketball season.

Why did Bronny James enter NBA Draft?

Southern California Trojans guard Bronny James (6) is greeted by father LeBron James during the game against the Washington State Cougars at Galen Center.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So is the possibility of playing with his father the primary reason Bronny entered the draft? That may be part of it, but every basketball player’s dream is to reach the NBA. Bronny revealed a message that his mother told him, which seemed to play a role in his decision.

“I always want to end up where I’m happy most,” Bronny said. “Mom has always told me take me where my heart wants me to be. I just found happiness in what I’m doing right now and I feel like that’s where I want myself to be at.”

Bronny was also asked during his SiriusXM NBA Radio interview if he was always focused on basketball as his primary sport.

“I played other sports,” he said. “I played soccer. Wasn’t allowed to play football, my mom didn’t allow that. So I’ve always been a sports guy but basketball was my cup of tea.”

Bronny’s draft projection

Bronny James participates in the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors are currently swirling about Bronny James’ potential draft placement. In fact, one rumor suggests that teams are willing to draft Bronny in the first-round in order to entice LeBron, who has a player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, to sign with them.

The Lakers may be open to the idea of drafting Bronny as well. In order to compete during the 2024-25 campaign, the Lakers will either need to find a way to keep LeBron or they will have to sign/trade for another star or two. Selecting Bronny in the draft would increase their chances of keeping LeBron on the roster.

Teams will want Bronny more for just the purpose of LeBron James, though. After all, it is uncertain how long LeBron will continue playing in the NBA for.

Bronny features potential as a distributor on the floor. He is still developing scoring consistency, but he could become a reliable scorer at some point.

Sure, Bronny James is not the top prospect heading into the 2024 NBA Draft. However, he is receiving interest nonetheless.