Bronny James vocal on possibly naming his kid LeBron James III

Tony Nguyen | Los Angeles Lakers
May 18, 2024

There’s no denying that Bronny James has benefited from being LeBron James‘ son. Not only is the younger James blessed with a genetic makeup similar to the one that helped make his father arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, but Bronny has also developed his game for years under the tutelage of coaches, trainers and family friends the likes of whom most NBA prospects don’t get the chance to learn from until they’re actually in the league. It goes without saying the spotlight that’s never left Bronny continues to help him as the 2024 NBA Draft fast approaches, too.

Don’t mistake the many advantages James was born with as any indication of his potentially privileged, problematic on and off-court approach, though. You’d have no idea he’s the first born of a legendary professional athlete whose net worth exceeds $1 billion while watching Bronny comport himself as a team-first role player on the floor and humble, unassuming 19-year-old off it—save for the unavoidable hype associated with his name, at least.

Bronny’s legal name, of course, is LeBron Raymone James Jr. Will Bronny follow in his dad’s footsteps by naming his son LeBron James III?

“Absolutely not,” he told Bleacher Report at the 2024 NBA Draft combine earlier this week.

LeBron James regrets making Bronny his namesake

Bronny James talks to the media during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny has navigated the inevitably choppy waters of familial fame better than anyone could’ve anticipated. It’s naive NBA fans and followers who are putting the unfair expectations of stardom on his increasingly broad shoulders. Following an uneven freshman campaign at USC no doubt marred by the cardiac arrest he suffered last August while preparing for his collegiate debut, Bronny has welcomed his potential NBA destiny as a role player in the vein of older Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Davion Mitchell, comparisons that align with his status as a likely second-round pick.

Just because Bronny is so clearly comfortable in his skin hardly means sharing his father’s name has always been easy. Why else would he so quickly blanche at the prospect of continuing his family’s line of LeBron Jameses through the next generation? The older James even admitted to challenges Bronny faced as a result of his name, revealing on a 2018 episode of The Shop that he regrets naming his first child after himself.

“I still regret giving my 14-year-old my name,” LeBron James said, referencing Bronny, per ESPN.

LeBron went on to explain that he always knew he’d name his son LeBron Jr. because his father wasn’t in his life growing up. Upon watching Bronny cut his teeth on the competitive youth AAU circuit, though, James realized just the inherent pressure of being his son is enough by itself without the additional weight of sharing his name.

“When I was younger, I didn’t have a dad,” he said, “so my whole thing was when I have a kid, not only is he gonna be a junior, I’m gonna do everything that this man didn’t do. They’re gonna experience things that I didn’t experience.

“The only thing I can do is give them the blueprint, and it’s up to them to take their own course whenever that time comes.”