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Bronny James on combine advice he is getting from his father: 'He's giving me words of encouragement'

Nick Profile Picby:Nick Geddes05/15/24


Bronny James
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re Bronny James, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a member of basketball’s Mount Rushmore in your ear as you navigate the NBA Draft process.

21 years ago, it was his dad — Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James — getting daily media coverage the likes of which we’ve never seen before or since. While not quite to that point, the interest level is there to see how the next James fares in the NBA.

James, speaking with the media at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Tuesday, said that his father has been giving him “words of encouragement” as he goes about impressing league scouts and attempting to get out from under a large shadow.

“Yeah, he’s been talking to me,” James said. “After the day, we check in and stuff like that. He’s giving me words of encouragement.”

James, 19, is expected to forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility and stay in the 2024 NBA Draft after just one season at USC. A former McDonald’s All-American, James suffered a cardiac arrest during a USC practice session last July. The health issue forced him to miss the start of his freshman season in Los Angeles before making his debut in December.

James appeared in 25 games for the Trojans (19.3 minutes per game), posting averages of 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He shot 36.6% from the field, 26.7% from three and 67.6% from the charity stripe.

Bronny James focused on ‘getting to the league’

He participated in a scrimmage alongside other prospects Tuesday, scoring four points on 2-of-8 shooting and grabbing four boards in 19 minutes.

“My job is just to play a role and play the right way, make sure I get my teammates involved and stuff like that,” James said, via ESPN. “But again, I was just super grateful for the opportunity to be out there. I felt like I should be out there.”

LeBron James, who turns 40 this December, has previously expressed a desire to play with his son before calling it a career. However, after the Lakers’ season came to an end, he said he “hadn’t given it much thought lately.”

Though it’s hard to project where James will go in the draft, his focus remains on simply “getting to the league.” And if that means not getting the chance to play alongside his four-time NBA champion father, that’s fine by him.

“I would be happy about getting to the league instead of me thinking about playing with my dad,” James said. “That’s not my mindset or not at all. I’m just trying to put in the work and see where it takes me from there.”