Part of what makes LeBron James' rags to riches story so inspiring is that he's become one of the great American success stories without ever knowing or having the influence of his father. His story could add another chapter if he had the chance to play in the NBA with his oldest son, Bronny.
James agreed to a two-year/$85 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, which will keep him in purple and gold through the 2022-23 season.
Ahead of his age-38 season, James could become a free agent, with NBA Insider Shams Charania pointing out that if the NBA begins to allow players to go straight from high school to the NBA prior to then, Bronny would be eligible for the NBA Draft. Drafting Bronny, should he enter the NBA Draft, could be a tool to woo LeBron Sr. to your team for what will likely be the final seasons of his illustrious career.
Whether LeBron would want to leave Los Angeles, the place he's set himself up for post-career success at, is unclear. The opportunity to play with LeBron Jr. would be such a unique opportunity, though.
Of course, it's entirely possible, if not likely, that should Bronny enter the NBA Draft after his senior year of high school, he won't be the top prospect. Theoretically then, the Lakers could remain one of the sport's elite teams in the interim, and still set themselves up to draft Bronny and re-sign LeBron after his current deal expires.
Bronny is currently a sophomore at Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California. COVID-19 cut his freshman season short, so it's hard to make much of an evaluation on the 6-foot-2, 165-pound guard. In six games in his freshman season, Bronny averaged just 6.8 points per game, but as Evan Daniels of 24/7 Sports notes, the 16-year-old could develop into an elite prospect if he has a growth spurt, which feels entirely possible when you consider who his father is.
LeBron Sr., of course, never went to college, instead going directly from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio to the NBA, when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Two years later, the NBA stopped allowing players to be drafted directly from high school, a controversial rule change that has led many star prospects to play one collegiate season and then enter the NBA Draft. Certainly, there are some prospects, like LeBron Sr., that were ready to enter the NBA when they were 18.
Whether Bronny fits that mold remains to be seen. 24/7 Sports notes that Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA have all shown interest in Bronny already, with Kentucky going as far as making an offer to him. It's entirely possible that the family will decide that Bronny could use the seasoning of college after his high school career, even if jumping directly to the NBA is an option.
Of course, with how gracefully LeBron Sr. has aged, there's no saying that he won't still be in the NBA when his son leaves college.