Lakers pick Brony James in NBA draft, pairing him with LeBron James

New York – Los Angeles Lakers Broney James was selected with the 55th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, a major step toward Lakers star LeBron James’ longtime dream of teaming up with his oldest son in the NBA.

The 19-year-old James, who spent one season at the University of Southern California and was selected in the second round of the draft, completed a remarkable comeback from a sudden heart attack suffered during practice with the Trojans in July 2023. After the incident, James’ family announced that he would return to basketball after consulting with several doctors, and he made his USC debut in December.

The NBA’s inaugural two-day draft is set for Wednesday’s first round at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Thursday’s second round at ESPN Studios in Manhattan. The James family traveled to New York City for draft week, but Bronnie James did not attend draft ceremonies and was unavailable for media interviews. Surrounded by friends and family in a small gathering, James choked back tears and put on a Lakers hat His mother, Savannah James, presented him.

Following his selection, James He shared a brief reaction on Instagram: “Beyond blessed.”

James’ agent, Clutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, had “a plan and a place” to land his client with the Lakers, ESPN commentator Bob Myers told Thursday’s draft broadcast.

“Rich Paul calls the teams [and saying] Don’t take Brony James,” Myers said early in the second round. “[Paul] If you take him, he will go to Australia.

LeBron James, 39, has long hoped to become the basketball version of Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr., who played together in 1990 and 1991 with MLB’s Seattle Mariners. LeBron James is his son’s constant presence at USC. High school and AAU competitive sports in recent years.

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“There is no feeling [f—ing] “The world is better than raising my boys to be men.” LeBron James wrote on Wednesday With an Instagram photo of him playing basketball with his 17-year-old sons Brony and Bryce. “I get emotional thinking about your journey so far! Thank you for letting me be your dad and be part of your compass through life’s trials and tribulations!”

After drafting, LeBron James shared a Nike ad on Instagram It featured his son’s tagline: “Pressure is never a question…passion is always the answer.”

If LeBron and Brony James take the court for the Lakers, they will be the first father-son duo in NBA history to do so.

“When I think of the Los Angeles Lakers, I think of a franchise where basketball history unfolds and takes place,” Lakers general manager Rob Belinka said Thursday at a news conference in Los Angeles. “Never in NBA history has a father and son shared an NBA basketball court. It feels like something magical.

Belinka said James had a “great” pre-draft workout for the Lakers and they got to know each other over an hour-long lunch at the team’s facility.

“Brony, first and foremost, is of high character,” Belinka said. “Secondly, he’s a young man who works incredibly hard. Those are the qualities we look for in developing players and adding to the core of our development. … He’s not someone who took shortcuts or expected or deserved basketball opportunities. He’s worked for everything he’s gotten, including being selected today. [pick] 55”

Brony James, who first gained national attention as a freshman at Sierra Canyon School north of Los Angeles, blossomed into a four-star recruit and 2023 McDonald’s All-American.

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At USC, James was one of the top-earning Name, Image and Appearance (NIL) athletes due to his popularity and huge social media following. On the court, the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25 games and spent most of the season coming off the bench. James flashed his ability as a perimeter defender, but he wasn’t used as a primary playmaker and shot just 26.7 percent on three-pointers.

After the Trojans went a disappointing 15-18 and failed to reach the NCAA Tournament, coach Andy Enfield left for Southern Methodist University and James entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, declaring for the NBA draft. He later chose to remain in the draft and participated in the NBA’s scouting combine in Chicago.

“I’ve had a year with some ups and downs, but everything has added to my growth as a person, student and athlete,” James said on Instagram in April when he announced his departure from USC. “I have decided to enter the NBA draft while maintaining my college eligibility and will also enter the NCAA transfer portal. Thank you to USC for an amazing freshman year, and always thank you to my family, friends, doctors, athletic trainers and fans for their support.”

LeBron James’ contract with the Lakers includes a $54.1 million player option through the 2024-25 season, and he has until Saturday to decide whether to exercise it. The 21-year veteran is reportedly seeking a multi-year extension with the Lakers, who hired James’ podcast co-host JJ Redick as their coach this month.

“I’m going to dedicate this season to Brony because of what happened this summer,” LeBron James said in October. “It puts everything into perspective. No matter what’s going on in your life at that time, the most important thing is your family. To see what he’s been through the last few months, it’s been a lot. I can only imagine what it’s been like for him because it’s been so much for me and our family.”

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