Bronny James is going to blaze his own trail into the NBA

Bronny James Jr. (Sports Peach Jam Strive For Greatness And The Skill Factory)
Bronny James Jr. (Sports Peach Jam Strive For Greatness And The Skill Factory) /

Being the son of any professional athlete may come with unwanted expectations, but being the son of a superstar draws a far greater level of scrutiny. For Bronny James, murmurs about a future NBA career grow louder each year with new highlights, growth spurts, and the public encouragement of his father, LeBron James.

Through the media circus and all of the hype, Bronny James has stayed the course by focusing on his game and making incremental steps to expand his skill set. With a familiar charm and confidence at just 17 years old, the heir apparent to the King’s Throne bears a similar playstyle to his senior. Most recently listed at 6-foot-2, James Jr.’s game is rooted in sound basketball fundamentals with excellent finishing ability, a strong handle, and solid shooting ability. His presence on the court is palpable through unselfish play and consistent effort on both sides of the floor.

The internet exploded on August 15 when Bronny James threw down a thunderous slam with his AAU team on the AXE European Tour. While pushing up court against a single defender, James Jr. shook his opponent off-center with an in-and-out dribble and elevated to punch a right-handed poster over a player from the U18 French Select Team. He scored 25 points in the game, and for a brief moment in the lull of an offseason, captured the basketball world’s attention.

Consensus rankings are inconsistent on Bronny James. The ESPN 100 ranks him as a four-star recruit and the 39th ranked player in the country—a full 18 spots ahead of Rivals. He falls somewhere in the middle on 24/7 Sports at No. 49 overall. Regardless of what his rankings say, James Jr. is a hot commodity for coaches and recruiters. Between his incredible potential, high baseline of skill, and excellent work ethic, the young star will be able to pick any route that best positions him for the NBA when he becomes eligible in 2024.

Between college and the G League, Bronny James can select his path to the NBA.

No matter where he’s ranked, James Jr. is going to be one of the most coveted prospects in the world. Entering  his final year at Sierra Canyon High School, the incoming senior is willing to learn and put in the work to be a great basketball player—regardless of who his Dad is. However, any college recruiter knows that with Bronny comes LeBron. That’s an automatic boost in revenue from ticket sales, merchandising opportunities, national TV games and an instant increase in media attention.

This will be a challenge for the James Family as they meet with coaches and make sure they have more interest in developing Bronny’s game than the brand of their program. Any basketball purist with good intentions can see that this is a strong opportunity to work with a talented prospect and in turn, win more games with his help. It would surely be interesting to watch as the teenager whose mere presence packs gyms across the world fills a low volume role in a college offense.

According to ESPN, five schools have already offered Bronny James a scholarship: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, and USC. He still has plenty of time to improve his stock with a chance to crack into the five-star territory by the time his senior campaign comes to a close.

Though college is the traditional route and a more ideal social scenario, Bronny James might have his best shot at developing into an impact pro but entering the NBA G League for the 2023-24 season. This offers a chance to escape the media circus that’s waiting for him in college and focus solely on honing his craft with likeminded people. Several high-profile prospects have had great success going from the G League Ignite to the NBA in recent years including Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Dyson Daniels, and in next year’s class, Scoot Henderson.

The truth of the matter is that the NBA will be waiting regardless of which path he takes. Entering his 20th season, LeBron remains one of, if not the single most impactful player in basketball. While the current Lakers haven’t positioned him to do so, LeBron remains an automatic threat to reach the NBA Finals. For years, he’s mentioned the dream of teaming up with his son. It came up again during a recent episode of his show, “The Shop.

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If drafting Bronny means you get a talented young player and a chance to sign arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport, teams will be lining up to select him in the 2024 NBA Draft.