NBA Hoops

Bronny James focused on simply ‘getting to the league’

Bronny James focused on simply 'getting to the league'

CHICAGO — As Bronny James leaned back in his chair and surveyed the swarm of media members that had surrounded him Tuesday night at the NBA draft combine, he acknowledged the extra attention that comes with being the son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James can be “a lot sometimes.”

Yet, the 19-year-old USC guard reiterated that his goal is simply to play in the NBA, not necessarily on the same team as his father.

“I would be happy about getting to the league instead of me thinking about playing with my dad,” Bronny 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.”

LeBron James, who at age 39 completed his 21st NBA season in 2023-24, has repeatedly expressed a desire to team with his son before his career ends, even though he said following the end of the Lakers’ season that he “hadn’t given it much thought lately.”

Bronny James did not grant interviews during his freshman season at USC, a decision he said was made by his advisors. Addressing the media Tuesday was one of his first opportunities to state his future goals, and he sought to create some distance between himself and his father.

He also shot down comparisons to lead initiators of offense around the NBA and instead compared his game to players such as the Boston CelticsJrue Holiday and Derrick White or the Sacramento KingsDavion Mitchell for the way they influence winning by exceling in their roles.

“Bronny was just a nickname that I was just given when I was younger,” James said. “But everything that follows my dad, people just try to link me with that and all the greatness that he’s achieved. I haven’t done anything yet, so I feel like there needs to be that divide between Bronny and LeBron.

“Everyone’s heard this before. I just want to have people know my name is Bronny James and not being identified as just LeBron James’ son. I feel like that would great.”

James got a chance to start separating himself at the combine, after being cleared to participate this week by an NBA panel following a cardiac arrest and procedure to repair a congenital heart defect nine months ago.

James participated in a scrimmage with other draft prospects Tuesday, scoring four points (shooting 2-for-8 on field goals) and grabbing four rebounds in 19 minutes. It did not maintain the momentum James had built following a strong showing on the opening night of the combine, which…

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