LeBron James believes his son LeBron James Jr., aka Bronny, is good enough to play for any college if he so chooses. Of course, it’s the job of a parent to support their children, so this isn’t unique. But LeBron is arguably the most famous athlete in the world and Bronny is maybe the most famous high school hooper in the world, and with that comes a lot of frenzy.
Is Bronny James Worthy Of The Hype?
“I think Bronny can go to any college he wants to,” LeBron said to reporter from The Oregonian this week. “All I have to do is pick up the phone. If Bronny says he wants to go there, he’s good enough.”
That’s true, and it’s not like Bronny wasn’t just voted a McDonald’s All-American, which is reserved for the elite of elite high school performers. Almost every big-time pro played in that game prior to college or the pros.
Bronny James was just named a McDonald’s All-American 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Sz2CNUUU4f
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 24, 2023
Of course, LeBron can call any college coach in America and say his son wants to come play for him and he’ll likely get what he wants. Now the question as to whether Bronny is good enough. That remains to be seen.
Where Is Bronny James Ranked Nationally?
Depending on which scouting service you follow, Bronny is ranked anywhere from 33rd to 43rd in the class of 2023 hoopers. That’s very good. But the amount of fanfare that comes with him, because of who is dad is, doesn’t warrant where he’s currently ranked.
“The expectation doesn’t match the talent level, or at least not yet,” one coach says. “And that’s where it gets messy.”
NBA player development coach David Thorpe said of Bronny last summer, that he “feels him” when he watches him on film and loves his maturity and competitiveness. Thorpe also recognizes the enormity of the family Bronny was born into.
“His last name is almost always a blessing. Almost,” Thorpe said.
Bronny has offers from Ohio State, Memphis and the University of Southern California and is very interested in Oregon according to Bron. Though the latter has yet to offer him a scholarship.
By all accounts he can play at any of the schools mentioned, but that surname carries an unfair weight and expectation. His father was a phenom by the time he was a senior in high school. Already the national player of the year as a junior, an award he would win again as a senior. Ohio’s three-time Mr. Basketball and a stout 6-foot-8 elite athlete, playmaker and scorer.
That’s not who Bronny is as a player and that’s OK. But for some it will be impossible for them to watch him and not expect similar results to his father.
“Every time people saw him they expected him to get 35 points because he’s LeBron’s kid,” says one college coach. “You have to like him for who he is. He’s a spot-up point guard who makes his team better.”
What Does Bronny James Do Well?
Bronny is 6 feet 2 and is a combo guard that can play either point or shooting guard. He’s a connector with a very high basketball IQ (no surprise there) who loves to make his teammates better. He has a nice shot and has shown more of an appetite to take over on offense this season. But it’s still not his natural thought process. He’s a very good athlete and uses that to his advantage on the defensive end.
That’s a good player, who with the right development could perhaps one day be a starting-level NBA player.
Unfortunately for some, that’s not good enough.
As his father’s career winds down and he continues to say he’s hanging on to play with Bronny in the league, that adds another layer of pressure not only to Bronny but organizations around the league.
Will it be worth it? Time will tell. As far as LeBron throwing his weight around to get Bronny into college, he wouldn’t be the first wealthy person to use his celebrity to enhance his child’s position in life. Maybe we need to take notes.