“Egregious Abuse Of Power from LBJ and Rich Paul”: Former NBA Player Steven Hunter Eviscerates Bronny James’ $7.9M Contract As “Manipulation” Because LeBron Is No MJ

Bronny’s James’ calculated entrance into the NBA with the help of his dad’s influence and a Lakers team who was willing to take a flier on him at pick No. 55, has caused plenty of debates on social media about nepotism and privilege, even among the Black and affluent. 

There is a large contingent of media, fans and casual basketball observers who believe Bronny James deserves the opportunity and if his pops got him that opportunity then more power to them. Others don’t like it one bit. Why? Because they can’t do it, which is understandable when trying to have a career or set your kids up for a career that’s supposed to be based on skill and skill alone. 

The fact that many second-round picks often sign two-way contracts with no guarantee, while Bronny was awarded a fully guaranteed four-year, $7.9 million contract, ticked off the detractors more. 

As LeBron unfriended anyone who threw shade their way, 10-year NBA vet Steven Hunter decided to do a full disclosure IG post, eviscerating LeBron James after seeing his son land that guaranteed deal.

Former NBA Veteran Steven Hunter Says LeBron James Isn’t Playing Fair

“For those that don’t know… Late second round picks don’t get guarantees (Especially before summer league). Typically, late second round picks don’t get 4-year guaranteed roster spot deals either. This wasn’t earned, I’m sorry… And it’s an egregious abuse of power from LBJ and Rich Paul,” Hunter said via his IG account (Steven Hunter/Instagram: @s_dot45).

Former NBA player Steven Hunter says LeBron James manipulated the NBA to get his son Bronny drafted and paid with security of a roster spot. The former 10-year pro says it lacks integrity and is not something MJ or Kobe would do. (Photo: Getty images)

LeBron and Rich Paul Deny Influencing Lakers Coaching Hire Or Bronny’s Draft Day

LeBron and Rich Paul have denied that they have anything to do with Bron’s podcast pal JJ Redick bening named Lakers’ head coach after Danny Hurley decided to stay at UConn and get the $50 million bag from them. 

They also have said that they didn’t influence the Lakers to draft Bronny, even though Paul was making it public what kinds of deals Bronny wouldn’t accept and calling certain teams to warn them not to draft him. 

Hunter continued: “It’s a slap in the face to all of the kids out there who work their a—- off to get to the league. It’s sneaky Hollywood s— like this that turns a lot of people off about LeBron… This is just another example of what they are talking about right when you try to like ’em. This is why most people prefer MJ or Kobe over him because you know at least MJ or Kobe gone be straight shooters…”

Hunter Says Michael Jordan Would Never Help His Sons Get Drafted If They Couldn’t

Hunter expresses what he feels are some general beliefs about LeBron and how he is perceived in the public eye. He also implies that things like this hurt LeBron’s legacy and moves him further from the GOAT conversation with MJ and Kobe. 

People often criticize the fact that none of MJ’s sons made it to the NBA, but Hunter theorizes that MJ could have easily made it happen if he wanted to use his influence and push the issue to position his son as LeBron did. Hunter basically implies that MJ has more integrity. 

“Trust me, MJ could’ve easily gotten one of his sons in the league if he chose to abuse his power like that… But he didn’t because MJ stands on earned, not given, and he would’ve never given his son a sense of entitlement which is what LeBron James just did with Bronny…

Not taking anything away from Bronny nor am I upset at Bronny… Just know that this is a manipulation of our league and the integrity of what it truly takes to get there.”

Who Is Former NBA Player Steven Hunter?

Hunter wasn’t considered an elite player during an NBA career that spanned five teams between 2001 and 2010 after being drafted 15th overall by the Orlando Magic. 

For such a high pick, he didn’t exactly take the league by storm, averaging just 4.5 points and 3.2 boards across 400 games.

In any event, Bronny, according to his dad, has been blocking out all negative criticism, especially after his Summer League debut produced a 2-for-9 shooting performance before it was announced that he would be sitting out the next game due to knee swelling. 

Related: LeBron James Is Most Powerful Basketball Player Ever: Bronny James To L.A. Lakers With Pick No. 55 In 2024 NBA Draft Was A Foregone Conclusion

“I don’t know if people really understand Bronny,” LeBron told ESPN at a USA Basketball practice for the upcoming Paris Olympics. “He doesn’t care. I actually care a little bit. When I came in [as a rookie], I wanted people to like me, and some of the things that people were saying about me kind of bothered me early on in my career. … He doesn’t give a f—.”

“He does not care about anybody,” LeBron added. “He doesn’t even listen to that stuff. He’s like the coolest. He’s like the complete opposite of his dad. His dad will say something [to address the critics]. Bro does not care. … Everything that’s being said about him, he really does not care.”

This criticism of Bronny James will continue to be a regular occurrence, but he will have the opportunity to change the narrative with the way he plays. The Lakers seem willing to give him every opportunity, despite what the malcontents feel. Or if their beef is valid. 

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