Life Under The Microscope: Bronny James’ Ranking Drops Leaving The World To Wonder What’s Next

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 05: Bronny James #0 of Sierra Canyon HS during the game against the Glenbard West HS at Wintrust Arena on February 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

It cannot be easy being the son of LeBron James, especially when you are a junior and predicted to be the heir apparent to his athletic largesse. However, as he is more widely known, LeBron James Jr., or Bronny James, lives this reality. As the prodding of his basketball potential continues, the results have gone from stellar to average in the current iterations of rankings.

James is a high school junior at Sierra Canyon High School, one of his class’s most talked-about high school prospects. Previously occupying the 29th overall slot on the Rivals recruiting ranking, Bronny’s stock has fallen as his ranking dropped to No. 60.

That’s a substantial slide for any highly touted recruit, but for the son of LeBron James, who has made an athletic impact, it feels gloomy. James is a four-star recruit that is part of the class of 2023. Speculation has always been that the son of the NBA’s first active player billionaire would follow in his father’s famous footsteps and enter the league straight out of high school.

Although the potential for a college career was never out of the question, the elder James repeatedly stated that his dream is to play with his son in the league. Having been in the NBA for 19 years, James has far exceeded the short average of an NBA career, 4.5. To 5 years.

Now the question is whether Bronny will go the collegiate route or start his professional career in the G League. Rivals lists six collegiate prospects for Bronny: Kansas (41.5 percent), Duke (21.5 percent), Kentucky (13.8 percent), UCLA (10.8 percent), NC Central (9.2 percent), and North Carolina (3.1 percent).

With Bronny, the resources are tremendous, and with a famous father, the poster boy of the awakened corporate athlete, it will be interesting to see what a potential college scenario looks like for Bronny.

In the aftermath of the protest movement, high-profile Black student-athletes have chosen Historically Black colleges and Universities at a more significant rate than ever before. Across major sports like football and basketball, both veteran athletes are becoming coaches to provide infrastructure, and student-athletes are choosing places where they can be in a cultural safe zone.

If Bronny chose to go collegiate, knowing that his future is always secure, barring any unforeseen injury or issue, it could be a significant statement to choose an HBCU. In January 2020, he received a scholarship offer from North Carolina Central University. The school is currently attended by his father’s former teammate JR Smith and has a massive supporter in Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul.

It was the first scholarship offer Bronny had received since his high school career began, and now that his ranking has changed, the look of his D-1 spectrum prospects is the next question. However, there is always the G League route or even the unconventional example by LaMelo Ball.

Bronny lives under the microscope in real time, even off the court. Recently, his decision to attend a school dance with a young white girl was widely scrutinized, even though he goes to a high school for the rich and famous children of Los Angeles.

Now that Bronny is getting closer to the next stage of his career, every nuance of his journey will have a dissection like no other.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.