Nobody can accuse LeBron James of looking ahead. Despite appearing more like a play-in team than a contender at the deadline, the Lakers held firm, and Anthony Davis is collecting worker’s comp checks after severely spraining his ankle in their final game before the All-Star break.
James discussed his post-Lakers future with The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, providing a roadmap for his post-Lakers future. While LeBron was effusive in his appreciation of the Cavaliers, he was most forthright about the potential of playing with his kid.
«I’m going to play my last year with my son.» Lloyd was informed by LeBron. «I’ll be wherever Bronny is,» says the narrator. I’d do anything for a year to be able to play with my son. At that moment, it’s not about the money.»
LeBron’s restlessness keeps him always on the move. But, more importantly, LeBron is always on the lookout for his teammates. His friends at St. Vincent-St. Mary had such a strong bond that he hired Maverick Carter, a former teammate, as his business manager. Bron’s sports agency is headed by Rich Paul, another close confidante.
They’ve grown into titans on their own, thanks to James’ decision to give them key roles in controlling his career. He’s also putting himself and Bronny in a very unusual situation. Bronny’s declaration cemented his status as a made man in the NBA.
It’s not surprising that he’s putting Bronny on notice while also putting NBA GMs on notice. LeBron has never been so forthright about his future plans.
Bronny’s ascension through the amateur basketball levels has piqued the interest of a growing number of passionate basketball fans. Bronny is now a junior at Sierra Canyon High School, and the future we envisioned for him is just ahead of him. Bron and Bronny’s fantasy has been building up in his mind since he was in elementary school. LeBron is now almost touching it. Earlier this season, James met Grizzlies rookie Ziaire Williams, who was Bronny’s teammate at Sierra Canyon during his freshman year.
In October, James told reporters, «I looked at Ziaire a number of times and was just shaking my head inside.» «Just remembering a year and a half ago, two years, not quite two years, he was hitting a game-winning home run to send them to the state championship alongside my son, and going to the game and supporting Sierra Canyon, and one year at Stanford and now he’s here, so it’s a weird dynamic for me to see something like that but obviously happy for the kid.» But I definitely had a moment.»
By spending millions on his physique and demonstrating an unshakeable devotion to staying in shape, LeBron has managed to avoid the cliff that aging superstars’ skills fall off of in their mid-30s. Bronny, on the other hand, won’t be able to play in the NBA until he’s 40 years old.
That’s a completely different animal. It’s ridiculous to expect James to be a contender for MVP in three years, but he’s a special talent. At this rate, LeBron will be a top-10 player whose presence can push a Finals contender over the top, just like Anthony Hopkins’ presence can still propel a film into Best Picture consideration. There’s also the possibility that a struggling organization, like the Knicks or Kings, will choose Bronny as their golden ticket to bring in supporters.
Despite his guarantees about playing with Bronny, LeBron has made taking control of his own destiny a major part of his NBA career. It’s unlikely that he’ll let the squad he plays for on his farewell tour be decided only by him and Rich Paul. LeBron’s decision in 2023 will be a game of chicken between how far he will go to play with his son and how far teams will go to sign him.
Bronny, 17, is a very different player than his father right now. He won’t be a one-and-done player, he won’t approach LeBron’s physically imposing dimensions, and he’ll be a 6-foot-2 combo guard at the next level, barring a late development spurt.
Bronny will most likely be drafted by a team that believes it can win now and sees him as a Bat-Signal to LeBron. When Bronny does enter the draft, LeBron’s promise will make Bronny’s entry into the league one of the most difficult scenarios in NBA history.
Bronny has failed to establish himself as a sure thing beyond the collegiate ranks. He’s a member of Sierra Canyon’s nationally ranked team as a role player. But he’ll have to show some growth as a senior leader if he wants to preserve his top-50 rating.
After failing to break out as top 50 recruits, well-known stars like Zaire Wade and Alex Antetokounmpo are making their way through the G-League. Bronny’s career will not follow in the footsteps of Wade or Antetokounmpo, thanks to LeBron.
For the next two years, there are two possibilities. Bronny will either have a breakout senior year and go on to star at a blue-chip program as a freshman, or he will settle into a more modest developmental league prospect on the NBA bench.
It also offers us a legitimate end date for the career of one of the NBA’s most well-known players. The arrival of Bronny is LeBron’s finish line. The timer has started counting down.