Top NewsBrony James is now a Los Angeles Laker. Here's what's in...

Brony James is now a Los Angeles Laker. Here’s what’s in store for his NBA career

NEW YORK — For Brony James, the wait is over. Now, the work to be an NBA player begins.

Being the son of LeBron James, James went through one of the most scrutinized pre-draft processes in recent memory. From the time he was a freshman in high school, he drew attention unlike anyone else in his draft class. In a year without high-profile names at the top of the draft and no clear No. 1 pick, James was the draft’s main attraction, going 55th overall to the Los Angeles Lakers, his father’s team.

While the hype will continue, and the fishbowl will follow him into the league, James’ real life in the NBA will be more mundane. A late second-round pick, not much was expected of him as a player. Although James’ agent, Rich Paul of Clutch Sports Group, has publicly stated that James will not sign a two-way contract, most players drafted would be lucky to get a guaranteed deal late. Many late second-rounders don’t even make the roster when the regular season begins or stay on it for as long as it lasts.

However, Brony James is not like other rookies. His path forward, at least from a basketball perspective, will be conventional. But next year his situation will be very unusual. A 19-year-old newly drafted NBA player in his first year with the Lakers, he could spend every day of the next year with his dad.

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LeBron James must first decide if he wants to stay with the franchise. He can opt out of his contract for next season and has until Saturday to do so. If he does, he could re-sign and stay in Los Angeles. With both LeBron and Brony under NBA contract, it will be the first time a father and son have played together in the NBA, let alone the first time.

“It feels like something that could be magical,” Lakers president of basketball operations Rob Belinka said Thursday. “We know and respect LeBron’s decision to step down. … Knowing that he was on our team next season would make NBA history. And NBA history should be made in a Lakers uniform.

Bronie James will make his first appearance in a Lakers uniform on July 6 when they open a three-game slate against the Sacramento Kings in the California Classic Summer League. Also coming up is a trip to Las Vegas for summer-league action.

Training camp will begin in September, possibly in Hawaii, where the franchise has held multiple offseason practices over the years. This may be a small relief for the James family, as Brony James may remain in Los Angeles. From shootouts to the never-ending journey to the camaraderie of a professional team, he can be calm in the demands of an NBA player.

It will be worth watching how James handles the pressure, but he has dealt with it since he was young. HHe admitted at the NBA Draft combine last month that it could be even higher.

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“It’s a lot,” he said. “It’s made me a stronger individual. All of that, I’m very grateful for, but sometimes it’s a lot.

It would certainly be loud and illogical. James will enter the NBA with a profile that far exceeds his pedigree. Expectations will be high, and claims of nepotism on the Lakers’ account will be loud. Any slippage, or even lack of opportunity to play, can add to the tension.

All James did was try to ignore it. He was the 17th-ranked player in his high school class, according to the consensus rankings. His lone season at USC was cut short by a frightening health issue last July when he suffered a heart attack during practice and was taken to the hospital. When James recovered and returned to floor and competitive sports, he said, the fear has lingered since that day. It may have colored his time at USC, where he struggled as a freshman, averaging just 4.8 points and 19.3 minutes in 25 games.

That doesn’t dampen any speculation about his future. In 2022, LeBron James said he wants to play with his son before he retires. Bronnie James has since watched her father drive a sidecar. However, Broney believed he would not be drafted because of his family ties.

“This is serious business,” he said last month. “And I don’t feel like there’s a mindset of, ‘I’m making this kid just because I’m going to get this kid’s dad.’ I don’t think a GM would really let that happen.

Now they will be together.

Even for high school prospects, making it to the NBA should be considered a success for James. A player as low in the draft as James would be lucky to make it into an NBA game as a rookie, let alone break into a team’s rotation. Last year’s 55th overall pick, Isaiah Wong, played in just one game for the Indiana Pacers this past season. Only six second-round picks from the 2023 draft appeared in at least 40 games last season.

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It remains to be seen if the Lakers will keep James on the NBA roster or send him to the G League. Belinka and new head coach J.J. They expect the team to be in position to contend for a deep run into the playoffs after Redick already has 47 wins and a first-round exit last spring.

Even players picked high in the draft fight need to be productive and efficient in their rookie year. James may only get a few minutes, and he may need more flavor with the South Bay Lakers, where he can generate playing time.

“He wasn’t one to take shortcuts or expect or be entitled to basketball opportunities,” Belinka said. “He’s worked for everything he’s gotten, including being elected today at age 55.”

(Photo: NBAE via Jeff Haynes/Getty Images)

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