It has never been easy to be the son of a legend, especially if you want to follow in his footsteps, as the road is full of unfair comparisons and the highest expectations. For the first time since he decided to take a leap towards professional basketball, Bronny James admitted that it is “tough” to be LeBron’s eldest son. 

The 19-year-old has been on most sports news covers lately, especially since he declared for the 2024 NBA Draft last month, despite not having the best freshman campaign at USC. The rising star revealed some of the challenges he’s faced by growing up in his father’s shadow. 

“A lot of criticism gets thrown my way, but you know, I’ve got to deal with it,” he expressed. “[My critics] don’t know what I’ve been through … I just try to make the best of [the] opportunities that’s given to me.”

One of the biggest doubts he’s had to dodge so far, is the fact that he decided to jump from college division to the pros after only one campaign. “You know I always want to end up where I’m happy the most,” Bronny started out. “[My] mom has always told me you know, ‘take me where my heart wants me to be,’ and I just found happiness in what I’m doing right now, and I feel like that’s where I want myself to be at.”

After playing 25 games for the University of Southern California this season, he averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 19.4 minutes per contest. His shots from the field went in 36.6% of the time, while he dropped in 26.7% from beyond the arc. 

“I’ve made the decision to enter the NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility, and will also be entering the NCAA transfer portal,” he said last month when he announced his next step. “Thank you to USC for an amazing freshman year, and as always thankful for my family, friends, doctors, athletic trainers and fans for their support.”

James was also asked if basketball was the only sport he ever considered playing, but the answer was easy for him. “I mean I’ve played other sports,” he revealed. “I played soccer. [I] wasn’t allowed to play football. My mom didn’t allow that. So yeah, I’ve always been a sports guy, but basketball was just my cup of tea.”

Scouts and experts have delivered mixed reviews over Bronny’s first demonstrations at the NBA Draft Combine

Even though James has mostly impressed scouts at the NBA Draft Combine, which was celebrated last week in Chicago, there are still some lingering concerns around the youngster’s possibility of going professional.

An article recently published by The Ringer, they stated how an anonymous general manager in the NBA said that “Bronny is nowhere near ready.” According to the source, he also recommended he went “back to school to develop at his own pace or he risks getting lost in the shuffle, whether or not he’s playing with his dad.”

LeBron had expressed his desire of playing alongside his son last year, but then told reporters during February’s NBA All-Star Game Weekend that he preferred to “let the kid make [his own] decision,” and not pressure him into something he isn’t ready for.

Last month, the 19-year-old admitted that the past year hasn’t been easy, especially as he suffered a cardiac arrest during last summer, which prevented him from starting his freshman campaign on full throttle. “I’ve had a year with some ups and downs but all added growth for me as a man, student and athlete,” he wrote on his social media.


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