Skip to content

LeBron defends Bronny over mock draft status

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

LeBron James is taking exception with the scrutiny over his son's basketball future.

After ESPN released its 2024 mock draft Monday that didn't have his son Bronny James being selected in either round, the Lakers star took to X to plead with critics to ease off the prominent USC freshman and allow him to savor his journey through college. James then quickly deleted the post but didn't offer an explanation.

Bronny, who in February 2023 was touted by ESPN's Jonathan Givony as a potential top-10 selection in 2024 before he committed to the Trojans, is currently penciled in by Givony as a 2025 second-round pick (39th overall). The 18-year-old hasn't publicly revealed whether he intends to declare for the NBA draft after his freshman season.

The USC guard is averaging 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists through 19 games this season, including six starts. However, he missed the first month of the Trojans' season after suffering a cardiac arrest during a workout at the school July 24, leading to the discovery of a congenital heart defect as the probable cause.

He was hospitalized for three days but made a full recovery. Bronny made his college debut Dec. 10, registering four points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in 16 minutes in a loss to Long Beach State.

Since the July incident, Bronny hasn't featured on any of ESPN's mock drafts for 2024, per Givony.

The elder James has candidly addressed his goal of playing with his son in the NBA but appeared to walk back that desire slightly during the Lakers' 2023 postseason run.

"I've done what I've had to do in this league, and my son is going to take his journey," he told ESPN's Dave McMenamin in May 2023. "And whatever his journey, however his journey lays out, he's going to do what's best for him. And as his dad, and his mom, Savannah, and his brother and sister, we're going to support him in whatever he decides to do.

"So, just because that's my aspiration or my goal, doesn't mean it's his. And I'm absolutely OK with that."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox