Watch: Bronny James Under Fire for Saying He ‘Never Thought’ of Playing with LeBron After Being Drafted by Lakers

Exactly how credulous does Bronny James think we are?

Last week, the son of LeBron James was drafted at No. 55 by the Los Angeles Lakers. This is pretty much where everybody had him pegged as going, since his one distinguishing factor as a player at the University of Southern California for one season was that he was LeBron James’ son.

He’d only worked out for two teams: the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns. Moreover, the buzz about him going to Los Angeles intensified over the course of the draft’s second round when it was reported his agent told other teams not to draft Bronny, lest he play in Australia instead of the NBA.

But, in spite of all that, Bronny appeared before the media on Tuesday insisting that nothing had engineered the first father/son duo on an NBA team ever.

“I’m just trying to get my name out for myself,” Bronny said Tuesday during a media briefing


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“I just want to come in and get my work in and get better every day,” he added.

“I never really had a thought of me going to play with my dad, but that’s always there to take part of, but it wasn’t a main focus of mine.”

Now, just so we’re clear, here’s a timeline of events.

Do you believe Bronny James?

First, let’s take mock drafts. In one published by Bleacher Report on May 31, the outlet had Bronny going exactly where he did in the second round — noting that his 4.8 points per game at USC wasn’t exactly impressive, but his ability to keep his dad with the team and happy was.

“Rival teams sound uncertain about Bronny James’ chances of getting drafted, though the Los Angeles Lakers remain the popular guess as to his most likely destination,” the writers of the mock draft noted.

“If he’s still on the board deep into the second round, L.A.’s front office could feel pressure to select him, considering it’s essentially a risk-free pick that late, and passing at No. 55 would signal to LeBron how little the team thinks of Bronny.”

However, just in case another team were to take a flyer on Bronny — because he was seen as potential first-round talent once upon a time before his freshman year at USC, where he was recovering (thank God, by the way) from cardiac arrest during summer workouts in 2023, which reportedly stemmed from a manageable congenital heart defect — his agent reportedly bluntly told them: don’t.


Bronny James’ Agent Warned That He’d Play in Another Country if Drafted, Right Before LeBron’s Lakers Chose Him

“Right now, Rich Paul is calling teams, don’t take Bronny James, he’s telling them ‘do not take him,’” ESPN’s Bob Myers reported, referring to Bronny’s agent, who also happens to be a close friend of LeBron’s.

As Yahoo Sports noted, Bronny also received a four-year contract with the Lakers worth $7.9 million. While that number isn’t eye-popping by NBA standards, it is for a No. 55 pick in the draft.

In case you’re unfamiliar with how the NBA draft works, this isn’t the NFL; pretty much anyone drafted outside the top 10 in most years is considered a bench player or a risk at best, and second-round players are lucky to receive money only after they’ve made the team via impressive play in training camp or the NBA Summer League.

Furthermore, according to Newsweek, this is a “one-way contract” — or a contract that stipulates that he’s a player with the Lakers. Almost everyone picked in the second-round who ends up signing with their team signs what’s known as a “two-way contract,” which allows them to play with lower-level team affiliates or other leagues abroad to sharpen their skills should they not be added to the roster.

While Bronny is still expected to play in the NBA’s developmental G League, sources say, his agent also staunchly refused to sign a two-way deal before the draft began despite the fact everyone knew he wasn’t getting picked in the first round.

So, to reiterate: Bronny got drafted where everyone predicted he would be almost a month before the draft and got a contract that’s relatively unprecedented for someone drafted at his spot, all after a report from a well-placed insider that his agent — who stipulated that he wouldn’t sign anything less than that barely precedented deal — was telling all 29 NBA teams not called the Los Angeles Lakers not to draft Bronny, or he was going to go play in Oz instead.

But that’s all just a coincidence that had never occurred to Bronny James, according to Bronny James. Right. You may be shocked, but people weren’t buying this:

This is about as much credence as Bronny’s words carry.

I can be asked to believe a lot of things — and if Bronny doesn’t want to talk about being a nepo baby, there’s certainly a more diplomatic, believable excuse than this. But to tell America and the world that you never expected this to happen when it was so clearly engineered?

I don’t know who Bronny thinks he’s fooling — but as for people he’s actually fooling, the answer is either 1) nobody or 2) pretty close to it. Thanks for trying, though.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).


Morristown, New Jersey


Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture

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