LeBron James is one of the biggest sports superstars the world has ever seen. It should come as no surprise, then, that the sports world is already turning its attention to the basketball career of James’ son, LeBron James Jr. — or “Bronny” as he is often known. Although he is still just 15 years old, James Jr. has shown plenty of skills on the court.
Of course, James isn’t the only current or former NBA player to have a son coming up through the AAU ranks. James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Larry Hughes also has a talented son, Larry Hughes Jr. Here we recap Hughes and James’ time as teammates, while taking a closer look at Hughes Jr.’s prospects, as well as the time he squared off against Bronny James.
Larry Hughes’ time with the Cavaliers
Hughes spent 13 seasons in the NBA, playing for a number of different teams, including the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards. His best scoring season came in 1999-00, when he averaged 22.7 points per game, with 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. The Cleveland Cavaliers signed the 6’5″ guard/forward combo ahead of the 2005-06 season.
The plan was for Hughes to provide some veteran stability and scoring assistance for the young LeBron James, who was then entering his third year in the league. A finger injury hampered Hughes in his first year with the team, but he bounced back the following season to average 14.9 points and 3.7 assists.
Hughes seemed to mesh well alongside James, playing heavy minutes in the team’s postseason runs in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. The Cavaliers made it all the way to the finals in the second of those years, only to be swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Halfway through the following season, the Cavaliers traded Hughes to the Chicago Bulls as part of a three-team deal.
A talented son in Hughes Jr.
By most accounts, Hughes had an above-average NBA career, flirting with star-level play in a handful of seasons. As it turns out, the athletic gifts that allowed Hughes to excel seem to run in the family — at least to judge by the play of his only son, Larry Hughes Jr. In the fall, Hughes Jr. will enter his junior year of high school.
Yet even as a relative youngster, Hughes Jr. already has an NBA-ready physique, standing at 6’6″ with more growth likely moving forward. He also has what is arguably the single greatest skill that a basketball player can possess: a smooth and silky jump shot.
Just as importantly, Hughes Jr. seems to have as positive a character as his father, who describes him as a “good kid” and a “solid guy” in a KSDK interview.
Larry Hughes Jr. vs Bronny James
As talented as he is, Hughes Jr. will never command as much media hype as Bronny James. Yet when it comes to on-court play, Hughes Jr. may end up being a more coveted prospect.
His size and shooting prowess have already garnered attention from scouts. He drew even more attention in the wake of a game he played last year against James Jr.
The Nike EYBL game occurred in May 2019, with Hughes Jr.’s team, Brad Beal Elite, squaring off against James Jr.’s team, Strive for Greatness. Both James Jr. and Hughes Jr. turned in inspired performances. Yet at the end of the day, it was Hughes Jr. who was able to carry his squad to a win, coming away with a 78-72 victory.
Hughes Jr. is already looking ahead to his options at the college level. According to one recent report from Zags Blog, he is targeting four schools in particular: Purdue, North Carolina State, Kansas State, and Ohio State. Of those four, he seems to be leaning most toward Kansas State, stating that:
“It’s kind of close to home. I know they had a lot of St. Louis guys go there and have success. They know how to coach.”
Wherever he ends up going, Hughes Jr. stands a good chance of shining at the college level — and perhaps even beyond.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference