As the son of one of basketball’s biggest stars, Bronny James is already a well-known name in the world of sports. While the teenager is still in high school, his athletic abilities are pretty impressive; while no one knows what the future holds, it’s safe to assume he’ll follow in LeBron’s footsteps and play in the NBA. His talents, however, don’t vanish once he steps off the hardwood.
At the end of August, Bronny James branched out, joining FaZe Clan. While it’s easy to write that off as a PR move—regardless of his skillset, Bronny is a big name on social media—it’s apparently not the case; according to FaZe Banks, Bronny has some serious eSports talent, too.
Bronny James seems poised for basketball stardom
During his time in high school, LeBron James burst onto the national scene as a future star. While Bronny James isn’t quite getting the same levels of hype yet, he does seem to have a bright future ahead of him.
Since the James family has left Ohio, Bronny didn’t get the chance to suit up for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Instead, he’s playing for Sierra Canyon High School and already making a name for himself.
While it’s tough to scout a teenager properly—James has only played one season of high school ball and will continue to grow, both as a person and as a player—there do seem to be plenty of reasons for optimism. Beyond his physical tools and smooth jump shot, Bronny apparently posses the poise that he’ll need to handle the scrutiny of being LeBron’s son.
“I first saw him last summer and was struck by his poise and ability to navigate all the craziness around him,” Eric Bossi of Rivals.com explained in 2019. “That poise is still there, and Bronny has now grown to 6-foot-2, has a great frame, is a budding athlete, and has the game to play at the point or shooting guard position.”
Breaking into the eSports space with FaZe Clan
These days, athletes aren’t just athletes; they’re legitimate brands onto themselves. Bronny James is still young, but he’s already a force in the social media space.
Thanks to the combination of his talent, name recognition, and talent, Bronny has built up quite a following, even by NBA standards. As of September 2020, James’ Instagram boasts 5.5 million followers; while that can’t touch LeBron’s numbers, it’s more than respectable for a high schooler.
Bronny also live streams on Twitch, where he has almost 350,000 followers. That number, however, should continue growing in the future; at the end of August, James teamed up FaZe Clan, joining Ben Simmons under the eSports team’s umbrella.
The move, it seems, is already paying dividends. “Since the announcement, Bronny gained more than 77,000 followers on Instagram, according to Social Blade, taking him over 5.5 million followers total,” Noah Smith explained for the Washington Post. “His views on Twitch shot up 855 percent the day after the announcement, compared to the day before. The video announcement has been viewed over 1 million times on Twitter, where FaZe is displaying James and Ben Simmons, another new addition to the group, on the header.”
Bronny James apparently has some eSports talent
As mentioned above, Bronny James’ partnership with FaZe Clan seems more like a promotional deal than anything else; the teenager isn’t getting paid, but he and the organization are each boosting the other’s brand. Bronny, however, apparently has some legitimate talent.
“Bronny’s FaZing up, he’s in FaZe,” FaZe Clan co-owner Ricky (FaZe) Banks recently told TMZ Sports. He went on to insist that the deal wasn’t a simple PR stunt.
“He’s really good at Fortnite,” Banks continued. “He plays [Call of Duty] too. Listen, look at him. He was built for this s–t. Look at him and his dad. He’s a competitor, you know.”
No one is expecting that Bronny James will give up basketball to pursue a full-time career in eSports. Based on Bank’s endorsement, though, it sounds like the teenager could have a plan B in his back pocket.