Bronny James still has to wait a few more years before he starts getting paid millions from an NBA franchise. But LeBron James‘ son just raised a potential red flag for NBA teams with video surfacing of the basketball prodigy allegedly smoking marijuana. Bronny James certainly isn’t the first athlete to come under fire for a questionable decision. In fact, Laremy Tunsil represents the perfect example of the potential financial fallout from a marijuana-related incident.
Bronny James — LeBron James’ son — boasts superstar potential
LeBron’s son, Bronny James, has his sights set on following in his father’s footsteps. The 17-year-old possesses elite skills that should make him an NBA star one day. However, he still has a few more years until he starts getting paid to play basketball.
Tipping the scales at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, the hybrid guard has built a reputation as one of the most exciting amateur players in the country. Rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN, LeBron’s son transferred to Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles in May 2019.
Joining forces with Dwyane Wade’s son, Zaire, James wasted no time showing off his dynamic ability. In a matchup against his dad’s former high school, Bronny James earned MVP honors after scoring 15 points.
With a smooth shooting stroke, adept handles, and creative passing skills, the teenager boasts tantalizing upside. Of course, he still has to finish out his high-school career and figure out his college plans before making the leap from amateur to professional.
Bronny James has raised a potential red flag for NBA teams
Every move Bronny James makes gets scrutinized. Of course, that comes with the territory when you have 6.1 million Instagram followers and the best basketball player in the world is your father.
However, in September 2020, Bronny James just raised a potential red flag for NBA teams thanks to his social media.
A video posted on his Instagram story allegedly showed the teenager smoking marijuana. Though the video is no longer visible on Bronny James’ profile, it can still be seen on Twitter thanks to the power of screenshots. Legality and morality aside, the decision to post the video publicly seems highly questionable. After all, NBA teams do not want to hand out millions of dollars to a player they cannot fully trust.
Franchises invest both time and money on players with the expectation that they will represent the team in a positive manner. Posting a video smoking marijuana would not make general managers, coaches, or team executives happy.
Of course, considering his age (he was 15 at the time), Bronny James may have simply made an immature mistake. However, the incident should teach him an important lesson on responsibility and professionalism. And if he needs a real-life example, James can look at what happened to Laremy Tunsil four years ago.
Laremy Tunsil learned an expensive lesson in decision making
Bronny James has the benefit of time on his side. By the time he makes his way to the NBA, perhaps nobody will remember his controversial social media post. However, Laremy Tunsil was not so lucky.
On the opening night of the 2016 NFL draft, Tunsil watched his draft stock slide precipitously after someone hacked into his Twitter account and posted a video of him wearing a gas mask and smoking marijuana from a bong. Though the tweet got deleted quickly, it did not stop Tunsil from losing millions.
Instead of getting selected in the first five picks as many NFL draft experts expected, the former Ole Miss star slid all the way to the 13th pick. The fall cost Tunsil about $10 million. However, if the video had never been recorded in the first place, or he had never partaken in the act, Tunsil would have never lost such a sizable chunk of money.
Ultimately, the talented left tackle made up for his draft-day financial slide. In April 2020, the Pro Bowler signed a three-year, $66 million contract extension with the Houston Texans.
While the two situations may be different, Bronny James can learn a valuable lesson from Tunsil and ensure he does not repeat his recent mistake.
Luckily for him, he has time to repair any damage he just caused.