Even though he’s still in high school, Bronny James is still a pretty big presence in the world of basketball. While that’s not exactly surprising—being related to LeBron James is a good start to any career—the teenage athlete’s star has risen incredibly quickly. He still hasn’t turned 16, but basketball fans are already dreaming about Bronny and his dad taking the court together.
At the same time, though, it’s important to keep things in perspective; even the most talented teenager has plenty of maturation before he’s ready for the pros. In fact, ESPN’s recruiting director believes that there are three specific areas where Bronny James can still improve his game.
Bronny James already seems poised for NBA stardom
As the son of one of basketball’s biggest stars, Bronny James had a head start to his career. The teenager, however, has also shown plenty of promise on his own.
As basketball fans will remember, LeBron burst onto the scene at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. While Bronny suits up for a different program—he plays for Sierra Canyon High School—he’s also making headlines at a young age.
Although it’s tough to assess such a young player accurately, basketball fans and scouts alike have been eager to learn everything they can about Bronny. Based on his freshman season of high school ball, he seems to possess the mental skills to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“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.”
Where can the high schooler continue to improve?
For all of the hype around Bronny James, though, he’s still a teenager with plenty of work to do. According to ESPN’s recruiting director, the young guard can still improve in three specific areas.
In June 2020, Paul Biancardi shared his observations about Bronny’s game. He believes that the teenager should focus on “Shooting, ballhandling (especially under pressure) and finishing.”
“The first and most important thing Bronny can do is become a drop-dead 3-point shooter both off the catch and off the dribble,” Biancardi explained. “That will take time—it’s a huge process and a major commitment — but can also open up his offensive game. It will make him a legitimate threat behind a ball screen, coming off a screen or spotting up from a teammate’s penetration. Once the jumper is respected, Bronny can drive and become even more dangerous.”
Beyond that, the other improvements make intuitive sense. Right now, Bronny is still lining up as a guard, so ballhandling is central to his game. Similarly, finishing “effectively and efficiently with both hands on both sides of the rim” will make him a more dangerous threat off the dribble.
Remember that Bronny James is still a teenager, though
Given his social media presence and scouting reports, it’s easy to feel like Bronny James is on the verge of going pro. In reality, though, it’s important to remember that he’s still a teenager.
No matter where his career path takes him, Bronny has a great deal of growth ahead of him; while that may sound like a slight, it’s simply reality. From a sporting perspective, he’ll have to play three more years of high school ball before spending at least one season in college or the G-League. James will also grow, both physically and on a personal level, during those years.
Based on his genetics and what we’ve seen of his game thus far, Bronny James has plenty of basketball potential. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if he lives up to it.