While load management might be the latest trend in the NBA, LeBron James isn’t a fan of the practice. The Lakers forward has gone on the record, saying that if he’s healthy, he wants to play. Things might be a bit different for his son, LeBron James, Jr., who’s also known as Bronny.
While Bronny might only be in high school, he’s already played quite a bit of basketball. In fact, LeBron is trying to limit how much time the young guard’s dad spends on the court.
Bronny’s basketball career
While there have been plenty of great father-son duos in sports history, LeBron and Bronny James could be one of the best.
Despite only recently turning 15 years-old, Bronny has quite the basketball resume. He’s been winning tournaments, both with his school teams and in AAU competition, for years and garnered national attention with a highlight reel in 2014. He’s also reportedly been receiving college scholarship offers since 2015, which LeBron didn’t appreciate.
Bronny is currently playing ball for Sierra Canyon School, where he’s teaming up with Zaire Wade, son of LeBron’s former teammate Dwyane, and two other five-star recruits. Their team will appear on ESPN 15 times this season, but Bronny doesn’t need any more exposure; he already boasts over 3 million Instagram followers and a pretty famous father.
LeBron’s big concerns about AAU basketball
While LeBron James might not be a fan of load management, he’s definitely concerned about his son’s long term health. Bronny might love basketball, but there can be too much of a good thing.
“These kids are going into the league already banged up, and I think parents and coaches need to know [that],” James told Yahoo Sports. “AAU coaches couldn’t give a damn about a kid and what his body is going through.”
“I think [AAU] has something to do with it, for sure,” James continued. “It was a few tournaments where my kids — Bronny and Bryce — had five games in one day and that’s just f- – -ing out of control. … So, I’m very conscious for my own son because that’s all I can control, and if my son says he’s sore or he’s tired, he’s not playing.”
Is LeBron right to limit Bronny’s basketball?
While it’s tough to exactly how much Bronny James is playing, it’s safe to say that he’s spending a lot of time on the court.
Sierra Canyon currently has 28 games on its basketball schedule, but those aren’t standard high school contests. They’ll be played in gyms around the country, and, as mentioned above, over half of them will carry the additional stress of an ESPN broadcast; it’s almost like an NCAA team’s slate of games.
Bronny is also playing AAU ball, which probably adds around 30 more games to his calendar. That, combined with countless practices, shootarounds, and pick-up games, all adds up to a lot of wear and tear on anybody, let alone a teenager. Even pros, who have medical and training teams supporting them, get run down; most teenagers don’t have that luxury.
Thankfully for Bronny, and NBA fans everywhere, LeBron is keeping a close eye on his son. Since he knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level, James won’t let his son push himself too hard, too soon. The path to greatness is a marathon run over an entire career, not a teenage sprint.