Ever since he burst onto the national scene as a high school player, LeBron James has been one of basketball’s biggest names. That star status, however, isn’t always a bed of roses; with great recognition, there’s also a great deal of scrutiny. The forward’s son, Bronny James, is already learning that reality firsthand.
In one of Bronny’s recent games, the teenager was targeted by a young spectator, who threw debris at the teenager. LeBron, of course, was quick to come to his son’s defense.
Bronny James’ rise to stardom
Bronny only turned 15 in October, but he already has built up quite the basketball resume. As LeBron’s son, the teenager has recently burst into the national spotlight; he’s been widely discussed in basketball circles, however, since at least 2014 and has been winning AAU titles for years.
More recently, though, most of the chatter has been centered on Bronny’s future. Paul Biancardi, ESPN’s National Recruiting Director and NBA Draft analyst, tweeted that the teen might have a better jumper than his dad did in high school; Magic Johnson also weighed in, telling TMZ Sports that Bronny has a chance to eclipse the senior James. As of now, Bronny already has at least one scholarship offer on the table, and several other schools are interested in his talents.
James currently takes the court for the Sierra Canyon School, playing alongside Zaire Wade, son of LeBron’s former teammate Dwyane, and two other five-star recruits. Their team is appearing on ESPN 15 times this season and has been playing in front of thousands of fans at national tournaments, but Bronny doesn’t need any more exposure. With 3 million Instagram followers and a pretty famous father, he’s already on his way to stardom. That stardom, however, can have a major downside.
LeBron James comes to his son’s defense
On Monday night, Bronny James and Sierra Canyon School were in action at the Hoophall Classic. The on-court action, however, was interrupted when a spectator threw something at Bronny as he was inbounding the ball.
Unsurprisingly, LeBron quickly came to his son’s defense. He retweeted a clip of the incident, adding the comment, “Hating has no age limit! #JamesGang is build for it and well equipped. As we proceed.” After Monday’s Lakers game, James revisited the situation.
“I didn’t see it or hear it, actually. While I was on the opposite side of the floor, I did see the referee stop the game or stop the inbound, and the cop came up there,” LeBron explained. “I didn’t even know what happened until the video evidence showed me when I got here.”
“It’s just disrespectful, and it was a little kid too. I don’t know how old that little kid was, so I don’t know if he learned that on his own or if he learned it at home,” James continued. “Whatever the case may be, it’s disrespectful.”
Bronny is already learning the unfortunate realities of stardom
Bronny James might only be a teenager, but he’s already learning the same lesson that his father did. While stardom is all well and good, it, unfortunately, comes with a great deal of scrutiny and, in many cases, abuse.
Thankfully, Bronny has two advantages. Not only has he learned from his dad’s experiences, but he naturally has some extra composure.
“He’s cool, calm. He’s better than his mom and dad. Let’s just say that,” LeBron explained. “He is—he’s better than his mom and dad for some of the things he lets off his shoulder. I guess he’s taken some from me too, because I let a lot of s— go too.”
“He’s a great kid,” James continued. Most importantly, he loves being around his teammates, being a great kid, being a model citizen in the community, and playing the game he loves to play. And being a big brother to his brother and sister. But that s— earlier made me mad when I saw that. It was just disrespectful.”
It goes without saying that no athlete should be harassed or abused due to their star status. Thankfully, Bronny James seems well prepared for the slings and arrows that will inevitably come his way.