As LeBron James doesn’t have to prepare for the NBA Finals for just the second time in 11 years, the four-time NBA champ spent his 4th of July weekend taking in the action at “The Battle: Summer Showcase,” a three-day event at LeBron’s alma mater featuring some of the top-level AAU teams and prospects in the Midwest. Of course, the reason he was in attendance was that his 16-year-old son, Bronny James, was a featured attraction at the event as a member of the team known as Strive for Greatness.
Now, while LeBron is usually content to stay out of the spotlight while his son is on the floor, the four-time NBA MVP became part of the action this past Saturday as he halted play during Bronny’s game to confront a PA announcer who believed the younger James only got a foul call because he was playing in a gym with his father’s name on it.
The event took place at LeBron James Arena at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
Adding to the intrigue of “The Battle: Summer Showcase” was the fact that it was played at LeBron’s alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, whose gym was renamed LeBron James Arena after the four-time NBA MVP donated a million dollars to the school for renovations.
While Bronny may have been the most high-profile player at the event just because of who he is, he certainly wasn’t the only high-level prospect to take the floor over the weekend. Bowen Hardman, a shooting guard from Cincinnati who’s already committed to Ohio State was in attendance, as was Gabe Cupps, a point guard from Dayton who is also being looked at by the Buckeyes.
Richmond Heights power forward Josiah Harris, who’s committed to West Virginia, was showcased, as was Virginia signee Isaac McKneely, who was playing for the team known as Wildcat Select, who squared off with Bronny and Strive for Greatness on Saturday, which is when the incident with LeBron took place.
LeBron James confronted a PA announcer who believed Bronny James got a foul call simply because of where he was playing
In the final minutes of regulation in Saturday’s matchup between Strive for Greatness and Wildcat Select, Bronny received a foul call with which the PA announcer apparently didn’t agree. According to the announcers for the web broadcast of the game, the PA announcer said that Bronny only got the call because he was playing in a gym that his father’s name on it.
Clearly unhappy with what was said, LeBron stood up from his seat down by the baseline and began yelling at the announcer, who was stationed at half-court. But things didn’t end there as James made his way through the barrier onto the court and made his way to midcourt to confront the announcer face-to-face. The confrontation didn’t last long but it was heated enough that police made their way into the mix as James berated the announcer, who appeared to apologize.
The police walked LeBron back to his seat and he then watched as Bronny and Strive for Greatness lost in overtime, 73-69. Despite being in his hometown, the elder James didn’t get the greatest reaction from the crowd, some of whom were heard yelling, “play the game,” in the web broadcast, which you can view above.
Bronny is currently No. 41 in ESPN’s Class of 2023 rankings
Bronny will soon begin his junior year at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles, where he’ll start the season as ESPN’s 41st-ranked overall prospect of the class of 2023. Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, and UCLA are all said to be interested in bringing James in when he graduates.