Bronny James handles the spotlight of being King James’ son pretty well, but a recent mistake on Instagram shows he’s still a teenager. This didn’t stop LeBron James from giving his kid a glowing birthday message. LeBron tries to be the father he never had when he was young. It’s clear he supports his family even when they screw up.
Bronny James handles the spotlight better than most teens could
Much of Bronny’s life resembles the life of any normal teenager. Dealing with outsized fame was always going to be an issue for LeBron’s kids. In pre-COVID-19 times, security firms followed his high school team across the country. His Instagram page currently has nearly six million followers.
Not all the attention isn’t just because of his father. It’s also because Bronny is a talented basketball player in his own right.
Comparisons to LeBron are obviously ridiculous. But he’s inherited some of his court vision and all-around basketball IQ. Unlike LeBron, he projects to be a combo guard. Bronny is a much more advanced shooter than his dad was at the same age. He didn’t start for Sierra Canyon as a freshman, but his potential remains high. The idea that Bronny and LeBron could play together in the NBA isn’t just the dream; it’s could really happen.
Bronny has the same off-court interests as many young people. He streams games on Twitch (403,000 followers at the time of writing) and recently joined the eSports world by joining FaZe Clan. A few weeks ago, the world also learned that Bronny also has a fondness for marijuana. It’s far from a PR disaster, but this was the first time when Bronny did anything that could ever vaguely be described as controversial.
Bronny’s recent Instagram mistake shows he’s still just a kid
While his father was smoking the Miami Heat in the Finals, Bronny was smoking something else. The Instagram story of him hitting the blunt was quickly deleted, but once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.
Worries about the video causing long-lasting damage to Bronny’s prospects in the NBA are hyperbolic — the only people scandalized by jazz cigarettes are the elderly or prosecutors with quotas to reach — but the short-term effect of the video was that he was the umpteenth person to become the subject of morally questionable, but undeniably funny, jokes on Twitter.
The end of the NBA Finals wasn’t just about the triumph of the Lakers, the heart of the Miami Heat, or the fourth coronation for LeBron. It also became about people giddily wondering about the amount of parental violence Bronny was about to get when the King came home. It’s a little messed up, but hey, funny is funny.
If Bronny was on the wrong end of a switch, he’s kept his response to it offline. Neither he nor LeBron have commented on the incident. The only source of information strangely comes from Odell Beckham Jr. He hinted during a Twitch stream that Bronny got grounded as punishment.
He got punished, but LeBron still gave him a birthday shoutout
One tiny misstep hasn’t changed LeBron’s relationship with Bronny, at least publicly. He commemorated his son’s 16 birthday with a long, loving message on Instagram. Given his wealth, it would’ve been easy for LeBron to hire people to be Bronny’s caregivers while he dealt with his NBA career. But he takes fatherhood very seriously.
LeBron’s father was never in his life, so he understands the void of an absentee parent. He’s regularly involved in their lives, be it by sitting courtside at Bronny’s games or being an assistant in his daughter’s cooking video.
Spending months inside the Orlando bubble separated from his family was ordeal for LeBron. He spoke about it in interviews and posted on Instagram about it on multiple occasions. Being a committed parent shouldn’t be newsworthy, but LeBron’s dedication to being a family man is heartwarming. Unironically, you love to see it.