LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003. Since then, he’s won four MVPs, four championships, and four Finals MVPs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. The King is one of the best players in NBA history and will go down as a once-in-a-generation player.
Part of what makes LeBron unique is he’s been dominating opponents for 19 years. He’s had the longest prime in NBA history, and that’s allowed him to face players whose fathers he also competed against.
LeBron James’ longevity is incredible
LeBron has played against six sets of father-son duos. That’s how long he’s been in the NBA and playing at a superstar level.
LBJ has faced Gary Payton and Gary Payton II, Kenyon Martin and Kenyon Martin Jr., Gary Trent and Gary Trent Jr., Rick Brunson and Jalen Brunson, Glenn Robinson and Glenn Robinson III, and Glen Rice and Glen Rice Jr.
LeBron made his NBA debut at 18. He’s currently 37 and in his 19th campaign. The Chosen One has averaged at least 25.0 points every season except his rookie year (20.9) and made the All-Star and All-NBA team 17 times. Not even Michael Jordan, LeBron’s idol, achieved that.
Playing 19 years in the NBA is one thing, but performing at an MVP level each season is simply unheard of. The latter has allowed LeBron to compete against so many father-son duos and get the best of them.
LeBron James is better than every father-son duo he’s played against
LeBron has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. He’s the third-leading scorer in NBA history and seventh all-time in assists. King James is the only player to rank top-10 all-time in points and assists.
Payton is the only player from the aforementioned father-son duo to make the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 2013. The Glove averaged 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.8 steals during his storied career. He won the 1995-96 Defensive Player of the Year Award and is 10th all-time in assists and fourth all-time in steals.
It must be surreal for LeBron to play against sons whose fathers he shared the floor with during his younger days. The 17-time All-Star may be the first athlete in sports history to beat father time. In fact, LeBron is only a few seasons away from making history again, and it could include his oldest son — Bronny — if a few things pan out.
Bron wants to play with Bronny in the NBA
If the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement gets amended to allow players to be drafted straight out of high school again, LeBron and Bronny could play in the NBA together during the 2023-24 season. LeBron becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023. No father and son have ever played in the league simultaneously, and that’s something LeBron wants to do.
“I want to be on the court with him,” LeBron said in a recent clip shared by Uninterrupted. “I think that would be an unbelievable moment.”
Bronny will graduate from high school in 2023. As it stands, LeBron’s oldest son will be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft. If the NBA changes its draft rules, Bronny may be eligible to go straight from high school to the NBA in 2023, just as his father did in 2003.
LeBron’s longevity is beyond belief. If he finds a way to play in the NBA with his son after playing against the sons of fathers he matched up with, he may genuinely be Benjamin Button.