LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And to some, he can make no mistakes. But James would disagree, since he recently suggested he made a mistake with the name he gave his son. James has tried to remain a family man even with his exciting career, but check out page 9 to learn why he regrets his son’s name.
LeBron James started out as any ordinary guy
James was born in 1984 to his then-16-year-old mother, Gloria, in Akron, Ohio. James was raised by Gloria James, and took her last name instead of his father’s. He actually never had any contact with his father, who was supposedly not in a relationship with his mother when she became pregnant. James was raised solely by his mother and has said he’s never had any contact with his father. But he does credit his father’s absence for making him the way he is today. “Me in a position allowing people around me to grow, that maybe wouldn’t have happened if I had two parents … You know?” James told GQ.
Next: His play was noticed at an early age.
He took his high school to the state championship as a freshman
James’ basketball skills shined at an early age. He enrolled at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron. The Catholic Prep School recruited James, and he did not disappoint. As a freshman, James led his team to the state championship title. He averaged 21 points and six rebounds per game, and his team finished their season undefeated at 27-0. James attended the school with four of his friends; the quintet was dubbed “the fab five” for their excellent abilities on the court.
Next: He was drafted right out of high school.
LeBron James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003
In 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery, which essentially secured James’ spot on their team. The Cavaliers drafted James No. 1 overall; James was 18 years old and barely out of high school. The draft pick was exciting for Cleveland fans, since James was an Ohio native.
Fast forward to 2016. James led the Cavaliers to his first NBA championship with the team. It was Cleveland’s first sports title in 52 years.
Next: He is the youngest player to do this.
In 2004, James won NBA rookie of the year
James’ professional career took off from the start. At just 19 years old, James is the award’s youngest-ever recipient and was the first-ever Cleveland rookie. In 2004, he received 78 of the 118 first-place votes — an overwhelming majority. He slid past Carmelo Anthony for the award. “People are going to think what they want to think — I don’t really know what else I could have done,” Anthony said of James winning the award. Critics couldn’t believe James was able to live up to the unbelievable hype that surrounded him after the 2003 NBA draft. But he did.
Next: He’s had one special person by his side the whole time.
James has been with his high school sweetheart through his entire career
James met his wife, Savannah Brinson, when the two were just high schoolers. They attended rival high schools and met at a high school football game. James invited her to one of his basketball games. (Perhaps he wanted to impress her the best way he knew how.) They shared their first date at Outback Steakhouse. And despite James’ crazy rise to fame, the couple managed to stay together. Brinson once said of James’ success, “I just thought he’d be a hometown hero for his era, and it would be over.”
Next: It took the couple quite a few years to get married.
The couple married in 2013
The couple dated for more than 10 years before they finally tied the knot. James proposed to Brinson in 2011, and they were married in 2013. Plenty of celebrities attended the wedding, along with nearly all of the Cleveland Cavaliers roster. There were rumors that Beyoncé flew in to perform at the wedding, but most guests have denied that she was there. The couple got married at the Grand Del Mar Hotel in San Diego.
Next: Together, they have a big family.
The couple shares three children together
James and Brinson share three kids together. Brinson got pregnant with their oldest son, LeBron James, Jr., when the couple was only in their senior year of high school. Since then, they’ve stuck by on another’s side, and Brinson gave birth to two more kids, Bryce Maximus and Zhuri, in the following years. LeBron Jr. was born in 2004, Bryce Maximus in 2007, and Zhuri in 2014.
Next: But James says he has regrets about his son’s name.
But James regrets naming his oldest son after him
When James and Brinson decided to name their first son after the King himself, it was clearly only meant to be an homage to his father. But now that James Jr. is getting older, his father is dialing back his own excitement behind having a child named after him. He recently came clean that he actually wishes he hadn’t named his son LeBron Jr. But why? It seems there’s no greater honor than being named after your superstar, down-to-earth father. But James Sr. would disagree.
Next: Here’s the real reason James regrets his son’s name.
James says the name puts added pressure on his son
James admitted that having a son with the same name only puts unnecessary, added pressure on James Jr., or “Bronny” as most people refer to him. Bronny has kick started his basketball career, and with a name like “LeBron James,” everyone is expecting him to be as good as his father. But James himself says he doesn’t like the added pressure on Bronny and wishes he hadn’t given his son the name. Commentators have varying opinions, but ESPN commentators suggest that James is being too hard on himself about his son’s name. After all, having a “Jr.” in the family is extremely common among American households.
Next: Bronny has already made himself noticed in the basketball world.
Bronny James has already made a name for himself in the basketball world
Bronny is doing his best to follow in his father’s footsteps, and so far, he’s caused quite a stir in the basketball world. He was only entering his eighth grade year when he began to appear in the news analysts have already talked about Bronny’s professional career. Plus, James has said one of his greatest accomplishments would be playing in the same NBA game with (or against) his son. Bronny still has a long way to go before he could get drafted, but he’s already been a topic of conversation among many top sports analysts.
Next: But the excitement has led to some problems.
The excitement surrounding James’ son has caused controversy
It’s not easy being the son of arguably the best basketball player in the world, and Bronny learned that the hard way. Bronny had a championship game in Las Vegas in July 2018, and James attended to support his son. But an obnoxious fan in a Michael Jordan Jersey began to heckle James, and things got out of hand. An altercation nearly broke out, and the game had to be called before anything violent could happen. The gym was at capacity, and a fight would have been difficult to control. The middle school team didn’t even have a chance to play because of all the attention garnered from both Bronny and his dad.
Next: People are already speculating where Bronny will attend high school.
Reporters are already speculating where Bronny will attend high school
Bronny might barely be a teenager, but sports analysts are already speculating where the boy might be going to high school. Sports analyst and former basketball player Gary Payton said that Bronny had committed to play for Sierra Canyon School, located in Los Angeles. The James family did not confirm that, but shortly after it was leaked, James signed a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Next: Did Bronny’s high school choice play a role in James’ team decision?
Some wonder if Bronny’s suspected high school choice played a role in James signing with the Lakers
Bronny’s high school hasn’t even been confirmed yet, but it does seem like it’s all coming together. He commits to Sierra Canyon, James signs with the Lakers shortly after — it makes sense. And some analysts think the reason James chose to go to Los Angeles is because he wants to continue to play a key role in his son’s life. James knows what it’s like to not have a father growing up and doesn’t want to miss out on Bronny’s critical high school years.
Next: Despite the attention, the James family tries to keep life normal.
Outside of basketball, the James family tries to keep life as normal as possible
Yes, basketball runs through the veins of the James family, but they’re still a family. And James and Brinson try to keep life normal for their kids by doing fun family-oriented things with them when they have the chance. James has posted photos and videos of his family, including helping his daughter ride her tricycle and a photo of his daughter and wife by their pool. He tries to remain a family man despite the chaotic excitement surround his family.
Next: Can Bronny live up to his dad’s hype?
It’s easy to see that Bronny is talented, but can he compare to his father?
It’s too early to tell. Clearly Bronny has the talent, especially if he committed to a school like Sierra Canyon. But at the end of the day, he’s still in the eighth grade, and he has at least four years before anything can come of his career. James didn’t start playing competitive basketball until he was in the fifth grade, so Bronny has plenty of time to work on his game. (And he probably started playing at a much younger age.) Time will tell if LeBron Jr. can compete with his dad, but for now, let’s let him be a kid.