LeBron James’ Former Teammate Urges Bronny James to Remain in School

Bronny James

Ever since LeBron James made it known that he aspires to play alongside his son in the NBA, Bronny James has been under intense scrutiny. The question on everyone’s minds: will the USC freshman opt for another year in college or throw his hat into the ring for the 2024 NBA Draft? Moreover, is he truly ready for the rigors of the professional league? These inquiries are currently circulating among NBA analysts and enthusiasts as the 2023-24 college basketball season draws to a close.

On the February 26 edition of “NBA Today” aired on ESPN, Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of LeBron James, voiced his perspective on Bronny’s situation. Perkins advocated for Bronny to prolong his college education for another year, asserting that his transition to the NBA should occur organically rather than being rushed.

“Do I believe he should return to college? Absolutely,” Perkins remarked. “And when the timing is right [for NBA entry], let it unfold naturally. We shouldn’t be forcing anything. We shouldn’t be pressuring this young man’s livelihood or development just so he can team up with LeBron… or whatever narrative we’re trying to push. Let the young man breathe.”

Furthermore, Perkins encouraged LeBron James to exhibit patience and wait for his son’s professional debut.

“I think ‘Bron has to exercise patience, even if it means making sacrifices,” emphasized Perkins. “If that entails extending his NBA career, then so be it. I firmly believe that Bronny will make it to the NBA and enjoy a stellar career. But he won’t be a carbon copy of his father, and that’s perfectly fine. Let Bronny be Bronny.”

Perkins’ remarks were prompted by ESPN’s latest 2024 NBA Mock Draft, which forecasts Bronny’s draft selection in 2025 rather than the upcoming year. Reacting to these projections on February 26, LeBron James expressed frustration with analysts for needlessly burdening his son with expectations.

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“Can you all just let the kid be a kid and relish in college basketball,” James penned in a now-deleted post on X. “Ultimately, his efforts and accomplishments will speak for themselves regardless of his decision. In case you didn’t know, he couldn’t care less about a mock draft; he simply works hard! Earned, not given!”

James continued, “And to all the other kids out there striving for greatness, stay focused, block out distractions, and keep grinding. These mock drafts hold no significance! I assure you! Only hard work matters!! Let’s talk real basketball, folks!”

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Amidst the ongoing debate, there’s a compelling argument for why Bronny might benefit from extending his collegiate tenure. While many current NBA stars have opted for the one-and-done route, there are exceptions to this trend. In recent years, Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks, a product of Villanova University, serves as a prime example. Despite not being highly regarded by scouts during his college years, Brunson demonstrated resilience and commitment to his craft.

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Even after leading Villanova to two NCAA championships in 2016 and 2018, Brunson, an undersized guard, fell to the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft. Fast forward five years, and Brunson is arguably among the top 15 players in the NBA, propelling the Knicks to prominence for the first time since the Patrick Ewing era.

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Perhaps Bronny can draw inspiration from Brunson’s journey as he contemplates his own path forward in basketball. As the spotlight intensifies and expectations soar, Bronny faces a pivotal decision that will shape his future in the sport and define his legacy apart from his father’s towering influence. Whether he elects to prolong his collegiate career or embark on his NBA journey, one thing remains certain: the basketball world eagerly awaits Bronny James’ next move.


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