Bronny James to wear No. 9 with Lakers as he makes history with dad LeBron

When Bronny James takes the floor with his father LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers, he will make history. Now we know what number he will wear when doing so.

The Lakers announced Friday the younger James will sport the No. 9 in the purple and gold, one day after selecting the 19-year-old with the 55th overall pick of the 2024 NBA Draft. His name will also read "James Jr." on the back of his jersey.

James wore No. 0 during his high school career at Sierra Canyon and No. 6 during his one-season college career at USC. The latter echoed the number his father has worn with the Lakers and Miami Heat, but is no longer available in the NBA since the league retired it in honor of the late Bill Russell. LeBron currently wears No. 23.

There have been 15 players to don No. 9 for the Lakers, with notable names including Nick Van Exel, Matt Barnes, Luol Deng and Rajon Rondo. Van Exel in particular seemed exited to see Bronny adopt his old number.

As for the Lakers' earlier pick in the draft, Dalton Knecht will don the No. 4 after being selected 17th overall out of Tennessee. The selection makes for an easy pun, as Knecht's name is pronounced "connect."

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans warms up prior to the start of an NCAA basketball game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Maples Pavilion on February 10, 2024 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Bronny James will wear No. 9 with the Lakers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

James joins the Lakers with history to make, as the younger portion of the NBA's first on-court father-son duo, and with plenty to prove. He entered USC as a top-50 recruit, but saw his college debut delayed after going into cardiac arrest last July.

When he did take the court with the Trojans, he mostly came off the bench for one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball. In 25 games played, with six starts, he averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.3 minutes.

Normally, a player with that background wouldn't see much draft interest, but James is obviously no ordinary player. There's something to be said for the power of the gene pool when it comes to the children of NBA players, but the Lakers drafting James was widely seen more as the result of his father's machinations than a real basketball decision.