Lakers Pick LeBron James’ Teen Son, Bronny, In NBA Draft, Creating League’s First Ever Father-Son Duo

It’s been years in the making, and today the Los Angeles Lakers chose 19-year-old Bronny James with pick No. 55 in the NBA draft.

The selection will unite the teen with his father, all-time great LeBron James, on the Lakers roster, the first-ever father-son duo in the league’s history to play at the same time, much less on the same team. The move creates not only a compelling box office draw but fulfills a stated dream of the elder James: to play with his son in the NBA.

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After winning multiple titles, MVP awards and being selected as an All Star every season in his 20-year career, the 39-year-old superstar had said repeatedly that the one thing left he wanted in basketball was to play on the same NBA team with his son. The elder James has softened that stance somewhat in recent months, indicating that playing against his son in the NBA also would be great. No need to worry about that now.

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Bronny James comes to the Lakers as one of the last picks in the draft, and some question whether he would have even made the cut had his father not been among the greatest players ever. He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in one season playing for the USC Trojans last season. Those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as the younger James’ season was truncated after he collapsed during a practice last July due to cardiac arrest caused by a congenital heart defect. He was hospitalized but recovered and joined the team for the final 25 games of the season.

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Bronny likely will play in the Lakers’ developmental system, especially since he’s only 19. That means he’ll play with the South Bay Lakers, not with the team fans see on TV. There will, of course, be tremendous pressure to put the two on the same court in a primetime NBA game. But LeBron, who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated while still in high school, knows better than just about anyone on the planet the pressures of premature expectations.

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His father aside, the 19-year-old Bronny is in the hands of one of the league’s best player development staffs, including Assistant Coach Phil Handy, who is very well respected, having helped hone the craft of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James himself.

Throughout his pro career, LeBron has prided himself on being at his kids’ games, sometimes chartering planes overnight during a busy NBA season to see Bronny play. No need for that anymore.

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