LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 127-97 to take a 2-1 series lead on Saturday night. But James would have had something to celebrate even if they lost because his son, Bronny, announced his commitment to USC before the game.
"One of the best days of my life," James said of his son's decision in a postgame interview with Spectrum SportsNet.
“It’s even more special to me cause it’s the first time for someone out of my family to go to college,” he added. "No matter the outcome of this game, I couldn't lose today personally."
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 7, 2023
James elaborated on his comments in a news conference.
“First of all congratulations to my son on his next journey and picking a great university,” James said. “I’m proud of him. This is an incredible thing. Unless it was one of my great-grandmothers or great-grandfathers or someone way before my time, to my knowledge, this is the first one out of the James Gang to go to college."
The NBA enacted the one-and-done rule in 2005, requiring NCAA players to play at least one year at their respective schools before entering the draft. Although Bronny didn't have the choice to enter the league as a high schooler like his father did in 2003, college wasn't his only option.
The 18-year-old could have potentially played professionally overseas or in the G League. Instead, he chose to attend college, marking a major milestone for his family.
“Obviously, his dad didn’t go to school. His mom [Savannah] didn’t go to college. My mom [Gloria] maybe stepped on campus for a little bit, maybe a community college or something, but she had my little a** running around so she couldn’t spend much time in the classroom. It’s very, very, very, very exciting, very humbling and a great moment for our family.”
Basketball is family ❤️
LeBron speaks on Bronny's college commitment. pic.twitter.com/VgELV0vTWv
— NBA (@NBA) May 7, 2023
LeBron still wants to play with Bronny
After recording 21 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds in the Game 3 win, James reiterated his desire to play with his son in the NBA. But it appears Bronny will have the final say on whether that comes to fruition.
“I was serious, and I’m still serious about it,” James said. “Just because it’s my aspiration, it doesn’t mean it’s his. It’s not what you want. It’s about listening to your kids and what they want.”
James, 38, also acknowledged his body will also need to support the decision to keep playing.
He played 32 minutes in front of Bronny and Trojans coach Andy Enfeld on Saturday. The veteran emphasized that rest in between games is key as the Lakers work to close a series against the defending champions.
He and the Lakers will host the Warriors at Crypto.com Arena for Game 4 on Monday.