Stephen A Smith’s message to Lakers star LeBron James about Bronny James NBA hopes

Tony Nguyen | Los Angeles Lakers
May 16, 2024

LeBron James and the Lakers are currently in the midst of a highly important offseason for the future direction of the franchise after their crushing five game loss vs the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. James played relatively well in that series but overall the Lakers were unable to hold onto the double digit leads they built in every game and ultimately fell to Denver for the second year in a row, this time in a gentleman’s sweep instead of regular sweep.

Now, James is in the middle of his offseason routine and was recently spotted at a Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics playoff game while his son Bronny participates in the NBA Combine in preparation for the draft, which is slated to take place in June.

Much has been made about just how viable Bronny James is as a legitimate NBA prospect, but recently, NBA insiders Stephen A. Smith and Kendrick Perkins took to First Take to send LeBron some advice about how to handle his son’s situation.

“One thing about LeBron James being at the Cavs game, I’m glad he was there and not at the combine, because now Bronny has to show up and show out,” said Perkins, per NBA on ESPN on YouTube. “Meaning earned not given right. LeBron stay your a– away, we don’t need you on the internet saying oh look at Bronny, they said he couldn’t shoot, he’s shooting, oh he’s got a 40 inch vertical, no more hyping it up. Like now he’s in the trenches and I must say from what I’ve seen at the combine he does look pretty damn good, I mean he’s 6’1, he has a 40 inch vertical, he shoots the trey ball pretty damn well.”

Meanwhile, the usually opinionated Smith took a decidedly less direct approach when discussing the subject.

“I’m not very comfortable with this subject so I’m just going to say what I’m going to say because if you notice I go out of my way not to speak about Bronny James who I have never seen play,” said Smith. “The reason why I go out of my way not to speak about him is because I never liked the position that LeBron James put him in and I say that with profound respect.”

Where will Bronny be drafted?

As Smith and Perkins both referenced, LeBron James at times has perhaps put some extra pressure on his son’s shoulders, including stating that he is better than several players in the NBA and that he could have started on the Lakers this year.

To his credit, Bronny James has performed well at the combine so far despite a relatively pedestrian season at USC, although it should be noted that in that season, he was bouncing back from a cardiac arrest suffered last summer, so the fact that he was even able to suit up at all is an impressive accomplishment in its own right.

In any case, the NBA Draft is slated to take place in June.