LeBron James Defends Son Bronny After He’s Dropped From 2024 NBA Mock Draft

LeBron James Defends Son Bronny After Dropped from NBA Mock Draft
Courtesy of LeBron James/Instagram
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LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but at the end of the day, he’s still just a supportive father.

After his son and University of Southern California basketball star Bronny James was dropped from ESPN’s latest 2024 NBA Draft projections, the Los Angeles Lakers icon, 39, defended Bronny, 19, in since-deleted social media messages.

"Can yall please just let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball," LeBron wrote via X on Monday, February 26. “The work and results will ultimately do the talking no matter what he decides to do.”

LeBron continued, “If y’all don’t know he doesn’t care what a mock draft says, he just WORKS! Earned Not Given!"

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In the mock draft — a predictor of where college and amateur players will land professionally — ESPN did not list Bronny among their candidates for this June’s NBA Draft.

"And to all the other kids out there striving to be great just keep your head down, blinders on and keep grinding," LeBron concluded in a second since-deleted tweet. "These Mock Drafts doesn't matter one bit! I promise you! Only the WORK MATTERS!! Let's talk REAL BASKETBALL PEOPLE! ✌🏾👑."

While Bronny doesn’t appear in this year’s mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony does have him going in the second round, 39th overall, to the Portland Trail Blazers in his 2025 mock draft.

Bronny not being included in the 2024 draft would have been surprising at this time last year, but after suffering cardiac arrest in July 2023 and returning to the court for an underwhelming freshman season with the Trojans thus far, his placement is understandable.

Nineteen games into his freshman season at USC, Bronny is averaging 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

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What makes Bronny’s mock draft placement even more intriguing is that it assumes Bronny will return for his sophomore season with the Trojans, which has yet to be confirmed.

LeBron has been vocal about his desire to play with Bronny in the NBA, telling ESPN in October 2023, “I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny.”

"Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him,” LeBron continued. “I don't mean like [guarding him all game] because he's a point guard and I'm at this point now I'm playing center or whatever the team needs from me. But I would love to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be ideal for sure."

LeBron is signed with the Lakers through the end of the 2024-25 season, and, if the mock drafts are correct, Bronny would hypothetically enter the NBA the following season.