James said that his son, Bronny, could play for the Lakers ‘right now’
The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four games in a row and are 3-10 since winning the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament. Following their latest loss, a 14-point defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies, LeBron James said the Lakers “just suck right now.” That comment overshadowed a bolder claim he made about his son, Bronny, the same night.
While Anthony Davis was doing his post-game press conference in the locker room, Austin Reaves asked James about Bronny’s upcoming game for USC, and whether or not he’d be in the starting lineup. (Currently, Bronny has been coming off the bench upon his return from a cardiac arrest episode over the summer.) James said it was time for Bronny to start, then added the following, according to Claire de Lune of The Guardian: “He could play for us right now. Easy. Easy.”
Bronny is averaging 6.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 17.1 minutes per game to start his collegiate career (seven games). In Kyle Boone’s most recent NBA mock draft for CBS Sports, he doesn’t have Bronny as a first-round pick, and while Bronny will likely play in the NBA at some point, he obviously wouldn’t be the answer for the Lakers right now.
James is always going to have confidence in his son, however, and, in any case, his comments speak more to his frustration with the Lakers’ current situation than whether or not Bronny could actually hold his own in the NBA in the moment.
After a slow start last season, the Lakers made a surprise run to the Western Conference finals thanks to some big trade deadline moves and an elite defense. With most of that roster back, the expectation coming into this campaign was that the Lakers would once again be at the top of the West.
Instead, they’re stuck in 11th place at 17-19 heading into Sunday night’s showdown with the red-hot Clippers, who are winners of five straight, and wouldn’t even make the Play-In Tournament if the season ended today. And that’s with James and Davis playing in nearly every game so far (neither has missed more than three).
It’s no wonder that James is upset, especially considering that he’s doing more than his fair share by averaging 25.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game on 52.6% shooting in year 21 and at 39 years old no less.