NBA 2022: ‘Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be’, LeBron James doubles down on retirement plan with son, Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James still has a few more years left in his NBA career as he looks to fulfil his long held dream with a remarkable exit.

LeBron James’ final NBA season is nearing as the 37-year-old reiterated he would spend his last season playing alongside his eldest son Bronny and whoever drafts him.

LeBron has not hid the fact playing with his son is his dream farewell, but as it gets closer, the legendary star appears desperate to hang around to ensure it happens.

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Currently, Bronny is a junior in high school and is ranked as a second-round prospect in the 2023 class, and would likely enter the NBA in the 2024-25 season.

Speaking to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd over All-Star weekend, James said he would go anywhere to finish his career alongside his son.

“My last year will be played with my son,” James said. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”

LeBron also didn’t close the door on finishing his career in Cleveland, where his career began, and where he returned to win the franchise’s first championship in 2016.

“The door’s not closed on that,” James said. “I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free.”

While Bronny has never been as super hyped prospect and is seen as a role player for his Sierra Canyon high school team, social media pointed to a wild scenario where the youngster will drafted in the NBA in order to get LeBron.

Memphis Grizzlies beat writer Damichael Cole tweeted: “What if Bronny is like the projected 27th pick or something? If you’re a GM, do you draft him like 5th knowing LeBron James is coming too? That’s going to be a wild time”.

Richland Source editor Larry Phillips wrote: “This may be news to LeBron, but Bronny is not an NBA prospect, unless he grows dramatically in the next 2 years.”

Former NFL wide receiver Mark Dell added: “Idk If I’m Bronny let me make it to the league on my own! Nobody wanna hear you only made it Bc yo dad they whole career”.

CBS Sports’ NBA reporter Sam Quinn explained: “This is very simple:

“What is the highest draft pick a contender would trade for a one-year rental on a 40-year-old LeBron James? That is where Bronny will get picked.

“If I were Bronny, I wouldn’t have wanted my dad saying what he said. Those questions are gonna follow him forever. My read on the situation is that the James camp is getting worried that Bronny just might not be a one-and-done-caliber prospect.”

Portland Tribune managing editor of sports Austin J. Write opined: “The tanking in the 2023-2024 NBA season will be legendary”.

He added: “I feel like LeBron might still be fantastic, so really a team might make the move just to secure him instead of Bronny haha. But yeah, it would be something very cool to see that we might never seen in the NBA again”.

It will be fascinating viewing over the next few years.

But despite being 37, LeBron has admitted this season has been his “strangest” NBA season as injuries and Covid protocols have intervened but he’s still on pace for his best scoring average since 2010.

James ranks third in the NBA in scoring at 29.1 points a game, half a point a game behind leader Joel Embiid of Philadelphia.

He’s on pace for his topscoring campaign since averaging 29.7 a game in 2009-10, the seventh and final season of his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I can’t explain the groove that I’m in right now offensively,” James said. “I guess just playing some good basketball.

“Just trying to be efficient. I’m not just out there jacking up a bunch of shots.

“I work on my craft. I’m trying to see ways that I can continue to stay in great rhythm and ways I can continue to get better. Even at my age, I’m never satisfied.”

The Lakers are off to a 27-31 start to stand ninth in the Western Conference in a campaign where injuries to James and Anthony Davis have nagged the club and Covid-19 protocols have added to the uncertainties.

That has made it tough on James even with his emphasis on fitness to stay among the NBA’s top talents at 37.

“It has just been very challenging, very physically and emotionally draining at times,” James said. “But that’s the NBA season for you.

“If you’re not having your mindset on that happening, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’ve always kind of known that’s going to happen at some point throughout the season.”

— with AFP

Originally published as ‘Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be’: LeBron James’ retirement plan

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