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LeBron James a month after saying Bronny could play for Lakers right now: ‘Let the kid be a kid’

 LeBron James pats his son's back before a game.
Lakers star LeBron James pats the back of his oldest son, USC guard Bronny James, before a game against Long Beach State on Dec. 10 at Galen Center.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
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LeBron James is not shy about sharing his thoughts on social media.

Sometimes those thoughts are pretty run-of-the-mill, like what stand-up special he’s enjoying or random thoughts on whatever sporting event he happens to be watching at that moment.

Sometimes he’s more enigmatic, like his hourglass emoji post late last month that set off much speculation as to what message the NBA’s all-time leading scorer was trying to convey.

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James posted some thoughts Monday on X (formerly Twitter) that were neither of those things, as the Lakers superstar unloaded on the media’s coverage of Bronny James, his oldest son and a freshman guard at USC. The elder James was reacting to a post that reported ESPN had dropped Bronny from its mock NBA draft for this year and added him to its mock draft for 2025.

“Can yall please just let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball,” James wrote in one tweet. “The work and results will ultimately do the talking no matter what he decides to do. If y’all don’t know he doesn’t care what a mock draft says, he just WORKS! Earned Not Given!”

LeBron James has a $51-million option to play with the Lakers next season. Still, they can’t discount the possibility of the elder James leaving them to play with his son at some point.

Jan. 18, 2024

James added in a second tweet: “And to all the other kids out there striving to be great just keep your head down, blinders on and keep grinding. These Mock Drafts doesn’t matter one bit! I promise you! Only the WORK MATTERS!! Let’s talk REAL BASKETBALL PEOPLE!”

Both tweets have since been deleted.

To be fair, James seems to have unwittingly sparked a lot of the conversation about Bronny’s NBA future by making no secret of his desire to share an NBA court with his oldest son before retiring.

James also has chimed in on those discussions more than once. He made favorable comparisons between his firstborn and current NBA players in March by posting, “Man Bronny definitely better than some of these cats I’ve been watching on league pass today.”

Then in January, Guardian writer Claire de Lune reported she heard James “loudly” tell Lakers teammate Austin Reaves about Bronny, “he could play for us right now. easy. EASY.”

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Lakers star LeBron James posts an emotional message after watching son Bronny debut with the USC basketball team less than five months after suffering cardiac arrest.

Dec. 11, 2023

As the son of someone considered to be among the greatest basketball players of all time, Bronny James has been in the spotlight ever since he stepped on a basketball court. During his senior season at Chatsworth Sierra Canyon High, he averaged 14.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game, was named a McDonald’s All-American and was considered a four-star college recruit.

On July 24, James suffered cardiac arrest during a USC team workout at Galen Center. His recovery was swift, and the first-year player was able to make his Trojans debut less than five months later, during an 84-79 overtime loss to Long Beach State on Dec. 10. In his 19 appearances this season, James is averaging 5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 20.1 minutes a game.

James has yet to make public his plans beyond this season. LeBron James has indicated that he’s fine with whatever decision his son makes regarding his future.

“My job is to support my son in whatever he wants to do,” James told reporters last year.

An inside look at Bronny James’ unique senior season, during which he was helped and hindered by his famous father LeBron James.

March 28, 2023

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