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Bronny James not thinking of playing with his dad, he’d be happy getting to NBA

Bronny James, center, drives to the basket past Cam Spencer, left, during the NBA draft combine on Tuesday in Chicago.
(Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)
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Bronny James, meeting with reporters at the NBA draft combine Tuesday, said he had not thought about playing in the NBA with his father.

“I would be happy about getting to the league instead of me thinking about playing with my dad,” he said. “But that’s not my mindset at all. I’m just trying to put in the work and see where it takes me from there.”

LeBron James, earlier in his career, said it was his dream to play with Bronny one day in the NBA. But as that possibility got closer, LeBron and people close to him began to distance themselves from those plans in favor of Bronny forging his own path in a situation that’s best for him.

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“My dream has always just been to put my name out, make a name for myself, and of course, you know, get to the NBA, which is everyone’s end goal that is here,” Bronny James said Tuesday. “And, you know, I never thought about just playing with my dad, but of course he’s brought it up a couple times.”

James measured just 6 foot 1 ? inches in socks Monday in Chicago, but his 40.5-inch vertical set the stage for a positive testing day that included a pair of strong shooting performances.

He played in 25 games for USC last season, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists, numbers that have caused some to question his inclusion in the draft combine despite teams selecting him for the event.

Bronny James, right, listens to a reporter's question during a media session at the NBA draft combine Tuesday in Chicago.
Bronny James listens to a reporter’s question during a media session at the NBA draft combine Tuesday in Chicago.
(Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

“There’s nothing I can say to be honest. … You know, I obviously see everything that has been thrown my way,” he said. “But, you know, I just gotta shrug it off. And all the work that I’ve put in over this, I don’t know, many years … I just feel like I need to believe in myself and everything.”

He said he hasn’t made a final decision whether to remain in the draft or return to college.

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Speaking to reporters, Bronny said he has looked at players such as Boston guards Derrick White and Jrue Holiday as well as Sacramento guard Davion Mitchell — three defense-minded players — as ones he’d like to emulate should he get to the NBA.

“Just guys that excel in their role and, you know, get good money and get good playing time from it,” he said, “because they are locked into that role and know what they’re supposed to do.”

And that could be anywhere, Bronny said, whether it’s on a roster with his dad or not.

“I just want to, you know, have people know my name is Bronny James and not being identified as just LeBron James’ son,” he said. “I feel like that would be a great angle.”

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