Is Lebron James Jr. the Most Popular 8th Grade Athlete of All-Time?
By: RandyDicker 
August 22, 2018

Lebron James Jr.,” Bronny”, is the most talked about 8th grade basketball prospect in the country by a landslide.  In fact, it can be argued that he is receiving more press than the most elite high school seniors graduating this year.  

Bronny is in the spotlight this summer regarding what high school he will go to, where he will play if he decides to go to college, and the buzz of whether his father, Lebron James, will be able to play with his son when Bronny potentially graduates in 2022.

Crossroads School Looks to be the Landing Spot for Lebron James Jr.

It is widely speculated that Bronny will attend the prestigious Crossroads Academy in Santa Monica, California.  There is an outside chance he could change schools for one reason or another, but for now, Crossroads Academy has won the school version of the lottery.

Bronny will not be able to play varsity basketball this year for Crossroads as he needs to at least be a freshman, however, he will most likely join the school’s middle school basketball team and continue his stellar play in the AAU scene.

AAU Basketball

Lebron James Jr. Will be Taking his Talents to………...

If Bronny decides to go the college route, which current NBA rules encourage, there are coaches all over the country dreaming of the opportunity to bring the Lebron James Jr. hype train to their university.  However, most NCAA colleges don’t have a shot. In fact, it is speculated that two schools will be considered.

The first is the Duke Blue Devils.  Coach K has coached Lebron James in USA competition and their relationship is solid gold (pun intended).  The respect both men have for each other is mutual, and of the highest regard.

After Bronny led his AAU team, the North Coast Blue Chips, to the USBA national title in Charlotte, NC this summer, the team made the two-hour trip to Durham to visit Duke’s campus.  Joined by incoming freshman, Zion Williamson, and former Duke guard and current director of basketball operations, Nolan Smith, Bronny and his team were given a look at Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke’s practice facility the K Center.  While reason for the trip were of an “unofficial nature”, the visit was meant for other reasons than to congratulate the Blue Chips on a job well done, wink wink.

The second school thought to be in the running is, yes, you guessed it, the Kentucky Wildcats.  Who aren’t the Wildcats in consideration for? Anyway, Lebron James has a great relationship with Coach Calipari.  Considered to be the best salesman in the NCAA, it wouldn’t be surprising if Coach Cal turned his friendly relationship with Bronny’s Dad into a signed commitment letter from Lebron James Jr. to play basketball at Kentucky.

Potential for History with a Little Help from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Current rules in the NBA require a 1-year wait before a high school athlete can enter the NBA Draft.  Hence the “one and done phenomenon” currently ruling the NCAA basketball landscape. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has hinted that this rule may change soon, giving high school seniors the ability to declare for the NBA draft again.  

Lebron James’ recent signing with the Lakers has his contract expiring in 2022, which happens to be the year when Lebron James Jr. is expected to graduate from high school.  If Lebron signs an extension, and if the draft rule changes like it is expected to, it opens the opportunity for father to play with son. Lebron James has said it would be the ultimate career honor to play with his son.

This writer believes it will be a done deal.  When Lebron James puts writing on the wall, it can be considered NBA gospel.  I can see no reason for viewership and revenue that this won’t be an opportunity available to the father/son duo in 2022.  

Caveats to this include the obvious one, the NBA doesn’t change the draft rule.  The one most interesting to me is Lebron James will be pushing 40. Lebron has undertaken a strenuous NBA career in relation to his minutes and amount of games played.  The man has made eight consecutive NBA Finals and been the key cog in each run. Now he goes to a Lakers team that has been one of the league's worst for years. He will need to exert even more effort to make the Lakers a playoff team, let alone a team capable of making a run to the NBA Finals.  

It would be a great story to have Lebron James and Lebron James Jr.  take the court together for the same team in the 2022-2023 NBA season, but with Lebron being on a sub-par Lakers team in the arduous Western Conference, and the new personal ventures he will embark upon in Los Angeles, it would be remarkable if Lebron had enough gas in his NBA tank to make this dream a reality.  

Case Closed

I think I’ve made the case that Lebron James Jr. is the most popular 8th grade prospect in history.  Sure, social media is a big factor and adds to the hype, but the pressure of being arguably the greatest basketball player of all times son is immense, and Bronny has shown no worse for the wear.  To be in 8th grade and be under the microscope he is, Bronny is showing to be a remarkable young man who strives to improve his game while being a good kid.  Who knows what the future holds, but I’m willing to bet that as the pressure becomes tighter and tighter, Lebron James Jr. will handle it, prosper, and have a basketball career he and his father will be proud of.  

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