by Martin Rogers
FOX Sports Columnist
Whether you’re the type of person who spends half their life watching videos online (aka a teenager) or making occasional forays into the social sphere, you’ve probably seen a clip that shows LeBron James this week.
The Los Angeles Lakers The star has posted a sequence of him and his two sons – Bruni and Bryce – on some serious training work at the team’s facility. He was impressive, endearing in many ways – and a sign of intent.
James doesn’t do much by accident, and over the years there have been countless instances where his interviews, Instagram posts, comments, actions, or clothing choices have been filled with subconscious subtlety and thinly veiled messages wrapped in engaging content.
Dropping such a piece two days before the four-time NBA champion became eligible for a contract extension with the Lakers could have been a coincidence. Ha! Yes maybe.
Only James knows what the message really is, but you can infer that it’s some version of an implied statement along the lines of: If the Lakers want James to commit quickly to anything beyond the year remaining in their current Tinseltown deal, then the family has better be a part of Deal.
James has been wanting to play with his eldest son Bruni he’s known for a while. It sparked as long ago as Bruni’s prep years and flatly doubled down earlier this year by saying his final season would be a tandem.
“My last year will be playing with my son,” James told The Athletic. “Wherever Bronny is, that’s where I’ll be. I’ll do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at this point.”
Bronny James is a rookie student at Sierra Canyon High School and is currently expected to be a mid-second rounder when he becomes eligible to enlist in 2024. He is said to be spending a year in college, playing in Australia or auditioning for G League Ignite Water after finishing high school.
LeBron’s representatives have a “productive” meeting with the Lakers’ copper | Not guilty
LeBron James and his representative Rich Paul met with Los Angeles Lakers manager Rob Pelinka on Thursday regarding a qualified James contract extension, according to Dave McMenamin.
LeBron James could sign a two-year extension worth up to $97.1 million, but no more, because he’s 37 and NBA regulations cover the length of high-life veteran agreements. He and his family settled in Los Angeles.
Negotiations are ongoing, but it is reasonable to expect that James may seek assurances that the Lakers will do everything in their power to get Bronney on board, despite not having a 2024 first-round pick.
He might, for example, look for them to bring Bronny into their G League program. He could push for a 1+1 extension with a player option for himself that would essentially make him a free agent again in the summer of 2024.
If that happened, then he could flex the muscles of his famous power. Unwanted teams can be warned not to bother crafting Bronny if LeBron isn’t willing to go there.
Or – and maybe that’s the ultimate parenting move – he could wait to see how the draft goes and then sign with that team to get a team-friendly character.
There is no doubt that James is committed to helping his son realize his potential, but there is also some concern that his bold statements have put pressure on the young man. Bronny is 6ft 3 tall but has only grown an inch in the past two years, which has seen him slip up some ranking lists.
He is commonly seen as a potential NBA role player at best.
“[LeBron] “I shouldn’t be thinking what’s best for Bruni,” Chris Broussard of FOX Sports said on his podcast “The Odd Couple.” The best play is to let him evolve and prepare. And maybe he will, I’m not saying he won’t.”
Bronny James has 6 million followers on Instagram and is already well known wherever he goes. Australia’s Sydney Kings have already stated that if he joins them, the club will sell 18,000 seats every night.
Evading the radar, for him, would simply never be an option.
LeBron James qualifies for a two-year, $97 million extension with the Lakers | Not guilty
LeBron James is eligible to sign a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers effective August 4.
An extra wrinkle in deciphering the James Future mystery is 15-year-old Bryce, a sophomore who some scouts think might end up being taller and better than his brother. Can James Sr. somehow continue to age 41 and play with his sons?
How the contract is drafted will give us the clearest view yet of what the rest of James’ career will look like. His relationship with the Lakers does not appear to be smooth sailing, however a breakup does not seem likely.
You can guarantee that he will demand a lot, and just as likely, that he will get it. Because when you’re one of the all-time NBA greats, there’s an easy reason to ask for the world.
Because you can.
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