Looking a lot like dad, Bronny James makes NBA Summer League debut

SAN FRANCISCO — Oversized headphones on his ears and dressed in full Lakers gold as he geared up for his NBA Summer League debut, rookie Bronny James looked so much like his famous father it caused some people at Chase Center to do a double-take.

Even down to their familiar mannerisms and facial expressions. Then, Bronny took his place in the starting lineup for Los Angeles and his professional career was formally underway.

James missed his initial two shots while playing nearly six minutes in his first run of action — grabbing a defensive rebound 1 minute, 20 seconds into the game then missing a 21-foot jump shot moments later. He came up short on a 26-foot 3-point try at the 4:23 mark of the opening quarter before getting a breather.

James received cheers and a warm ovation when he returned to the court at the 8:17 mark of the second quarter. He was initially whistled for his first career foul on a 3-point attempt by Sacramento’s Xavier Sneed on the right wing with 7:23 remaining, and James argued briefly before the play went to replay review and was overturned. James missed a 3 off the front rim from the top of the arc at 7:04.

Then, at last, James scored his first NBA points on a driving layup 5:51 before halftime.

At one point during his warmup routine, the 6-foot-2 guard stood with hands on hips in a resemblant position to one of his father, LeBron. Drafted by the Lakers with the 55th overall selection in the second round out of the University of Southern California, Bronny James started against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday at the California Classic in the San Francisco arena home to the Golden State Warriors.

If all goes as planned, the 19-year-old James and his dad would become the first father-son pair to play in the NBA at the same time — and on the same team no less.

Bronny is NBA career scoring leader LeBron’s oldest son. He survived cardiac arrest last July 24 during an informal team workout at USC and it was later determined he had a congenital heart defect. The younger James signed a four-year contract that will pay him $7.9 million.

“It’s for sure amplified the amount of pressure,” Bronny James said this past week when formally introduced by the Lakers. “I’ve already seen it in (social) media and on the internet and stuff talking about (how) I might not deserve an opportunity. But I’ve been dealing with stuff like this for my whole life. It’s nothing different. It’s more amplified for sure, but I can get through it.”


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