Bronny James carries a big responsibility since he is the song of LeBron James, one of the biggest NBA players of all time. Bronny is seen as the continuation of his father in the league, while others say he has the tools to even surpass LeBron when he makes it to the association.
Paul Biancardi, ESPN national recruiting director, scouted Bron when he was a sophomore in high school. Now, he's had the chance to scout Bronny and share the differences and similarities he sees between Bron and his firstborn. In a note for the worldwide leader in sports, Biancardi compared Bronny to the player his father was at the same age.
They are very similar at this stage when it comes to passing -- both love to be facilitators and can impact the game with their unselfishness. Remember that LeBron could have easily been the all-time leading scorer in the state of Ohio (he graduated at No. 3 all time, and is now No. 5) but was a willing playmaker who possessed uncanny vision and pinpoint accuracy. Bronny has played at a high level and has demonstrated that same affinity for dropping dimes to his teammates. During the high school season against his dad's alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary, Bronny made one of the best passes I witnessed all season -- an alley-oop to B.J. Boston thrown from just over half court. He passed the ball across his body to deliver a perfect alley-oop that was on time and on target.
At the same stage, Bronny also exhibits the same level of poise throughout the game, an above-average basketball IQ and the ability to make the right play.
A main difference at the same stage is in their approach. LeBron would look to take over games with an aggressive style, both within his age group and while facing older players. When LeBron was in high school, he was the star of the team. As a freshman at the varsity level this past season, Bronny was surrounded by older, top-level talent and deferred more -- which was smart. This will naturally change as he gets older. When Bronny plays his age group, he is more aggressive and scores with variety, and you can feel his presence as one of the best players on the court.
It should also be noted that when it comes to shooting the ball from the outside, Bronny's jumper is ahead of where his dad's was. Neither shot could be described as "pure," but Bronny has slightly better range and accuracy than LeBron did at this stage.
And of course, the biggest difference is that very few people knew who LeBron was before high school. The outsized expectations are unprecedented for Bronny. LeBron's performances in his early high school days created an enormous amount of excitement, so much so that we stopped recruiting him at Ohio State as a junior -- he'd already played himself into an NBA lottery pick and would become the No. 1 choice. LeBron's success has guaranteed an intense level of social media scrutiny for Bronny, and expectations and pressure from fans that is unrealistic.
Still, Bronny has handled every moment extremely well, with maturity, and even embraced the spotlight to some degree. I can see his dad's influence on his game, and definitely on his traits of being a good teammate, respecting the game and striving for completeness as a player. Bronny is his own person and player, will run his own race and will get where he needs to be based on his own talent and traits.
He surely has a lot of expectations around him, but as Biancardi says, he's gotten used to that and is actually embracing it. It's very normal to see Bronny doing his things without his father, somehow trying to separate from LeBron on the court and that is a huge advantage for him.
He appeared as the 24th in the ESPN 25 for the Class of 2023 on Tuesday and people have started to compare Bronny to his dad in a more serious tone. Some say the sky's the limit for him and he's showing a lot of good things with Sierra Canyon. He's about to enter his sophomore year in high school and the expectations will grow more and more as the years go by. He's very similar to his dad, but he has an advantage over the King.