LeBron James says watching son, Bronny, play at USC gives him ‘anxiety’

LeBron James also explained his gripe with college basketball play

LeBron James didn’t hold back his thoughts about college basketball, and specifically his son, Bronny James, playing at USC.

On the latest episode of the “Mind the Game” podcast with co-host JJ Redick, James revealed that he has anxiety watching his son play this season, his freshman year with the Trojans.

“The NBA is the best league in the world,” the Los Angeles Lakers superstar said. “That’s why it’s hard to watch my son play college basketball. … It is hard watching a 40-minute college basketball game. It’s hard. I get more anxiety and I sweat more watching college basketball, especially my son now, than I’ve ever done in my life.”



Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans greets LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Galen Center on January 06, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.  (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

James never played college basketball, making the jump from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, to the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The college game is certainly different from the NBA, but James shared his gripes with the lower level, and they’re pretty in depth.

“I’ve never understood why a coach will throw the ball into the post with his big with no business with the ball in the post,” he explained. “The only time the ball should go into the post with the big is if he, automatically, as soon as he catches it, flattens the defense, and he goes right back to the DHO (dribble hand off) uphill, roll — if he’s not a pocket passer, you can’t throw it low, throw it to the rim — or it’s his job is to just shrink the defense cause his role is so dynamic.


“I watch college games and I see guys throw the ball in the post to guys, and they’ll turn around and shoot a jump shot or a running left-handed jump hook.”


Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, and his wife Savannah James, watch their son Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans play against the California Golden Bears in the first half at Haas Pavilion on February 07, 2024 in Berkeley, California. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Bronny dealt with a cardiac arrest before the start of the season, which was a scary moment for the James family. He was able to recover and play in 25 games this season for a Trojans squad that struggled. He missed the first eight games.


He averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes per game for USC.

The biggest question now for Bronny is whether he will enter the 2024 NBA Draft with the Trojans’ season over.

“It’s up to him,” LeBron said during NBA All-Star Weekend. “It’s up to the kid. Obviously, we gonna go through the whole process. He’s still in season now, has the Pac-12 tournament coming up. … We gonna weigh our options, and we gonna let the kid make the decision.”


LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shouts to his son, Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans, during Bronny’s game against the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion on February 07, 2024 in Berkeley, California. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The elder James has noted wanting to play with his son in the league, and the Lakers have shown interest in potentially drafting Bronny to keep LeBron in Los Angeles.



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