Bronny James addresses his NBA future and whether he wants to play with his father, LeBron James. Screen grab: ESPN

The biggest star in this year’s NBA Draft isn’t the projected top pick in France big man Alex Sarr or a prospect with a storied college career like UConn center Donovan Clingan.

Rather, it’s a 6-foot-4 6-foot-1 without shoes combo guard who currently projects to be a second-round pick, if he’s drafted at all.

Yet despite Bronny James being the biggest name in the 2024 class, it wasn’t until Tuesday that the former USC guard publicly discussed his NBA aspirations for the first time. Speaking at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, the 19-year-old James finally addressed his NBA future and, in particular, whether it will include playing alongside his famous father, LeBron James.

“My dream has always just been to put my name out, make a name for myself and of course get to the NBA, which is everyone’s end goal that’s here,” the younger James said. “I never thought about playing with my dad. But of course he’s brought it up a couple times.”

James spoke to reporters for more than 18 minutes, which marked the significant media session he’s seemingly ever done. Despite being referenced as a potential NBA prospect before even beginning his high school career at the high profile Sierra Canyon School before going on to spend his freshman season at USC, his media interactions thus far have been limited to protected magazine pieces, brief Q&As on the summer basketball circuit and a short statement following his college debut.

That, of course, hasn’t stopped James from being a public figure, thanks in large part to his father repeatedly stating his desire to play alongside his oldest son in the NBA. That’s created a unique dynamic in which the younger James is this year’s most famous draft prospect — thanks in part to the potential ramifications his selection could have on his dad’s career — despite him being a lower level prospect who we still don’t know much about beyond his much more famous father.

Tuesday’s press conference was the first step toward changing that and it will be interesting to see how the coverage of James continues to evolve as we get closer to the draft. Having reportedly put together a strong showing in Chicago this week, all indications are that he’ll remain in the draft rather than returning to school, which should mean more opportunities for the media — and general public — to get to know the draft’s most famous prospect in the weeks ahead.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.