Saturday was a banner day for the James family, or James Gang as LeBron tends to call them. Early in the day, Bronny announced his commitment to USC for what will likely be his only year of college basketball.
And while the day culminated with LeBron James and the Lakers going up 2-1 on the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, the biggest news of the day was Bronny’s decision. After Game 3, LeBron spoke about the emotions of the day and noted how monumental the achievement was.
“First of all, congratulation to my son on his next journey and picking a great university, USC. I’m proud of him,” LeBron said. “This is an incredible thing. I think I told (Lakers reporter) Mike (Trudell) after the game, unless it was one of my great grandmothers or great grandfathers or somebody that was way before my time, to my knowledge, this is the first one out of the James Gang to go to college. Obviously, his dad didn’t go to school. His mom didn’t go to college. I think my mom maybe stepped on campus a little bit, maybe a community college or something. But she had my little a-- running around so she couldn’t spend much time in the classroom at 19 years old. She couldn’t do that. I was three.
“So, it’s very, very, very, very exciting, very humbling and a great moment for our family. It’s super cool. He’s a great kid. University is getting a great kid. Obviously, he’s there to play basketball but they’re going to be super surprised at how great of a kid he is even though they’ve been recruiting him for quite a while.”
There’s maybe a bit of a caveat in that LeBron didn’t go to college, because he could immediately step into the NBA and be an All-Star caliber player. Realistically, he could have stepped onto any campus in the country.
But that’s not the point and doesn’t diminish the accomplishment in any way. It is a banner moment that should be celebrated accordingly.
It’s also a step forward in LeBron’s goal of playing alongside his son. It’s been his long-desired goal, and one that is coming closer and closer to fruition. Assuming Bronny is a one-and-done, there will be just one more season before they would potentially play in the league together.
What once felt like a bit of a pipe dream is now on the brink of becoming reality. During his postgame press conference on Saturday, LeBron was asked if he truly believed he could one day play in the NBA with his son.
“No, I was serious. And I’m still serious about it,” LeBron said. “Obviously, I have to continue keeping my body and my mind fresh, I think my mind most importantly. I think if my mind go, my body will just be like ‘Okay, what’re we doing?’ But at the end of the day...I’ve done what I had to do in this league and my son is going to take his journey. And whatever his journey, however his journey lays out, he’s going to do what’s best for him. As his dad and his mom Savannah and his brother and sister, we’re going to support him in whatever he decides to do. Just because it’s my aspiration and my goal doesn’t mean it’s his.
“And I’m absolutely okay with that. My job is to support my son in whatever he wants to do. I support my youngest son Bryce, I support my daughter Zhuri in whatever they want to do and go from there. One thing about being a parent, it’s not always about what you want, it’s about listening to your kids and what they want. That’s when you get a real relationship with them.”
It’s been said multiple times, but it can’t be said enough how great of a father LeBron is. Everything about that quote is fantastic.
There are some greater questions to be asked about whether his goal is to still play on the same team as his son or just in the league with him, but the fact that is now the debate and not whether any of it’s even possible is incredible and another testament to LeBron’s longevity.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.