Though James did not attend the tournament, two of his close friends did; Chris Paul and James’s former teammate Mike Miller each watched Bronny play. At one game, Paul sat next to James’s wife, Savannah, and the couple’s young daughter in a corner of the gym that was near an exit and well fortified by security guards. Bronny’s grandmother and other members of the family circle watched, too.
(One of Bronny’s games last summer had to be shut down because of a fan who was heckling James, which may have explained why there was also a security guard stationed on the Strive for Greatness bench.)
“He’s been well prepared for this — as well as anyone can,” Miller said. “It’s been a group effort, by his mom, his grandmother, the whole family.”
Bronny, who is listed as 6-foot-2, resembles his father in many ways: his smile, facial expressions and slightly duckfooted gait are familiar — as are his pass-first sensibilities, which is a largely recessive trait in the grass-roots basketball world. And yet there are signs that he is his own young man — his tinted hair is grown out more than his father’s ever has been, he wears the uniform No. 0 (not his father’s 23 or 6), and he can skillfully juggle a basketball with his feet.
In this orbit, Bronny is more complementary player than chosen one. Though his jump shot is much more refined than his father’s at a similar age, his physical gifts are playing catch-up with many of the elite players his age.
James lamented last year that he had passed his name on to his eldest child, though his intentions were honorable. “When I was younger, I didn’t have a dad,” he said on “The Shop,” his HBO show. “So my whole thing was like, whenever I have a kid, not only is he going to be a Junior, I’m going to do everything that this man didn’t do.”
James is not shy about sharing stories of his children on social media, which might explain why Bronny has 2.7 million followers on Instagram.