LeBron James desperately wants a fifth championship, but there is one goal that stands above the rest before he completes his NBA journey: playing in a game with his son, Bronny.
"I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny," James told ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "Either in the same uniform or a matchup against him. I don't mean like [guarding one another all game]—because he's a point guard and I'm a, at this point now I'm playing center or whatever the team needs from me. But I would love to do the whole Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. thing. That would be ideal for sure."
Bronny James is currently a high school senior, meaning he would not be eligible to play against his father until the 2024-25 NBA season. He is currently not considered a high-level NBA prospect, coming in as the No. 43 overall player in the 2023 high school class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
It's expected that Bronny will play at least one year at the college level before turning pro.
LeBron James will be heading into his age-40 season by the time Bronny is eligible to turn pro. That would require LeBron to continue playing until his 22nd NBA season, which would tie Vince Carter for the most in league history. He is already one of only 10 players in NBA history to compete in 20 NBA seasons.
Good news: LeBron remains one of the best players in the world. He's averaging 28.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game this season for the Lakers. While no one would confuse him with being the same caliber of player he was a decade ago, James still should be playing at an All-Star level two years from now, barring a catastrophic injury.
The only real question in this scenario is Bronny's development. If he plateaus or underwhelms at the collegiate level, it's hard to imagine a team being willing to take a chance on Bronny without the cache of his last name. Even LeBron seems to acknowledge the next step—taking his game to a higher level—will be dependent on his son's work ethic.
"I ask him what are his aspirations, and he says he wants to play in the NBA," James said. "So, if he wants do to it, he's got to put in the work. I'm here already, so, I'm just waiting on him."