Bronny James Has 'Same Greatness We See From LeBron,' College Asst. Coach Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: 	Sierra Canyon guard Bronny James celebrates during a high school basketball game between Sierra Canyon High School and Wheeler High School in The Chosen-1's Invitational at Galen Center on January 7, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When it comes to Bronny James, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in the eyes of one college assistant coach.

"Simply put, Bronny is special, and he possesses the same greatness we see from [Los Angeles Lakers star] LeBron [James]," the assistant told On3's Jamie Shaw.

The comparisons to his father were inescapable when Bronny embarked on his own basketball journey, and they'll continue in the years ahead.

The 18-year-old has done well to manage that pressure and build a profile independent of his lineage. He's the No. 33 overall player in 247Sports' composite rankings for the 2023 class.

But arguing Bronny "possesses the same greatness" as LeBron might be setting the bar unreasonably high because the latter is one of the best players in NBA history.

An evaluation like that—whether the player is related to LeBron or not—can be more of a burden than it is praise. Just ask anybody who was dubbed "the next Michael Jordan" or named in the same breath as MJ before they entered the NBA or early in their pro career.

Shaw spoke with an ACC coach who had a more measured assessment.

"Bronny has a chance to be a really good college player on a winning team," they said. "He has a high-level feel, athleticism is a plus at his position, and he doesn't try to play hero ball. He makes the right passes and can hit shots."

ESPN's Jonathan Givony watched James play for Sierra Canyon at the Hoophall Classic and said he "reconfirmed his status as one of the best two-way players in high school basketball and a surefire future NBA player."

Givony praised James' playmaking and improved shooting but cautioned that he "looks better suited playing a De'Anthony Melton-esqe secondary ball-handling role than a true go-to guy."

Being the son of LeBron James certainly has its advantages, especially in an era when players can capitalize on their name, image and likeness without jeopardizing their NCAA eligibility.

One downside is that Bronny James has an almost impossible challenge ahead to match or surpass his dad's legacy on the court.