Stephen A. Smith Points Finger at LeBron James for Media Pressure on Bronny During Freshman Season
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 11: Bronny James #0 of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers and father LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers walk off the court following the Hoophall West tournament at Footprint Center on December 11, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Stephen A. Smith Points Finger at LeBron James for Media Pressure on Bronny During Freshman Season [Video]

LeBron James Jr. has had a tough season so far, failing to meet expectations from people who have not played at a high level. To many, it is no surprise that Bronny’s cardiovascular setback and the tough Pac-12 Conference schedule for the Trojans have hurt his development and, ultimately, his draft stock. James is no longer in the ESPN NBA Mock 2024 Draft.

LeBron James took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to voice his displeasure in two deleted tweets.

“Can you please let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball,” James tweeted Monday. “The work and results will ultimately do the talking no matter what he decides to do. If y’all don’t know he doesn’t care what a mock draft says, he just WORKS! Earned Not Given!”

James sounds like a supportive father to some. However, James has to take responsibility for the media’s coverage of Bronny. James has said for years that he wants to play in the NBA with his son. With the 39-year-old not just playing in his 20th All-Star Game, NBA fans are wondering how many more years James wants to play.

During a segment on First Take, Stephen A. Smith discussed LeBron James’ responsibility for the media’s fixation regarding his son.

“When we get to Bronny James, that kid has done nothing. The kid has done nothing, but work hard, try to get on his game, and all this other stuff,” Smith said. “Any attention he has warranted has been because of his daddy. ‘I want to play with my son,’ ‘I want to be here until my son gets here.’ “We have seen interviews with Savannah and LeBron and they were asked about Bronny. What did she say? ‘I just want my son to be healthy and happy.’

Smith continued to explain that there is no ill will that should be directed towards LeBron for pushing for his son to join the Association.

“There’s no crime in that whatsoever, you can want that,” Smith said in his soliloquy. “But when you are LeBron James and you’ve put the word out that you want to play with him. You put the word out that you would be willing to go to any NBA team that picks him up. Knowing the power of LeBron James and how influential he can be, now you gotta wonder what team would draft Bronny James just so they could get LeBron James at age 40 or 41 right?”

“And if that’s the case and the sheer fact that that question would be asked brings in the question the legitimacy of Bronny because now you got people looking at LeBron James and wondering what kind of influence he would will to manipulate his son landing into the NBA. That’s LeBron, that’s not Bronny, that’s not USC, that’s not the High School he was playing at, that’s not some of his contemporaries, that is LeBron James. LeBron did that, so when they have a Mock Draft that’s put out.. what? Are they not supposed to do their job now? They do mock drafts every year, they’ve been doing it before Bronny James came along and they’ll do it when he’s gone. But you are going to tweet about leaving your son alone, you did that.”

Like Smith said, LeBron just owns it. It is the influence you carry as one of the greatest basketball players ever to play. Now, the same attention that was warranted at Sierra Canyon for Bronny is warranted at USC.

As the NBA season winds down and the Los Angeles Lakers sit in the play-in tournament if the playoffs start today, this will potentially be an uncharacteristically long offseason for LeBron.

He has voiced his displeasure with the Lakers front office in cryptic tweets and actions in vintage LeBron form. He is currently dealing with multiple responsibilities, including his own career, his youngest son Bryce James who is entering his senior year of high school, and Bronny’s uncertain decision about whether or not to pursue a career in the NBA. If Bronny does decide to play in the NBA, LeBron has the potential to use his influence to position him in the league. However, this decision may depend on whether or not the right opportunity arises after one more year of collegiate ball for Bronny.

Check out the clip of Smith below on First Take this morning.

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