Yahoo Sports veteran NBA reporter Vincent Goodwill and Yahoo Sports NBA draft analyst Krysten Peek discuss how the Sierra Canyon High School senior, son of Lakers superstar LeBron James, has improved this season and where he might be heading to college.
VINCENT GOODNESS: Bronny seems to me like he has a mature, playful approach to the game, like just watching things happen. It was like passing first, taking the passing lanes, defending, that sort of thing. It looks like he’s starting to make a splash athletically. It’s — am I right that way?
Looks like he got the jump. Hoping. He didn’t seem like a superior athlete before. He looked like he was a really good basketball player. Now, the athlete seems to be coming out of it.
KRISTEN PEEK: Yes. Now Eastbay is doing dunks–
VINCENT GOODNESS: Yes.
KRISTEN PEEK: — in a fast race situation.
VINCENT GOODNESS: Yes.
KRISTEN PEEK: Are you kidding me? I thought, where did this Bronny James come from, because he’s always been a great three-pointer. I think he’s one of the best ball defenders in his senior year. I mean, I don’t think we’ve talked enough about Bronny’s defense.
But in one area– and I told him I saw him up his game this summer. And you know, you had to remember that Bronny was always in the shadows of other upcoming players. As a freshman, he played with BJ Boston and Zaire Williams, both in the NBA. Then he was playing with Amari Bailey, who is now at UCLA. You know, it’s always kind of overshadowed.
And now, that man. He’s the man in the Sierra Canyon. This is his team. He had about six games in which he scored more than 20 points.
And over the summer, I told him, the biggest improvement I’ve seen in his game – and remember, I’ve seen Bronny playing over 50 times, it’s like crazy – was his reading. Pick and roll as the primary ball manager. And that’s something I know he got from his father, from his father, because that’s not a thing — it’s not a skill learned at the high school level.
VINCENT GOODNESS: Right.
KRISTEN PEEK: But when you look at the NBA and LeBron comes out and says, “Look, I want to play with Bronny.” I want to play season with Bronny. So how can I, the father, one of the best to play the game, help my son get there sooner? I’ll teach him to read pick and roll.
And when I saw this this summer, I was like oh my god. For example, if his players were in, he let it fly every time. And I think it’s a high-level move that not many people will realize. But yeah, he– he turned the corner.
VINCENT GOODNESS: It seems to render the game faster.
KRISTEN PEEK: Yes, 100%. But in terms of college, so, I guess he’s visiting Ohio State. I know USC is out because they got one of the best guards in their class. They have colliers. Oregon is still in business. And I don’t think Memphis will mingle any longer with the three incoming guards.
So and then, I was thinking about G League too. But London Johnson is coming. So it’s always the best choice, right? So I don’t know. If I had to guess, I would have said he was going to either the State of Ohio or Oregon.
VINCENT GOODNESS: I mean, these are both Nike schools, right?
KRISTEN PEEK: Yes.
VINCENT GOODNESS: And LeBron always had that, you know, playing a game with Ohio State, “If I went anywhere, I’d go home and everything else.” Look, if I’m Bronny James and I lived in Miami and I lived in Los Angeles, who would say send me to Ohio? Like let’s be perfect– that’s emotional for LeBron. I am not emotional for me.
Like Bron, you were born in Ohio. Yes, I ran because we moved. Therefore. Will you send me back? No, I’m going somewhere else.