It’s not easy being LeBron James’s son. Bronny James, the USC recruit, has faced lofty expectations ever since videos of him playing basketball went viral in middle school and he has been subjected to NBA hype ever since—his father voicing his desire to share the court with his son didn’t help.
But former NBA guard and current Inside the NBA analyst Kenny Smith is calling for the NBA world to pump the brakes on Bronny’s hype. It’s not that Smith doesn’t believe in the young guard’s abilities, but he notes just how hard it is to play a single minute in the NBA. Smith explained he doesn’t believe LeBron will retire this offseason and addressed fans who said he won’t retire until he plays with his son, who would be in the 2024 draft class, should he go one and done in college.
“Stop! His son is at USC and he has to go through a process to possibly get into the NBA that is very hard to get to,” Smith said on BigBoyTV. “People forget—75 years of basketball, Big, there’s only been 5,100 players that touch a floor.
“So to be waiting on your son to be one of those 5,100—that doesn’t even make sense either,” he continued. “He’s not waiting for his son. He’s hopefully wishing his son would make it.”
Smith’s estimation might not be dead on, but he’s right in the that there have only been a couple thousand players in NBA history. According to a November 2022 article from Sportskeeda that references information from Stathead, there were only 4374 players to ever appear in an NBA game at that time.
Bronny has yet to play a single minute for the Trojans, but fans will surely be watching with a microscope this upcoming season to see if he truly has what it takes to make it to the pros.