LeBron James says he could stay in NBA long enough to play with his younger son Bryce, too

·Writer
·3 min read

LeBron James has already made waves by saying he intends to play his final NBA season with his oldest son, Bronny, wherever that may be. Turns out he might have another son in mind, too.

Speaking with Sports Illustrated's Chris Ballard, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar hinted that he would like to stick around in the NBA long enough to play with not just Bronny, currently entering his senior year of high school, but his 15-year-old son Bryce, as well.

From Sports Illustrated:

Still, the wheels are already turning. The free-agency deals and trades swirling around us? “I’d definitely be looking at who got first-round picks in 2024, 2025, things of that nature; 2026, ’27. I pay attention to that type of stuff.”

I do the math — 2027? — and nod at Bryce. “Is there a chance you’d stick around for this guy, too?”

LeBron smiles. “I feel like I could play for quite a while. So it’s all up to my body, but more importantly, my mind. If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky’s not even a limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we shall see.”

James recently signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers which will allow him to become a free agent after Bronny's freshman year of college (or a year of post-high school G League or another league).

Currently ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 61 prospect in the Class of 2023 by Rivals, Bronny, who is already signing NIL deals, could be a long shot to be a legit one-and-done prospect considering he's only 6-foot-2 and hasn't really broken out as a game-breaker in high school (though his Sierra Canyon team has plenty of mouths to feed).

In theory, though, NBA teams may throw a pick at him just for a shot at landing James on an under-market deal. By saying he wants to play with Bronny (fun fact: James' family told SI he did not tell them he was going to say that), he's basically giving teams the chance to draft LeBron James with a second-round pick.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 12: LeBron James attends the Premiere of Warner Bros
LeBron James has big plans for his sons. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

If James pulled that off, he would become the first NBA player to play alongside his son and just the fourth athlete overall in the major North American sports leagues, joining Gordie Howe, Ken Griffey and Tim Raines. With only two years to go, it seems quite possible, but adding Bryce to the mix extends the timeline quite a bit.

Can LeBron James play long enough to overlap with Bryce?

Almost certainly.

There are no sure things when you are planning five years into the future with the NBA, but if there is a player who can play effectively into his 40s, it's James. Even at 37 years old, he is still a perennial All-Star, though injuries have quietly nagged him during his Lakers tenure.

No one ever said James still has to be LeBron James when Bryce, or even Bronny, reaches the NBA for the milestone to count or the moment to have less meaning. Vince Carter played until he was 43 and still got his flowers. Udonis Haslem has been more a coach than a player for a half-decade.

Barring some gruesome injury, James playing into the 2026-27 or 2027-28 season seems very possible if not probable. Thanks to his otherworldly basketball IQ, passing, defensive versatility and solid enough 3-point shooting, it's hard to see his current All-Star-level skills degrading to the point that no NBA team wants him.

The bigger question is: Will Bryce be ready for the NBA at that point? He is reportedly already as tall as Bronny, so he has a better chance at reaching typical NBA size, but it's impossible to say if the skill level will be there.