Home Sports 2024 NBA Draft Combine: Bronny James admits fear of heart condition is ‘still lingering’

2024 NBA Draft Combine: Bronny James admits fear of heart condition is ‘still lingering’

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May 14, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Bronny James speaks to the media during the 2024 NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny James isn’t like the other 77 prospects at the 2024 NBA Draft Combine, for reasons beyond the father looming over his career. Just nine months ago, James’ entire basketball future was in doubt.

James has come a long way since suffering cardiac arrest in July, returning to the court and playing 25 games at USC before declaring for the draft. He needed medical clearance just to have the opportunity to continue his NBA career.

As much as James would like to get over that incident, caused by a congenital heart defect, he admitted to reporters at the combine that the issue was still on his mind, via Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports:

“It still persists. My parents were a big factor in believing in me and giving me the love and affection I needed at that time. I still think about everything that could happen, but I love the game so much that it surpasses everything.

“I felt behind, but that’s not an excuse. I’ve worked for many years and I don’t want anyone to think that because I had this problem I’m below everyone else.”

James said that, if anything, the situation shows his perseverance:

“It was a tough time for sure, but all this work I did really turned me into someone who will never give up and it was worth it because I pushed myself through that situation and I’m back where I was.” want to be.”

It’s been a solid fit for James so far, outside of a 6-foot-1 1/2 height measurement that was well below his 6-foot-4 height at USC. He posted the third-best vertical jump in the combine with 40.5 inches and finished second in the 3-point shooting drill with a 19-of-25 performance.

On Day 2, he held his own in a practice, showing off the defensive and passing skills that are his best hope of proving he has a place in the league, though scouts remain skeptical he’s ready for the NBA.

If James makes it to the NBA, it will be as a point guard who is a pest on defense while working primarily as a facilitator on offense. It’s highly unlikely that he will become the kind of superstar his father is, and James seems aware of that with the comparisons he made to himself:

“My goal isn’t really to be ‘that guy’. There are a lot of guys in the NBA who already have that role. My current goal is to simply fit into a role that a team needs. That’s what will make me draft and excel in that role. ., Jrue Holiday, Derrick White. The guys who excel in their role and are focused on what they’re supposed to do.”

These three guys are 6-foot-4 or shorter and fit the style of play that James has presented, although James has a lot of ground to make up to get close to the level of Holiday and White. Mitchell’s NBA career hasn’t been all that great. he was successful, but he was much more successful than James in college.

Bronny James is anything but a normal NBA draft prospect. (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

For years, LeBron James has told anyone who asked him that his goal before he retires is to play with Bronny. There have been numerous debates about whether a contending team should intentionally pursue Bronny if it gives them the opportunity to sign LeBron. That may not be fair to Bronny as a player, but that’s what the conversation has been.

Bronny, however, poured some cold water on the idea, saying he was more focused on making it to the league:

“I don’t think I’d just get there and just be like me and my dad. I’d be happy to get to the league instead of thinking about playing with my dad. But that’s not my mindset at all.” “Right now I’m just trying to push myself and see where it takes me next.”

Young James dismissed the idea that a team would draft him just to have a chance with his father:

“Honestly, I feel like this is a serious matter. I don’t think it’s like, ‘I’m drafting this kid because I’m going to get his dad.’ I don’t think a GM would really allow that. I think I’ve put in the work and if I they select will be not only for the player but also for the person I am.

In a draft with very little clarity at the top, James’ fate could remain the most important variable. He just wants the deciding factor to be himself as a player and not his father, an understandable sentiment. Of course, it’s worth wondering if James would like the answer to that question, and if a 6-foot-1 player with a history of cardiac arrest and 4.8 points per game for a 15-18 team would have this kind of opportunity if his father was not LeBron James.

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