Bronny James may want to update his passport as he might get a chance to play basketball overseas.
LeBron James’ eldest son is a four-star recruit to the 50 best players for the Class of 2023. USC, Oregon and Ohio State are believed to be the three programs paving the way for his services. He could also go to the G-League before entering the NBA draft.
However, a new option presented itself. NBL, Australia’s best basketball player, owner Larry Kestelman tries to bring Bronny to the land of kangaroos, surf and good weather.
Bronny James will have options.
“We’ve absolutely reached out and there’s the beginnings of a conversation but it’s very early days,” Kestelman told News Corp, according to the Herald Sun.
Not only does the NBL want to add Bronny James, but Kestelman is leaving the door wide open to add his dad to the league.
“It would be amazing to see, not just him, but I know there’s been a conversation about him and LeBron playing a season together. It’s been a long time, but the conversation has started and we’ll be in on it,” explained Kestelman.
Is it time for a little reality check?
While Bronny James is a four-star recruit and has some potential, he’s not even close to being good enough to play overseas. No way.
The 6’3″ Sierra Canyon guard may not even be good enough to start on some of the top 10 college basketball teams right now. For those of you who don’t follow overseas basketball, the best overseas teams would be the college boat racing teams. We’re talking about grown men playing teenagers.
We also have some examples to build on. Brandon Jennings was a five-star recruit and one of America’s top 10 players out of high school in 2008, and instead of playing college he went to Italy. For the most part, he made little impact and was unable to handle the physically demanding nature of European basketball at such a young age.
He averaged just 5.5 points per game in Italian league games and shot a whopping 20.7% from the field, and he was SUBSTANTIALLY more talented than Bronny James at the same age.
Jennings isn’t the only example of the poor translation of American high school stars into the foreign game. Jeremy Tyler was another five-star player who landed in Israel after playing in college, and he went after his freshman year in high school.
He didn’t even have a full season before Maccabi Haifa sent him packing. He went on to be an NBA draft pick and was a much better prospect than Bronny James.
Australia’s top professional league is full of exceptional players. Again, we are talking about grown men versus teenage men. It would be one thing if we were talking about a prospect like Zion Williamson or even his father in 2003. Even Terrance Ferguson, another five-star fresh out of high school, averaged less than five points per game in Australia in 2016-2017 . The best example of success is the short career of Emmanuel Mudiay in China. Other than that, it’s incredibly rare for an American prep player to make a big impact overseas.
However, there is always room for disagreement on this issue. A friend of mine who spent over a decade playing basketball at incredibly high levels overseas told me he thought Bronny might be playing in Europe right now just for marketing reasons. From a talent standpoint, he thinks Bronny could get minutes, maybe outside of the top teams, right now, but wouldn’t be dominating on any of them.
Bronny James is just too small and raw right now to compete with top pros anywhere in the world. He would be better served by going to the G League or college for at least a few years.