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Austin Rivers Thinks Bronny James Will Be Better Off Not Playing With Father in NBA


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To play with his dad or not to play with his dad is the Shakespearean question for USC’s Bronny James. On Monday, former NBA guard Austin Rivers gave the 19-year-old hooper a thoughtful word of caution.

Amid speculation that Bronny James intends to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft and somehow find his way to his father, LeBron James, on the Los Angeles Lakers next season, Rivers explained why a family reunion in the NBA may not be the best thing for Bronny.

“I hope it doesn’t happen,” Rivers said on ESPN on Monday. “I don’t want to see Bronny play with his dad, I really don’t. I went through something similar…What happens is a lot of people start to discredit everything you’ve done.”

Rivers, who’s played for seven different NBA teams, knows what it’s like to have a paternal presence on the court, even if his father, Doc Rivers, coached him rather than played with him. Doc Rivers and Austin Rivers spent four seasons on the Los Angeles Clippers as a father—son duo.

Rivers theorized that Bronny may be better off joining a contender where he can prioritize his own growth and development, rather than going to the Lakers—or wherever LeBron ends up—just to get overshadowed by his dad and heavily scrutinized by critics.

Rivers said, “Him going and playing with his dad—at this point in his career, just because Bronny’s success is not at a top-tier level—him getting drafted and playing with his dad, I don’t want that negativity to come his way. Because he doesn’t deserve it…I hope that he’s able to play somewhere where he can niche out his own identity.”

Currently, most reputable mock drafts predict Bronny will go undrafted. The Trojans guard has averaged 5.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in his freshman season so far.



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