Bronny James’ NBA Draft Drama: LaLa Anthony’s Support Sparks Controversy

Bronny James' NBA Draft Drama: LaLa Anthony's Support Sparks Controversy
Image credit: Bronny James

The eyes of basketball fans were on Bronny James for weeks leading into the 2024 NBA Draft. As the son of LeBron James, he was undoubtedly the most intriguing prospect in the event. While he was projected to land in the second round, the anticipation surrounding which team would pick him reached a fever pitch on draft night. Ultimately, as many had speculated, the former USC guard was selected by the LA Lakers. Rob Pelinka, the team’s General Manager, and new head coach JJ Redick wasted no time in making their choice, bringing James Jr. to Hollywood to play alongside his legendary father, LeBron James.

Amid the excitement, Carmelo Anthony’s ex-wife, LaLa Anthony, took to Instagram to send a heartfelt message to Bronny James:

“Congratulations @bronny! Soooo proud of u!!!!!”

The message, posted on LaLa Anthony’s Instagram story, quickly went viral, with a photo of Bronny in his Lakers draft night suit accompanying the text. Although LaLa and Carmelo Anthony divorced in 2021, LaLa has remained close to the James family, making her public congratulatory message less surprising to those familiar with their relationship.

In 2022, LaLa Anthony witnessed James Jr. compete against her son, Kiyan Anthony, in a highly anticipated high school game. The showdown between Bronny’s Sierra Canyon and Kiyan’s Christ the King School came two decades after their fathers faced off on the NBA court. During that game, Bronny had a standout performance, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists. LaLa praised his efforts, and two years later, she once again acknowledged his achievements, this time for making it to the NBA.

The Anthonys’ support for the James family extends beyond Bronny. Carmelo and LaLa Anthony have also shown love for Bryce James over the years. Just last month, the Anthonys joined LeBron and Savannah James to cheer on their sons in an AAU game. The teens competed in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) for players aged 17 and under. Despite playing for different teams within the same conference, Kiyan Anthony and Bryce James received unwavering support from their parents.

LaLa Anthony’s Instagram post received mixed reactions from fans. Some praised her for maintaining a supportive relationship with the James family:

“She’s so real for that,” commented one fan.

“Lmaoo she funny,” wrote another.

However, others criticized the public display, questioning the appropriateness of such a close relationship given her divorce from Carmelo:

“Naa this sh*t is crazy,” said one critic.

“They got a whole home for all that,” another added.

The James family, including Savannah, LeBron, Bryce, and their agent Rich Paul, gathered in New York City to watch the draft. The emotional moment when Bronny’s name was called by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum was captured on video, showing tears of joy and pride from the family. Savannah and Bronny shared a heartfelt hug, symbolizing the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.

With Bronny now a Laker, the focus shifts to LeBron’s impending free agency decision. The Lakers’ rumored offer of a three-year, $160 million-plus contract aims to secure LeBron’s services and potentially make NBA history with the first father-son duo on the same team. Fans are eagerly awaiting LeBron’s decision, which is expected to be announced by Saturday. The anticipation adds another layer of intrigue to an already dramatic draft season.

While Bronny’s selection has generated considerable buzz, the Lakers have yet to finalize his contract and developmental plan. As a former USC standout, Bronny’s transition to the NBA will be closely watched. His integration into the Lakers’ system and his role on the team will be critical to his success and the team’s future performance.

From a journalistic perspective, the selection of Bronny James by the Lakers is a significant narrative in the world of sports. It highlights the intersection of legacy, family, and professional achievement. LaLa Anthony’s viral post adds a layer of human interest, demonstrating how personal relationships and public personas intersect in the sports world. Her support for Bronny, despite her separation from Carmelo, underscores the enduring bonds formed within the basketball community.

As the James family navigates this new chapter, the world watches with bated breath. Will LeBron and Bronny make NBA history together? Only time will tell, but for now, LaLa Anthony’s viral joke and the family’s joyous moments provide a glimpse into the personal side of one of basketball’s most iconic dynasties.

Alex Turner
What's up, hoops enthusiasts! I'm Alex Turner, a basketball junkie with a playbook for a heart. As a former player and coach, I've taken my love for the game and turned it into a journey of analysis and insight. My articles aim to break down the game's strategies, dissect crucial plays, and offer a glimpse into the tactical intricacies that make basketball an art. From the NBA to college hoops, I'm your go-to guy for decoding the language of the court. Let's dive deep into the world of basketball together!

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