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Bronny James Says He Had ‘Butterflies’ Ahead of NBA Summer League Debut

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Bronny James Says He Had ButterfliesAhead of NBA Summer League Debut
Bronny James Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Even as the son of basketball legend LeBron James, Bronny James still had “butterflies” before his first professional basketball game.

Bronny, 19, made his NBA debut playing for the Los Angeles Lakers as they faced off against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, July 6, and in a post-Game interview, he shared that he did feel a bit of nervous and excited energy beforehand.

“Every first game that I step in the next level, it’s always some butterflies in my stomach,” James, who was drafted by the Lakers last week, said in the clip shared by Bleacher Report.

Those flutters didn’t last long though. Once the game’s starting ball tip is over and things get going, James says, “It all goes away and I’m just playing basketball.”

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“It’s always gonna be there but, ya know, [I] get through it,” he adds.

During Saturday’s Game, James wrangled up a total of 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal with 22 minutes of playing time, per ESPN.

Saturday’s face-off was the first pro-level Game for Bronny, the son of NBA all-time leading scorer LeBron James, since being drafted by the LA Lakers with the 55th pick in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 27. The pick made LeBron, 39, and his son, the first official father-son duo to play in the league at the same time. In addition, the pair also will play for the same team.

Following the draft, critics raised questions about nepotism, but Lakers head coach JJ Redick shot down the accusations.

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“Bronny has earned this,” Redick, 40, said at a team press conference earlier this month.

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Bronny inked a four-year, $7.9 million contract with the Lakers on Wednesday, July 3. Earlier that day, LeBron also reportedly agreed to a two-year, $102 million deal with the team. LeBron’s contract features a player option for the 2025-26 season, allowing him to decide next off-season if he wants to continue with the team.

Prior to his NBA debut, Bronny played basketball at the University of Southern California. His career there was briefly put on hold when he underwent surgery to correct an “anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect” after collapsing and suffering cardiac arrest during a July 2023 practice session.

Bronny is the eldest son of LeBron and wife Savannah James, who exchanged “I do’s” in September 2013. The couple are also parents to son Bryce, 17, and daughter Zhuri, 9.

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