LeBron James has often stated his desire to play with his son Bronny on an NBA floor, but with the younger James still only a junior in high school, that dream is still a few years away. Still, the four-time NBA MVP got the next best thing on Sunday when he played against Ziaire Williams, a former high school teammate of Bronny’s at Sierra Canyon. James acknowledged just how strange it was to face off against the next generation to reporters after the Los Angeles Lakers beat Williams’ Memphis Grizzlies.
“I looked at Ziaire a couple times and was just shaking my head inside,” James told reporters. “Just remembering a year and a half ago, two years, not even a full two years, he was hitting a game-winner to send them to the state championship alongside my son, and going to the game and supporting Sierra Canyon, and one year at Stanford and now he’s here, so it’s a weird dynamic for myself to see something like that but happy for the kid, obviously. But I had a moment for sure.”
James is going to have to get used to that feeling, though, because it’s going to become an increasingly frequent occurrence. In fact, one of Bronny’s ex-high school teammates plays in LeBron’s own city. Brandon Boston Jr., a second-round pick out of Kentucky, also played at Sierra Canyon with James Jr. and will face off against the elder LeBron for the first time on Dec. 3 when the Lakers play the Clippers.
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In theory, things could get even stranger for James down the line. Zaire Wade, son of James’ former teammate Dwyane Wade, is also a Sierra Canyon alum and was just picked No. 10 overall in the G League Draft by the Salt Lake City Stars. If he makes it to the NBA, James would not only have to face off with one of his son’s former teammates, but the son of one of his closest friends.
Looking down the line, James will almost certainly face off against Sierra Canyon’s top prospect from the class of 2022, Amari Bailey, when he reaches the NBA in a few years. Bailey currently ranks No. 6 in his class according to 247Sports and is headed to UCLA. A year later, the top recruit in Bronny’s own class of 2023 is DJ Wagner, son of Dajuan Wagner, who played with James in his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
We’re in uncharted waters here with James. No superstar has ever maintained supremacy over the league for this long. His generation is largely gone, and now, his son’s generation is set to replace it. Eventually, James is going to have to cede his place in the spotlight, but for now, he’s still getting the better of these younger players. The Lakers defeated Williams’ Grizzlies 121-118 last night, making James undefeated against his son’s former teammates thus far this season.