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Is Bronny James riding on LeBron's coattails, or does he have real talent like Stephen Curry?

It’s been two weeks since the 2024 NBA Draft concluded. Nevertheless, Bronny James is the name on everyone’s lips. It’s like someone forgot to take his banner off the billboard and left him hanging in a sticky situation. That’s exactly how it seems to be at his new home, the Lakers, and the convoluting narrative of nepotism around the 19-year-old has been maddening, showing no sign of stopping. But like a breath of fresh air, Bronny got some respite thanks to his comparison with a player he’s been star-struck around, Stephen Curry.

The comparison appeared in the latest The Doug Gottlieb Show episode. The host, Gottlieb, slammed the narrative of nepotism around Bronny James’ joining the Lakers. Gottlieb said, “If you’re good enough, you’ve prepared enough. If you’ve done enough for the job, then all by all means you can elevate.”

Bringing in the example of Stephen Curry, he continued, “There’s something different when you grow up and your dad’s a pro. You learn how to train with the pros. You look at Steph Curry, right? If you learn what it’s like to train, to be a professional athlete, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be a boss or a leader…that’s as good or better than your mother or father…but it also doesn’t mean you won’t be”.

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Steph is the son of former NBA star, Dell Curry. The former Hornets guard spent 16 seasons in the NBA with the 1994 Sixth Man of The Year to show for. So for Steph, who grew up witnessing a pro athlete, in a similar sort of derogatory environment at school, the work ethic and professionalism were instilled over a long period that helped him achieve the success he is having in the league.

Poll of the day

Do you think Bronny James is benefiting from nepotism in his basketball career?

Yes

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It's complicated

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USA Today via Reuters

Gottlieb alluded to a similar learning curve for Bronny, but he believes JJ Redick is already creating an illusion around James Jr regarding his development.

Gottlieb calls out JJ Redick over Bronny James’ developmental lies

Bronny James’ cardiac issue last year took a massive toll on his development. After returning to action, he never really got going and his USC stat line shows that. So for a player like him who had significant months of development cut short, what exactly was the measuring stick? For JJ Redick, it was only Bronny’s words. “Bronny talks about his hard work,” Redick said during the draft pick introduction press conference.

“Bronny has earned this through hard work. And for us, prioritizing player development, we view Bronny as like case study one, because his base level of feel, athleticism, point of attack defender, shooting, passing, there’s a lot to like about his game. And as we sort of build out our player development program holistically, he’s going to have a great opportunity to become an excellent NBA player.” Gottlieb reminded everyone about these comments from JJ Redick from that press conference and accused the HC of lying.

“Here’s the thing, JJ, I’ve watched Bronny play, and if he in fact can do it all, no one’s ever actually seen it,” the Fox Analyst said.

After highlighting Bronny’s lower-than-average build, Gottlieb called out JJ’s cry for development and said, “JJ, what he’s trying to say is like, hey, we’re gonna develop him (x3) If you’re gonna develop him, send him to the G League. That’s what that league is for. If you’re in the NBA, you’re just doing workouts. You’re not doing practice.”

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As of now, there has been no indication of Bronny playing in the G-League and his guaranteed contract only points towards him staying on the roster throughout the season. With limited minutes and a mountainous chip on his shoulders, it’s certainly going to be a long road ahead for the teen to replicate anything remotely close to Stephen Curry.

The 19-year-old has shown the community glimpses of being a neat shooter and good passer. However, he’s yet to possess any real threat when it comes to his ball-handling and shot-creation to be even a guard rotationally. Redick and Co. could although hand him a different role. With JJ being a sharpshooter himself, the franchise’s gameplay would be built around the same principle. That’s because, in the past, the head coach of the Lakers has joked about LeBron James continuing another six years by only shooting, nothing else!

The point is that Bron and AD can be deemed as natural advantage creators with equal defensive capabilities, however, D’Angelo Russell’s perimeter defense was a gaping hole in the playoffs, with Austin Reaves not being a decent shot-stopper either. So, henceforth, when teams begin double-teaming the main guys on the hardwood, Bronny James could be the go-to guy for receiving passes and stabilizing the team with his 6-7.25 wingspan!

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Stay tuned for more such updates, and to follow what brand maker and Shaq’s ex-agent, Leonard Armato, had to say about the deadly duo, Shaq and Kobe, check out this video