NBA draft : Lakers pick Bronny James (LeBron got 'emotional')

A father-son NBA pair had never played together before Thursday. After the Los Angeles Lakers selected Bronny James, the eldest son of LeBron James, with the 55th choice in the second round, the first father-son combination will be teammates.  

ESPN sources said the James family learned at a small New York dinner gathering. Many of Bronny's close friends including LeBron's mother, Gloria, and wife Savannah's parents came.  

LeBron led the Lakers in a champagne toast after their decision, a source told ESPN, and was "very emotional" given the weight of the situation.  

"There has never been a father and son on an NBA basketball court, and that feels magical," Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said. "We respect LeBron's opt-out choice, but if he joined us next season, NBA history might be made. NBA history should be made in Lakers gear."  

Bronny, 19, averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 19.4 minutes per game in his only USC season. After five months out recovering from a cardiac arrest and congenital heart defect surgery, he returned to play for the Trojans midseason.  

The NBA's Fitness to Play Panel approved the 6-foot-1, 210-pound guard for the draft last month before the draft combine.  

At the combine in Chicago, the former McDonald's All-American performed well in agility and 3-point shooting drills, boosting his status.  

"Bronny is, first and foremost, a person of high character," he remarked. "Secondly, he is a hardworking young man. We look for those traits in Lakers draftees and developmental players."  

His father has until 5 p.m. ET Saturday to opt into his final Lakers deal, worth $51.4 million next season, or become an unrestricted free agent. Sources tell ESPN that the Lakers are willing to offer LeBron James the maximum three-year, $162 million deal he is eligible for to keep him for his 22nd season and beyond.  

Before Thursday's second round, Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis said ESPN he backed the team attacking Bronny.  


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