It’s Tuesday. By now, you’ve read dozens of stories about the greatness of LeBron James, a championship coming to Cleveland, the block, a legacy cemented in blah blah blah, yada yada yada. This ESPN story about all that is no different, except for one throwaway parenthetical that seems worthy of its own story.
He raised both arms, just as he did when he pinned Iguodala’s would-be layup against the glass with his right arm, and his 11-year-old son LeBron Jr. did the same (making it no wonder why he already has standing scholarship offers from both Duke and Kentucky, according to a source).
There’s a lot to unpack in that sentence.
First and foremost, Duke and Kentucky are willing to give LeBron Jr. a free ride based entirely on the fact that he shares DNA with the best basketball player on the planet (although he has shown some basketball talent of his own). It’s true what they say — it’s not what you know, it’s who you know with great athletic genes that is related to you.
Second, 11 years old? When I was 11, I led my Little League in strikeouts. I fanned 18 in a six-inning game. Three years later, in high school, I couldn’t get anyone out. Sure, I inherited my dad’s baldness and balky back, but can you imagine betting athletically on an 11-year-old? Aren’t Michael Jordan’s sons a cautionary tale about hitching your wagon to the offspring of greats?
Third, wouldn’t it be great if LeBron Jr. agreed to a full ride from Kentucky right now, got there seven years later and was just awful? He shows up to practice and he’s Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly?
Finally, the words inside the parenthetical seem to state that it’s no wonder that LeBron Jr. has standing offers from big-time college programs, because he mimicked what his dad did on the Andre Iguoudala block. “It’s no wonder” he has those offers, the story with a double byline says.
Here’s to hoping we get this conversation involving John Calipari after he is fired from Kentucky in 2024.
“Talk about LBJ2 and how he got you fired.”
“Yeah, we figured, son of LeBron, once extended his arm when he was 11 years old to show what his dad on that block and figured he was a can’t miss. In hindsight, that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”