Even Shannon Sharpe Couldn’t Back LeBron James’ Tweet About Bronny’s Mock Draft Status

As happens fairly regularly at this time of year, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony released a new mock draft. This one was an early look-ahead at the 2025 NBA Draft, where Cooper Flagg headlines an interesting class of prospects.

Flagg’s status as the No. 1 pick was not something that became a discussion point on social media, but instead it was who Givony had mocked to the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round. At No. 39 overall, Givony had Bronny James going to the Blazers, marking the first time ESPN had bumped Bronny from the 2024 draft class to the 2025 draft class, which really isn’t a major surprise given James is returning from cardiac arrest this summer and has been playing on a minutes restriction as he works his way back onto the floor at USC.

However, because it’s the son of LeBron James, this got posted about by some of the big aggregator Twitter accounts, one of which caught LeBron’s attention who fired off a pair of since-deleted tweets asking for people to let Bronny “be a kid” and just generally getting upset about mock drafts existing.

Almost immediately, people pointed out that LeBron is largely responsible for the hype and conversation surrounding Bronny (both actively and passively), and on Tuesday’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith pointed that out in a segment with Shannon Sharpe and Chiney Ogwumike, saying it was LeBron’s fault — even if it’s perfectly understandable why he would be so excited about the possibility of playing with his son.

Typically you would expect Sharpe, who is LeBron’s No. 1 fan in the sports media space, would come back at Stephen A., but in this instance even Shannon had to note that LeBron has played the biggest role in hyping up Bronny. Most notably Sharpe pointed to his tweet last year about how Bronny was already better than some NBA players, which he compared to how LaVar Ball talked about Lonzo.

As Smith and Sharpe are both sure to point out, Bronny has done nothing to warrant any criticism or backlash, but by nature of being LeBron James’ son it’s going to happen. LeBron, being a proud and excited father, has only fueled the conversation with what he’s said about his desire to play with Bronny and how good he thinks Bronny is already.

However, Bronny’s health situation and recovery has forced a bit of a reset for him, and that has made the conversation about him as an NBA prospect even trickier and throws a wrench in the grander plans of LeBron to play with Bronny, though, which he’s stated multiple times is his last major goal (aside from trying to win more championships). The health scare also almost assuredly changed the perspective of LeBron, Bronny, and the James family towards Bronny’s future, so it also stands to reason that LeBron has had a bit of a shift himself into genuinely wanting Bronny to be able to work at his own pace.