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The hate for Bronny James is growing out of control


Here’s what we’ve learned so far about Bronny James from the NBA Draft Combine.

At 6-foot, 1.5 inches without shoes on, James didn’t get his dad’s 6-foot, 9-inch height. His 6-foot, 7.25-inch wingspan falls well short of LeBron’s 7 feet, 0.25 inches. And his standing reach of 8 feet, 2.5 inches doesn’t compare to King James’ 8 feet, 10.25 inches. 

There is one thing that Bronny did inherit from his dad — the bizarre subset of people rooting for a teenager to fail miserably. 

MORE: Bronny James height, weight, wingspan, and full combine results

There has never been a prospect more heavily scrutinized than LeBron. “Everybody wanted to see me fail when I got to the league,” he reflected after breaking 40,000 points this season. 

That hate has spewed onto his son, who has done absolutely nothing to deserve it other than the act of being born. 

Bronny has high character by all accounts. That’s believable because any screwup on his part would be magnified hundreds of thousands of times more than any normal person.

Becoming a high school star, college athlete and NBA prospect cannot be accomplished by good genes alone, particularly when you have normal-sized height. Haters will point to all of the gifts that Bronny received, including the best training, nutrition and networking that comes from a multi-millionaire family.

The truth is that he worked harder at basketball than most will work at anything in their entire lives. 

Rather than being praised for his work ethic and overcoming a cardiac arrest incident
that could have killed him had he not received immediate medical care, Bronny is dismissed. His detractors will focus on his father rather than him, insisting that he’s only being given these opportunities because of his dad. That is misguided at best.

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Bronny did not have a good freshman year at USC, averaging 4.8 points on 36.6 percent shooting from the field. Put those stats aside for a second — he is 100 percent a real NBA prospect, and would still have a good chance of making it into the league if his last name were Smith. 

Bronny doesn’t have his dad’s measurements. Here’s some hard-hitting analysis for you: very few NBA players do. LeBron is one of the best athletes that the NBA has ever seen and, more importantly, plays a completely different position than his son.

Bronny’s combine results put him very much in the caliber of an NBA guard. He has similar height and wingspan measurements as players like Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague, Dennis Schroder and Damian Lillard.

Here’s how he compared to the first-round guard prospects in this draft:

Along with that NBA frame, Bronny also tested very well in the first day’s drills. His 40.5-inch vertical
was the fourth-highest of any prospect. His lane agility measured out fantastically, and his shooting was among the best of the day. 

Bronny looked much more like his high school self with some more time to recover from what will likely be the most traumatic event of his life. It has not even been a year since his heart suddenly stopped functioning, yet he is outperforming some of the best young athletes in the world in these drills. 

Before that incident, Bronny was thought of as an excellent defender, high-feel guard and solid shooter who profiled as a mid-first round pick based on talent alone. The narrative around him has gotten twisted because of the idea that LeBron might potentially join whatever team picks him. But the idea that a player with a first-round grade deserves to be taken somewhere at the end of the second round after a poor freshman season should not have this many people fuming about entitlement. 

MORE: Full Bronny James scouting report

Look at his measurements, his athleticism and his skill. The evidence is staring you right in the face: Bronny is worth a flier in the draft. Guards like Kyle Lowry, Donovan Mitchell, Khris Middleton and Russell Westbrook struggled just as badly as freshmen
and have gone on to have terrific NBA careers. And they didn’t have to overcome a life-threatening health scare in the process. 

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