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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Retracted Bronny James Transfer Report Takes Media for a Ride

  • Bronny James’s future has been a constant source of speculation in the media for months. 
  • Andy Enfield recently leaving USC for SMU gave a false transfer report some legs.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

A report sent a shock through the college sports landscape Tuesday night: Bronny James was entering the transfer portal. 

Then it came out that he had done no such thing—yet. 

Veteran hoops reporter Dick Weiss tweeted that Bronny, the son of NBA legend LeBron James would enter the transfer portal after one season at Southern California. “Good for him,” Weiss wrote in the since-deleted tweet. “Needs to get away from the Hollywood hype. Best of luck to LeBron’s kid.”

Weiss ultimately retracted the report hours later, but not before outlets ran with it, and the speculation began as to where he could land. The recent news cycle gave legs to such a move. USC coach Andy Enfield recently left for Southern Methodist, and coaching changes correlate with player transfers. Additionally, Dru Joyce, LeBron’s high school teammate and close friend, recently became the head coach at Duquesne, taking over for their former high school coach Keith Dambrot, who retired after leading the Dukes to their first NCAA tournament in more than 40 years. Could a smaller school and familiar face help the younger James’s NBA prospects?

After the Lakers beat the Raptors in Toronto, LeBron couldn’t confirm Weiss’s report, casting immediate doubts upon its accuracy. Bronny hasn’t dealt with the media much since coming into the public eye, which has made his dad his pseudo-spokesperson. 

“I don’t know where it came from,” James said. “But at the end of the day Bronny is his own man. He has some tough decisions to make and, when he’s ready to make those decisions, he’ll let us all know. But as his family, we’ll support whatever he does.” 

Bronny’s first and perhaps only college season began with a scary cardiac arrest last summer, and a rocky year on the court.

LeBron has said he’d love to play with his son in the NBA before he retires, which would make them the first father and son to do so. Bronny declaring would also give buzz to an NBA draft that is considered to be among the worst in recent years, following a draft headlined by 7’4″ French sensation Victor Wembanyama. With the elder James set to be a free agent this summer, Bronny’s draft status could have major implications.

The Orange County Register reported in the wake of the Weiss post that Bronny was more likely to declare for the draft than change schools. Weiss ultimately deleted his original tweet, but the damage had been done. 

“Can’t confirm Bronny James story guys,” Weiss tweeted. “Still think its [sic] an idea whose time has come. make sense if it happens. I love the kid, think he could be a star elsewhere.”

Reputable recruiting sites such as On3 had already run with the report; On3 and other outlets scrambled to change their headlines.

Bronny has until April 27 to enter the NBA draft and May 1 to enter the transfer portal. 

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