Lakers GM says Bronny James ‘worked for everything’

The Los Angeles Lakers have been making waves this offseason.

One week after naming former player and ESPN broadcaster JJ Redick the head coach, the Lakers made a historic move to draft Bronny James, the son of LeBron James.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, however, said Bronny James was selected based on merit.

‘He’s worked for everything that he’s gotten, including being selected today at No. 55,’ Pelinka said in a press conference after the Lakers drafted James Thursday in the second round of the NBA draft.

James, 19, and LeBron James, 39, will become the NBA’s first father-son duo to play together whenever they take the court together. ‘Next season NBA history … should be made in a Lakers uniform,’ Pelinka said.

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Bronny James averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25 games at USC, shooting 36.6% from the field and 27% from 3. But Pelinka said James showcased his true value during a workout with the Lakers ahead of the draft.

‘Bronny is first and foremost a person of high character,’ Pelinka said. ‘And second, he is a young man that works incredibly hard. And those are the qualities we look for in drafting players and adding to our developmental core with the Lakers.’

Pelinka added: ‘He had a great draft workout with us where he displayed those qualities to me in an hour lunch that we shared in the building just to get to know each other. It became clear that he was a man of character. In terms of his work ethic, I think we’ve all seen that lived out, too. He’s not a person that is ever taking short cuts or expected or been entitled about basketball opportunities.’

Pelinka said Redick is already coming up with a game plan to turn the younger James into an ‘impact’ player.

‘It’s an honor for us to add him to our program,’ Pelinka said. ‘Coach Redick is already excited to put a developmental plan around him to increase his basketball skills and turn him into the player that we think can impact and help this franchise.’

The Lakers are coming off a 47-35 season that ended with a first-round loss against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers last won the NBA championship in 2020 in the COVID-19 bubble, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

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