LeBron James takes forceful stand on son Bronny James' status in NBA mock drafts

The King clapped back, but later reconsidered.

In a pair of since-deleted messages posted Monday afternoon to his X social media account, Los Angeles Lakers icon LeBron James forcefully defended his son, Southern California guard Bronny James, against projections about his son's future in the NBA through mock drafts.

"Can yall please just let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball," James wrote Monday afternoon. "The work and results will ultimately do the talking no matter what he decides to do. If y’all don’t know he doesn’t care what a mock draft says, he just WORKS! Earned Not Given!

"And to all the other kids out there striving to be great just keep your head down, blinders on and keep grinding. These Mock Drafts doesn’t matter one bit! I promise you! Only the WORK MATTERS!! Let’s talk REAL BASKETBALL PEOPLE! ✌🏾👑"

Screengrab of Lebron James post
Screengrab of Lebron James post
Screengrab of LeBron James post
Screengrab of LeBron James post

The messages came in response to one that said ESPN had removed Bronny James from its 2024 NBA mock draft and was instead projecting him to be selected in the 2025 draft.

Bronny James, a freshman for the Trojans, is averaging 5.5 points on 37.1% shooting, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 19 games this season. He is playing in his first season since he suffered a cardiac arrest during a workout on USC's campus in July 2023 and is averaging 20.2 minutes per game.

LeBron James, 39, has scored 39,926 points and is looking to become the first player in NBA history to reach the 40,000-point mark. He's playing in his 21st season and has said he hopes to play alongside Bronny in the NBA.

When his schedule has permitted, LeBron James has attended several Trojan men's basketball games.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James pushes back on Bronny James' status in NBA mock drafts