Bronny James: ‘Mindset’ is making NBA, not playing with dad

Bronny James’ name is a lot more famous than his game right now, and it’s clear he would like to change that.

The son of LeBron James told reporters at the NBA Draft Combine on Tuesday that his focus is simply on reaching the league, not necessarily on teaming up with his legendary father.

“I would be happy about getting to the league instead of me thinking about playing with my dad,” the younger James said. “That’s not my mindset … at all. I’m just trying to put in the work and see where it takes me from there.”

As he attempts to launch his professional career with a good showing at the combine, the 19-year-old said his dream was always to “make a name for myself.” NBA mock drafts do not tend to project James as one of the 58 selections this June — except in cases where he is projected to be picked the Los Angeles Lakers, his dad’s current team.

“And, you know, I never thought about just playing with my dad, but of course he’s brought it up a couple times,” James said.

James began his college career at Southern California last year but had a scary setback when he experienced cardiac arrest at a practice in July. He came back in December and averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 25 games (six starts).

“It was a tough time for sure,” James said of his rehab. “But all this work that I’ve put in, it just really built me into someone that would never give up and it paid off. I put in the work after that situation and I’m back to where I want to be.”

James, who entered the transfer portal after the season, said Tuesday he has yet to decide whether to keep his name in the draft or withdraw.

James said he has been in touch with his father, who attended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff game against the Boston Celtics on Monday.

“Everything that follows my dad, people just try to link me with that and all the greatness that he’s achieved,” James said. “I haven’t done anything yet, so I feel like there needs to be that divide between Bronny and LeBron.

“Everyone’s heard this before. I just want to have people know my name is Bronny James and not being identified as just LeBron James’ son. I feel like that would great.”