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LeBron James Cheers on Son Bronny After Defending Him from Critics Who Dropped the USC Star from Mock Drafts

The Lakers star was front row as the USC Trojans defeated the Arizona Sun Devils on Thursday in Los Angeles

<p>Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty</p> Lebron James looks on during the college basketball game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the USC Trojans on March 7, 2024

Bronny James grew up supporting his dad LeBron James at games — and now LeBron is doing the same for his son.

The Lakers star spent his day off cheering on Bronny at a USC Basketball game on Thursday night.

LeBron, 39, sat courtside with his wife, Savannah, sporting a USC Basketball hoodie while the Trojans took on Arizona State. Bronny and USC came out on top with his parents in the building, defeating the Sun Devils 81-73 at Galen Center in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old college freshman played 16 minutes for the Trojans, recording two assists, one rebound and one steal on Thursday.

With Thursday's win, USC now holds a record of 13 wins and 17 losses on the season. On Saturday, the Trojans will host the Arizona Wildcats at USC.

Bronny had a late start to this college basketball season, missing the first eight games on USC's schedule while he recovered from his July 2023 cardiac arrest. Doctors later diagnosed Bronny with "an anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect" and he underwent surgery to correct the issue.

<p>Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty</p> USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) drives to the basket during the college basketball game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the USC Trojans on March 7, 2024 at Galen Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty

USC Trojans guard Bronny James (6) drives to the basket during the college basketball game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the USC Trojans on March 7, 2024 at Galen Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Related: LeBron James Celebrates Making NBA History After Becoming First Player Ever to Score 40,000 Points

Since his debut with USC, Bronny has averaged 5.5 points on 37.1% shooting, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 19 games this season. He’s also averaging 20.2 minutes per game, according to USA Today.

LeBron's outing to support the Trojans comes shortly after he defended his son when Bronny was removed from ESPN’s 2024 NBA mock draft last month. Bronny is now projected to be picked in 2025.

The Los Angeles Lakers star, who became the first player to record 40,000 NBA points on Saturday, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to express his frustration with Bronny falling out of the mock draft.

<p>Meg Oliphant/Getty </p> Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans greets his dad, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers

Meg Oliphant/Getty

Bronny James #6 of the USC Trojans greets his dad, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers

“Can y'all please just let the kid be a kid and enjoy college basketball?” the Lakers star wrote in the now deleted X post, USA Today reported. "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,” continued the four-time NBA champion. "These Mock Drafts doesn’t matter one bit! I promise you! Only the WORK MATTERS!! Let’s talk REAL BASKETBALL PEOPLE!”

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ESPN's NBA Draft analyst Jonathon Givony also came to Bronny's defense at the time, citing the freshman's months-long recovery.

“We have to remember that this kid missed four months with a heart issue, starting in July, that really seemed to derail his season,” Givony explained to Malika Andrews on NBA Today.

“He’s one of the best defenders in the freshman class," said Givony. “If Bronny James comes back for his sophomore season, we’re going to see a completely different guy. We’re going to see someone that really could be a lottery pick still.”

In addition to Bronny, LeBron shares Bryce Maximus, 16, and Zhuri Nova, 9, with his wife, Savannah James.

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