NBA: Lakers’ Bronny James readies for second pro game

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Bronny James will make his second pro appearance Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors’ summer league team, and the Los Angeles Lakers rookie admitted the nerves got to him in his debut Saturday.

James scored four points on 2-for-9 shooting in the Lakers’ 108-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings in the California Classic. He added two assists, two rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes of play.

“Every first game that I step into the next level, it’s always some butterflies in my stomach,” the 19-year-old told reporters, per ESPN. “But as soon as the ball tips and we go a couple times down, it all goes away and I’m just playing basketball. So it’s always going to be there, but I’ll get through it.”

The Lakers selected Bronny — officially known as LeBron James Jr. — with the No. 55 pick of last month’s NBA draft. His famous dad, also his Lakers’ teammate, wasn’t there and won’t be on hand for Sunday’s game in San Francisco. He’s in Las Vegas with other NBA stars preparing for to play for Team USA in the Paris Olympics later this month.

Still, the elder James kept an eye on his son.

“What he does in the California Classic and summer league, it doesn’t matter if he plays well and it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t play well,” LeBron said, per ESPN. “I just want him to continue to grow (from) practices, film sessions, his individual workouts. You can’t take anything stat-wise from the California Classic and summer league and bring it to once the season starts. So, the only thing that matters is him getting better and stacking days.”

Dane Johnson, the coach of the Lakers’ G League affiliate, is in charge of the summer league team. He said the plan is for Bronny to get his chances to learn. Bronny, a guard, has played one season — 25 games — of college ball at Southern California after suffering cardiac arrest during a summer workout last July.

“He’s going to play — granted, if he’s healthy — throughout this whole thing,” Johnson said of Bronny’s summer league schedule. “We’re going to try to integrate him and try to get him as many reps as we can. Because he needs more experience playing. And especially the NBA game. It’s a little different than college, so getting reps in the NBA, in an NBA setting with good players will help him in the long run.”

Dalton Knecht, selected by the Lakers in the first round with the No. 17 pick, shot 3-for-12 and scored 12 points.

After Sunday, the Lakers will conclude California Classic play Wednesday against the Miami Heat, then begin play in the Las Vegas portion of the summer league on Friday against the Houston Rockets.

–Field Level Media

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