A little over four months after suffering cardiac arrest, USC freshman Bronny James has been cleared to make a full return to basketball, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, the expectation is that James will resume practicing with the team next week and make his NCAA debut not long after that.
Discussing the good news on Thursday, star forward LeBron James – Bronny’s father – told reporters that if his son’s USC debut occurs on the same day as a Lakers game, he intends to skip his own game to watch Bronny.
“Whenever he’s cleared and ready to have his first game, I already told my teammates that if they play on the same day we’re playing, I’m going to have to catch them the next game,” James said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Family over everything … But definitely got to see Bronny’s first game whenever he’s cleared and ready to go.”
Teammate Anthony Davis said on Thursday that James has the support of the Lakers’ locker room if he missed a game to attend Bronny’s debut, but as John Hollinger of The Athletic observes (via Twitter), it likely won’t come to that. After this Saturday, the Lakers and Trojans won’t play on the same day until December 28, so as long as Bronny’s timeline doesn’t get pushed back, he’ll probably suit up for USC before then.
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Vlade Divac, a former player and head of basketball operations for the Kings, has formally returned to the organization in the role of team ambassador, reports Sam Amick of The Athletic. As Amick explains, Divac’s position is on the business side of the franchise and doesn’t include any basketball operations influence. The former All-Star center is focused on “community, fan, and business outreach,” per Amick.
- Seerat Sohi of The Ringer considers whether the Kings still have more room for internal improvement or whether the front office might feel pressure to make a trade to raise the team’s ceiling. If they go the latter route, the Kings will have to make sure they find a systemic fit who doesn’t overlap with the club’s existing talent, Sohi writes.
- Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins injured his right index finger when he slammed a car door on it on Thursday, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Although Wiggins missed Thursday’s game, head coach Steve Kerr believes his absence will be short-term, Slater adds.
- Third-year wing Moses Moody started in Wiggins’ place on Thursday and logged a season-high 28 minutes, scoring 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Moody has earned an opportunity to play a larger role for the Warriors, argues Zach Lowe of ESPN (Insider link).