On Monday night, LeBron James Jr. (Bronny) suited up for Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California for his inaugural game as an eighth grader. As a bit of a surprise to his dad, Bronny was rocking the No. 23 jersey after previously wearing No. 0 in AAU play. LeBron James, the elder, wears the same number for the Lakers, and it's what he wore with the Cavs during both his tenures in Cleveland.
To make matters even more heartfelt, James' youngest son, Bryce Maximus James, wears No. 6, the number LeBron wore while winning two rings in Miami.
Watch #dadlife LeBron talk about what it's like seeing his two sons pay their respects to their Old Man with their jersey number choices:
"I don't know how long it's gonna last," LeBron said, acknowledging the tribulations that come with parenting any adolescent. "But it definitely made me feel proud. My kid has his own personality, his own DNA; we share the same name, but he has his own path. It was cool when he came downstairs the other day and he was wearing No. 23, and then my youngest son was wearing 6. So, it's a really good feeling."
The move by Bronny stands in stark contrast to his feelings a few years back when he refused to wear his dad's number for fear of opponents finding out who his dad was. It seems he's matured enough since then he's confident enough in who he is to pay homage to his proud pops. You can tell by how LeBron talks about Bronny that he's leery of the burden of being Bron's son, something he's talked about before when it comes to giving Bronny his same name, even if he hopes to one day share an NBA court with him.
In a lot of ways, LeBron's concerns as a dad mirror those of every other father hoping their child forges their own path to adulthood. It's remarkable someone who has been in the public eye since he was only a couple years older than Bronny has somehow maintained so much of his humanity and humility while still surpassing the incredible hype thrust upon him as a teenager. We'd rock his number, too.