All eyes are on Sierra Canyon (Calif.) guard Bronny James as the clock is ticking for him to decide where he will play in 2024. The Los Angeles Times reported in January that James will likely choose from three college suitors: Ohio State, Oregon and USC.
However, with James’s options theoretically limitless, a number of observers have proposed potential alternatives—including LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Bulls and Hornets guards Lonzo and LaMelo Ball.
To LaVar, the best potential path for the eldest son of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer is a season spent in Australia and New Zealand’s National Basketball League—a pathway LaMelo used to become the league's 2021 Rookie of the Year.
“It’s better [in Australia]. Why? Because you playing against grown men and you getting paid,” LaVar told The Sporting News. “If you want to play basketball and you really that dude, why am I sitting in class trying to pass a chemistry test? I don’t want to play no chemistry. I don’t want to practice no Spanish.”
The decline of college basketball’s monopoly on global pre-professional basketball talent has been a storyline for decades, but the trend has accelerated in recent years. Regardless of the state of the college game, Ball believes a stint down under can help James establish a name independent of his father’s.
“You’re going to have all these players in college trying to come out, [when] you can set your own stage across the water,” Ball said. “You’re going to get the haters and the supporters, that’s what makes for filled-up gyms. A lot of people want to see LeBron’s son do good and a lot of them want to say ‘he can’t play against no grown men.’”