LeBron James went full basketball dad on Saturday in an arena with his name on it.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar was in the stands on Saturday for a prep basketball game between his son Bronny’s Strive for Greatness and Wildcat Select. The game was part of a three-day event called “The Battle: Summer Showcase” featuring high-level midwest teams and prospects.
The game was played at James’ Akron, Ohio alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary high school at the “LeBron James Arena” — the same court where James made his name as a transcendent basketball prospect.
So when the game’s public address announcer didn’t paint Bronny in the brightest light on a call, James didn’t hesitate to halt the game and give said announcer an earful.
The incident happened in the final minutes of Wildcat Select’s 73-69 overtime victory. With Wildcat Select leading 67-62, James stood up from his seat near the baseline to yell at the PA announcer who was sitting at midcourt. After an exchange of words, James walked past a barrier and onto the court to confront the announcer face-to-face. Gameplay halted for a moment as James had his say before returning to his seat.
The action was all recorded on a video stream. Per the stream announcers, James was upset that the PA announcer said that Bronny got a foul call because he was playing in a gym with his dad’s name on it:
(Ignore the title of the YouTube video below that purports that James “fights” the announcer. There was no fight.)
A PA announcer’s job, of course, isn’t to give commentary on gameplay. It’s to call the action and hype up the crowd. James was right to be upset if the announcer did indeed make a suggestion that the refs were giving Bronny favorable treatment — especially considering that the refs heard the call and could potentially be influenced.
Was James right to stop the game and confront the announcer? That one’s up for debate.
But there’s no debating that James is passionate about his son and his son’s game.
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