Bronny James Breaks Into the NBA as a Multimillionaire from NIL Deals Made In High School

In a historic move for the NBA, Bronny James, the 19-year-old son of superstar LeBron James, has signed a multi-year, guaranteed deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.

HOUSTON, TX – MARCH 28: Bronny James #6 of McDonald’s All American Boys West is seen during the McDonalds All American Basketball Games at Toyota Center on March 28, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The former USC basketball player, who played for only one school year and has a reported net worth of $10 million was drafted as the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft, making him part of the first active father-son duo in NBA history.

Bronny isn’t entering the league like other rookies.

NIL Deals

He comes in as a businessman with a sizable portfolio from multiple NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) deals. His NIL valuation reached an impressive $5.9 million even before stepping onto the USC campus, thanks to lucrative deals secured during high school, including a significant agreement with PSD Underwear in February 2022, according to Sports Illustrated.

As an incoming freshman, he had already become one of the highest-valued NIL deals in all of college sports.

In October 2022, at the age of 18, Bronny signed a significant deal with Nike, mirroring his father’s early career moves.

“For as long as I can remember, Nike’s been a part of my family,” Bronny said in a statement, according to Complex.

Adding, “Getting a chance to team up with them and continue my family’s legacy both on the court and in the community is wild — it really means a lot to me.”

Bronny’s business acumen was further demonstrated when he became one of the first college athletes in the NIL era to launch a personalized jersey with Nike. This move not only boosted his marketability but also set a precedent for future athletes navigating the NIL landscape.

That same month, he also secured an NIL deal with Beats by Dre, according to ON3.

These strategic endorsements solidified Bronny as the highest-paid high school NIL athlete in the U.S., positioning him as a trailblazer in the sports business world. By December of his freshman year, he secured representation from Klutch Sports Group, which helped him land a Fast X commercial in April 2023 and a deal with Google in March 2024, right before leaving USC. Klutch was founded by Rich Paul, who is LeBron’s agent and has been his friend for decades.

During his time at USC, Bronny appeared in 25 games, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per contest. His lackluster season, coming off a health scare last July where he went into cardiac arrest, nonethless did not prevent him from being drafted by the same team where his father has played for over the last six seasons.

LeBron James, re-signed with the Lakers this week for two years and $104 million, making the dream of playing alongside his son a reality.

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