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Bronny and Lebron

 A man wearing a Lakers hat and covering his eyes

If you follow basketball, then you know what happened last week. If you ate more than your share of barbeque on the 4th or drank too much drink, let me refresh your memory.

The Lakers made history by selecting Bronny James to play alongside his father, Lebron. You might hate Lebron James and the Lakers, but I guarantee you will watch at least one of their games next season. It might happen when they play your favorite team, but you will witness magic.

No NBA team has ever had a father and son on their roster during the same season.

When dads play with their children, something special is often the byproduct of the interaction. Research suggests that oxytocin and dopamine are released when time is shared to shoot a basketball or engage in other forms of play. It's feasible to suggest that almost every successful play with Lebron and Bronny will become a highlight next season. 

A father and son playing basketball together

If the Lakers become a championship contender, prepare yourself for pandemonium. Tickets will skyrocket in price, and you will be unable to do much online without seeing an ad related to the team.

I remember playing basketball with my dad. For a season, we played every Monday morning at a local YMCA. In our 2 V 2 games, we often won against his good friend, the Reverend Dr. Carl “The Hack” King, and his son.

We couldn't hold a match to Lebron and Bronny on our best days, but we played well together. My dad had a reliable jump shot, and I used my speed and dribbling skills to make layups, hit long-range jumpers, and outmaneuver the defense. We didn’t have the height or abilities comparable to the James duo, but my dad and I bonded through basketball.

I remember some of my father’s compliments on the court. Quick, strong, and good are among the adjectives he used to describe my skills. Every time he encouraged me, I pulled courage out of me to elevate my game.

Without a doubt, Lebron's encouragement supported his son's transition from college to the NBA. Sure, Bronny had to work hard to make the draft. It was difficult to rebuild his confidence after the heart attack. Yet, we know his father pushed him into that Lakers uniform.

I imagine Lebron acting as a coach for Bronny on their private home court. He shared the drills that transformed him into one of the greatest players to touch a basketball. Lebron is not Michael Jordan, but you must recognize his talent.

I’m not a gambling man, but I can bet on a few things. The Lakers will make the playoffs. My parents moved from Los Angeles last week, but someone from my family will attend at least one game. Multiple cousins and one uncle will dream about Bronny and Lebron winning the championship.

Like other Black boys, I remember wanting to play professional basketball. It was my height, lack of discipline, and my father’s tough love that awakened me from the dream and slapped me into reality. I’ve never been taller than 5’6 on a good day with platform shoes or committed to basketball.  

Even today, I run, swim, practice capoeira, lift weights, cycle, and occasionally play basketball. I have never focused on one sport. 

A man running a marathon

Maybe my dad observed a divided attention span or realized no one of reasonable intelligence would describe me as tall. Whatever the reason, he did not push me to pursue a basketball career. While he applauded my basketball games in middle school, he challenged me to pursue other paths for work.

Whether right, wrong or somewhere in between, his teachings shaped me into who I am today.

My dad is retiring after 50 years of serving as a pastor. Unlike Lebron and Bronny, we will not play any more basketball games as teammates. His knees will not allow that experience.

While I am a solid speaker, we will not share the pulpit for tag-team sermons. But, my dad’s new chapter of life returns to Chicago, where he raised me and we played together.

Watch the tribute video below, created in honor of my dad's 50 years of pastoring and more than 50 years of ministry. In the clips, you will hear from my sisters and me about growing up as preacher's kids.

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Lucky Dad, lucky son; blessed Dad, blessed son.

Replying to

Thanks for sharing! We are well. I hope all is well with you. This is a good piece. Disneyland is crazy expensive. We had to rely on family to make it happen and not go broke in the process. We brought lunches with us to save on additional fees.

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