Former 11-year NBA veteran Austin Rivers doesn’t want Bronny to play with LeBron

When Bronny James enrolled to play at USC, the former four-star recruit got closer to potentially joining his father, LeBron James, on the court in the NBA.

The possibility of seeing Bronny share the court with LeBron has created quite a storyline since no father and son have appeared in the same game in NBA history. LeBron has expressed interest in playing with Bronny and could make it happen as soon as next year.

However, not everyone wants to see the two become teammates.

Former 11-year veteran Austin Rivers, who played for his father, Doc Rivers, from 2015-2018 with the LA Clippers, pushed back against the potential pairing based on his own experience Monday on ESPN’s “NBA Today” with Malika Andrews and Brian Windhorst.

I hope it doesn’t happen. I don’t want to see Bronny play with his dad. I really don’t. I went through something similar but also different. I was already in the NBA when I went to play for (the Clippers). What happens is a lot of people start to discredit everything that you’ve done. This kid has been in the limelight since he was born. His first day on Instagram, he had a million followers.

He has handled it so well. He has played well at Sierra Canyon amongst talent and was able to get himself to a school like USC. Right now, his numbers don’t scream pro, so if he is to go to the draft or gets picked, it would be great to get picked up by a contending team to help him put in a situation because he does have talent. He does have basketball IQ and he has potential.

Of course, Austin was a consensus five-star recruit and the No. 1 player in the class of 2011 after a decorated run at Winter Park High School in Central Florida. He played one year at Duke and was the 10th pick by the New Orleans Hornets in 2012.

Despite his success, Austin still dealt with criticism when he was traded to the Clippers in January 2015. He believes that Bronny will deal with much of the same scrutiny if he eventually becomes teammates with LeBron in the NBA.

At this point in his career, just because Bronny’s success isn’t at a top-tier level, him getting drafted and playing with his dad, I don’t want that negativity to come his way because he doesn’t deserve it. He’s not a top-10 pick. He’s not a lottery pick. He’s none of those things. I was all of those things and then still, when I went to go play for the Clippers, people were like: You’re only in the league because your dad after me being the No. 1 player in the United States two years prior.

Bronny was projected to be a first-round pick this year before suffering a cardiac arrest at a team workout in July. He missed the first eight games of the season and is averaging 5.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 37.2% shooting from the field in 14 games.

The 19-year-old isn’t guaranteed to enter the NBA draft this year and could opt to stay at USC to improve his stock. However, LeBron has a player option in his contract for next season and could, hypothetically, opt out and join Bronny if he didn’t land with the Lakers.

The potential pairing of Bronny and LeBron isn’t certain, though Austin offered an insightful look at some of the pitfalls that could from the two teaming up.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire