Which NBA players does LeBron James think are worse than Bronny?

On Monday night, LeBron James was in full-on father mode as he watched NBA League Pass. As the hours wound down, he shot off a hilarious tweet that, in his opinion, called for four laughing emojis. He typed out that his eldest son, Sierra Canyon High School senior Bronny James, is better than some of the players he was watching; he hit send; and then he presumably refilled his wine glass and took a sip.

Now, with the same level of seriousness that James had in his tweet, we are going to try to figure out the question that Twitter has been clowning about for the last 24 hours: Which players in the league are worse than his high school son?

Let’s start by culling down the list:

Possible teams

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

James explicitly stated that it was players from Monday. Twelve teams played that day. That means we can exclude anyone who is not on one of these teams:

  • Boston Celtics

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Philadelphia 76ers

  • Indiana Pacers

  • Portland Trail Blazers

  • Detroit Pistons

  • Atlanta Hawks

  • Miami Heat

  • Toronto Raptors

  • Denver Nuggets

  • New Orleans Pelicans

  • Sacramento Kings

Player exclusions

(Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Among those teams, there are some obvious players who it could not be, based solely on Monday’s performance. Donovan Mitchell, for instance, had 40 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime victory over the Celtics. He clears Bronny, with all due respect.

Let’s start by removing any player who scored at least 20 points: Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell, Tyrese Haliburton, Jaylen Brown, Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant, Jimmy Butler, Evan Mobley, Kevin Huerter, Trae Young, Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray, Malcolm Brogdon, Tyrese Maxey, Dejounte Murray, Victor Oladipo, Caleb Martin, Fred VanVleet, Jalen McDaniels, Michael Porter Jr.

We can also remove the player who recorded a triple-double: Domantas Sabonis.

These players did not reach 20 points but did have double-doubles: Jonas Valanciunas, Darius Garland, Nikola Jokic, James Harden, Jaden Ivey, Clint Capela.

We’re also going to remove any player who had at least 20 assists: James Harden (!) (he was in the double-double list, but I just wanted to emphasize this).

You’re all safe.

Players who didn't see enough court time

(David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Let’s cut out the 11 players who played fewer than 10 minutes while seeing court time. James almost certainly wasn’t looking at PJ Dozier in his 0.7 minutes going, “Man, Bronny would crush those 42 seconds of court time.”

Isaiah Jackson, Jalen Johnson, Terence Davis, Ricky Rubio, Sam Hauser, Jared Rhoden, Eugene Omoruyi, PJ Dozier, Keon Ellis, Alex Len, Kessler Edwards.

You’re all technically safe.

I’m not going to list all the players who did not see court action, but James probably wasn’t tweeting about those players, either.

The Tony Snell test

(Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)

You know the meme. One day, Tony Snell played 28 minutes and put up zero points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals. That game lives in infamy.

Who was closest to this on Monday?

Matisse Thybulle: 37.5 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Do I think it was him?

No, because Thybulle’s games can’t be judged based just on stat line. His value is based on his stellar defense. It’s why he played 38 minutes. However, it is possible that James sees similarities between Thybulle and Bronny, given as the latter is also hyped more for his defense than offense.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: 35.6 minutes, 3-for-10 shooting, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists

Do I think it was him?

KCP’s defense is similarly solid, but that 3-for-10 shooting is rough. He and James know each other well from the Lakers, so I doubt it’s him either — though with that said, maybe James is still trying to convince himself that including Caldwell-Pope in the Russell Westbrook acquisition was actually a fine idea.

Mike Muscala: 35 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds

Do I think it was him?

Those six rebounds are far enough from the Snell line that he probably shouldn’t have been included. It’s just nice to see Muscala playing March basketball again.

Chris Duarte: 23.6 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebounds, 3 assists

Do I think it was him?

Maybe. I could see it. After a very nice start to his career last season, he hasn’t lived up to his draft potential, the No. 13 overall pick in 2021. If we’re just judging off his Monday performance, the 4/1/3 line over more than 23 minutes of play doesn’t excite.

Kira Lewis: 19.2 minutes, 3 points, 1-for-7 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 assist

Do I think it was him?

Something about those No. 13 overall picks, man. Lewis, No. 13 in 2020, hasn’t broken out. This was as close to a Snell line as we got.

Mathew Dellavedova: 15.8 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists

Do I think it was him?

After the 2015 Finals? Dellavdedova has earned a pass for life. LeBron better not mean him. If he does, it would be the second-biggest betrayal of LeBron’s career.

Dean Wade: 10.9 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists

Do I think it was him?

Is Cleveland Dean really that much worse than Cleveland Dwyane?

The Detroit Pistons*

(David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports)

*With these exceptions:

  • Ivey, who had a double-double, which made us overlook his 4-for-14 night for the sake of this exercise

  • Corey Joseph, who was plus-10 with 14 points in a six-point loss

  • Isaiah Livers, who led the team with 17 points

Grant Williams

Tough scene.

The answer

(D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports)

Kira Lewis.

The Pelicans and Kings tipped off at 8 p.m. Pacific Time. James tweeted at 9:53 p.m. PT, meaning this game was the only one underway as he fired off the tweet.

If we’re about two hours into the game, that means it’s likely the third quarter. Lewis checked in with 5:29 to play in the quarter, and here’s his game log:

  • Foul

  • Missed 3-pointer

  • Goes 1-for-2 from the line

  • Misses layup

Checks out.

Though with that said, James said “some of these cats” — plural cats — in his tweet. Maybe it really was the culmination of all the players listed above.

Story originally appeared on High School Sports