Charles Barkley thinks airing Bronny James’ HS games is the ‘ultimate exploitation’
It has come full cycle for the LeBron James family. As a blossoming prep school prospect from Akron, Ohio, the Los Angeles Lakers star forward was a media darling with national coverage during his teenage years, eventually turning into the number one overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft.
Now James’ son, Bronny, is the subject of social media attention, and Hall of Fame power forward a Charles Barkley is calling it exploitative.
“We always talk about college players being exploited. This is the ultimate exploitation,” Barkley said during halftime of NBA on TNT’s coverage of Pelicans-Grizzlies on Monday.
“What is the financial incentive other than the network making money on these high school kids?” Barkley asked. “We always complain about these college teams making all this money. … You’re making money on college kids. Now you’re making money on high school kids.”
LeBron James Jr, “Bronny,” attends Sierra Canyon High School alongside the elder James’ former teammate with the Miami Heat—the now-retired champion shooting guard—Dwyane Wade’s son Zaire. Barkley, 56, a former NBA MVP and top prospect at Auburn, cites the financial incentive for overwhelming media coverage of the stars’ children but with no money going to the amateur high-school kids.
In the same interview, Barkley defended the NCAA as an institution providing free education for the “99 percent” not heading to the professional ranks.
Barkley retired from the NBA in 2000 after sixteen successful seasons competing and works as a commentator and analyst for the NBA on TNT alongside former Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal.