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Moment LeBron James confronts youth tournament PA announcer over perceived slight of his son, Bronny


With his NBA season over, LeBron James instead seized the spotlight at a recent youth game when a public address announcer ostensibly suggested that his 16-year-old son, Bronny, was getting preferential treatment from officials because he was playing in a gym renamed for the Los Angeles Lakers star.

James is missing just his second NBA Finals in the last 11 years, and has taken advantage of the time off by attending Bronny’s under-17 AAU tournament in his native Akron, Ohio, usually standing on the baseline and yelling out instructions alongside the other parents.

In Bronny’s most recent appearance, however, James went a step further by interrupting the game to approach the scorer’s table in disgust at the PA announcer after a foul was whistled on the court. Although the call on the gym’s PA system can’t quite be heard, the web telecast’s play-by-play announcer explained that: ‘LeBron took offense to the announcer saying he’s going to get those calls in his gym.’

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James is missing just his second NBA Finals in the last 11 years, and has taken advantage of the time off by attending Bronny’s under-17 AAU tournament in his native Akron, Ohio , usually standing on the baseline and yelling out instructions alongside the other parents

In Bronny's most recent appearance, however, James went a step further by interrupting the game to approach the scorer's table in disgust at the PA announcer after a foul was whistled on the court. Although the call on the gym's PA system can't quite be heard, the web telecast's play-by-play announcer explained that: 'LeBron took offense to the announcer saying he's going to get those calls in his gym'

In Bronny’s most recent appearance, however, James went a step further by interrupting the game to approach the scorer’s table in disgust at the PA announcer after a foul was whistled on the court. Although the call on the gym’s PA system can’t quite be heard, the web telecast’s play-by-play announcer explained that: ‘LeBron took offense to the announcer saying he’s going to get those calls in his gym’

Bronny (right), a 6-foot-3 guard entering his junior year at southern California's Sierra Canyon High School, is ranked 41st among recruits in the Class of 2023 by ESPN

Bronny (right), a 6-foot-3 guard entering his junior year at southern California’s Sierra Canyon High School, is ranked 41st among recruits in the Class of 2023 by ESPN

Bronny’s team, Strive for Greatness, was playing at James’s old Akron, Ohio high school gym — the LeBron James Arena at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School — which has been renamed for the four-time NBA champion following a $1 million donation for renovations.

Although he may have been in his native Akron, James did not get a warm reception from local fans, who were heard yelling, ‘play the game!’, off camera.

The confrontation was brief and the PA announcer appeared to apologize to James, who calmly walked back to his seat with local police following closely behind for good measure.

‘The competitor in LeBron James comes out,’ one of the web telecast announcers said. ‘He’s an intense guy. His son is in the battle. He doesn’t want his name to be mentioned while they’re competing. And I understand that as a parent.’

‘To say that he drew that foul,’ interrupted his broadcast partner.

‘No, it was a foul,’ agreed the play-by-play announcer. ‘It was a foul. And I understand that. As a parent, if I’m watching my daughter play and she’s competing, I don’t want you to mention my name. Just allow her to compete.’

PA announcers at AAU tournaments differ from those in traditional high school games because they react to the game as it’s being played, rather than waiting for a break in the action to relay pertinent details like fouls and points.  

The confrontation was brief and the PA announcer appeared to apologize to Jame

The confrontation was brief and the PA announcer appeared to apologize to Jame

James calmly walked back to his seat with local police following closely behind

James calmly walked back to his seat with local police following closely behind

Bronny's team, Strive for Greatness, lost in overtime to Wildcat Select, another AAU team

Bronny’s team, Strive for Greatness, lost in overtime to Wildcat Select, another AAU team

Ultimately Bronny’s Strive For Greatness team fell in overtime to Wildcat Select, another AAU team.

James, perhaps the world’s most famous basketball dad, has previously admitted that it’s difficult for him to watch his kids’ games because he can get too intense.

‘I’m sitting there, and I’m watching the game, and I feel my hands just start sweating,’ James said on his HBO show, The Shop, in 2018. ‘I feel my chest start sweating. I’m like, what is this? Ten-year-olds out here hooping, why you feeling like this? Then it went from just sitting there on the bench to me getting in an argument.’

Bronny, a 6-foot-3 guard entering his junior year at southern California’s Sierra Canyon High School, is ranked 41st among recruits in the Class of 2023 by ESPN. ESPN’s top-ranked prospect is a Camden, New Jersey guard named D.J. Wagner, who happens to be the son of James’s old Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, Dajuan Wagner.

James’s season ended in the first round of the ongoing NBA playoffs when his Lakers fell in six games to the eventual Western Conference-champion Phoenix Suns, who will host the Eastern Conference-winning Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Finals on Tuesday night. 



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