LeBron James may one day be the second-best LeBron James to play basketball.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star revealed this week that his 10-year-old son, LeBron James Jr., is so good at basketball that he's already getting recruited by some actual college coaches.
The thought isn't sitting well with LeBron James Sr., who was one of the last players to go from high school straight to the NBA before the league mandated that players attend at least a year of college before making the jump.
"Yeah, he's already got some offers from colleges," James told WKYC.com. "It's pretty crazy. It should be a violation. You shouldn't be recruiting 10-year old kids."
This week the whole world got to see just how good LeBron James Jr. is at hoops. A mixtape was released on Monday, showing his impressive outside shooting and ball handling skills that are reminiscent of his father. The tape generate a lot of attention, getting coverage across the internet and garnering more than 4 million views on YouTube.
LeBron James Sr. knows something about early expectations. He started making national headlines in his sophomore year of high school, and by his junior year it was widely accepted that he could be a solid NBA player, even at age 16.
In his senior year, ESPN was broadcasting LeBron's high school games and running highlights of his team during SportsCenter.
By the time he reached graduation, LeBron was the most hyped high school player since Lew Alcindor.
But the situation is a bit different with LeBron James Jr. This is what Jay Bilas had to say back in 2002, when ESPN was all over LeBron's high school career and questions were being raised about whether he was exploited.
"James is being exploited primarily because of the rules governing his current circumstances. James is the engine driving a major money-making train, and he gets nothing from the use of his name and image, except for publicity that could ultimately be harmful to his development. James and his advisors have little or no say in determining when and where he plays, in front of whom or how many, and for what purpose."Now, LeBron James Sr. is the one controlling that money-making train, the one making tens of millions of dollars each year off his name, image, and talent. As the YouTube highlight video shows, LeBron and his team are already very savvy in how his son is being marketed. And while it may annoy LeBron, the calls from college recruiters show that it's a success.
[Image via ESPN]