WASHINGTON: LeBron James said he regrets putting additional pressure on his 14-year-old son by naming him LeBron James Jr.
In a preview of the new HBO show “The Shop” released Thursday, comedian Jon Stewart asked James about what he tells his kids to ease the burden of playing basketball in James’ massive shadow.
“I still regret giving my 14-year-old my name, because of that,” James replied, adding that he first chose to name his son LeBron James Jr. — who goes by Bronny — because he lacked a father figure in his own life growing up.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have a dad,” James said. “So my whole thing was when I have a kid, not only is he gonna be a junior, I’m gonna do everything that this man didn’t do. They’re gonna experience things that I didn’t experience.
“The only thing I can do is give them the blueprint, and it’s up to them to take their own course whenever that time comes.”
James also talked about the emotions he feels while watching his sons — Bronny is a 5-foot-10 AAU star — play in basketball tournaments, something he’s done much more frequently in recent years.
“I’m sitting there and I’m watching the game, and I feel my hands just start sweating, I feel my chest start sweating,” James said. “I’m like, what is this? Ten-year-olds out here hooping, why you feeling like this? Then it went from just sitting there, then it went [to standing up], then it went from me sitting on the bench to me getting in an argument [with another parent].”
James has three children: Bronny, 11-year-old Bryce and 3-year-old Zhuri. He told reporters earlier this year that his family would play a large role in his decision about where to play moving forward, before he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.