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JJ Redick says Lakers rookie Bronny James deserved to be drafted

Much has been made of the Los Angeles Lakers selecting Bronny James with the 55th overall pick in this year’s draft.

A large chunk of the dialogue centers on the notion that James had the honor of being drafted because his father, LeBron James, was on the Lakers, and his agent, Rich Paul, reportedly applied pressure on other teams not to draft the USC product.

Despite all that outside chatter, Lakers head coach JJ Redick voiced that the 19-year-old earned the draft selection due to his hard work.


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“Rob and I did not give Bronny anything,” he said during a news conference Tuesday to introduce James and No. 17 pick Dalton Knecht via ESPN. “Bronny has earned this. … Bronny has earned this through hard work.”

Redick’s strong statement may attempt to avert the narrative surrounding James’s selection in this year’s draft. Although, it’s hard for many not to believe that LeBron’s influence within the organization wasn’t a significant factor.

That outside noise will remain prevalent throughout the rest of the offseason around James and the Lakers. However, what will change that chatter will have to be his play on the court.


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There is a belief that the 19-year-old isn’t ready to excel in the NBA. Even with that all around him already, James is ready for the challenge ahead.

“For sure, amplified amount of pressure,” Bronny said. “I’ve already seen it on social media and stuff, and the internet and stuff and talking about that I might not deserve an opportunity. But I’ve been dealing with stuff like this my whole life. So it’s nothing different, but it’s more amplified, for sure. But I’ll get through it.”

It’s now on James to make the most of the opportunity ahead of him with the Lakers.

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