The Los Angeles Lakers will pack up their bags in Miami on Saturday and fly to Atlanta for the third leg of their five-game road trip Sunday, but the team plane will be missing some precious cargo. LeBron James chartered a flight of his own on L.A.’s off day to fly to Columbus, Ohio, to see son LeBron James Jr.’s Sierra Canyon High School play his alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary.
As exciting as the Lakers’ 23-3 start has been for James, Sierra Canyon’s 7-0 start without James present for the games has made him feel like he’s missing out. Until Saturday, that is.
“If you ask me what’s been the only sucky thing about this season so far is that my son has played like six games into his freshman year and I haven’t seen one,” James said after the Lakers’ win in Miami on Friday night. “I love what I do. I don’t take this for granted. This is a dream come true. But missing my son, you know Bron Jr., missing [my other son] Bryce’s first game the other day when we left for Orlando, his first game of the season. Missing my daughter at gymnastics and things of that nature, and I understand the business, but it sucks.”
James’ eldest son, who goes by Bronny, is a 15-year-old freshman on Sierra Canyon’s nationally ranked boys basketball team.
The Lakers star takes a break from his steady diet of NBA consumption to stream Bronny’s high school games whenever the schedule allows. Anthony Davis says he’s seen James on the bus, in the locker room and on the plane catching a glimpse of Sierra Canyon on his phone or iPad.
“I mean, it’s a great time for him,” Davis said Friday. “He’s kind of reliving his past, watching his son play and go through everything — all the media and all the games they’re playing on TV.” This week marks the 17th anniversary of James playing on national television on ESPN for the first time when his St. Vincent-St. Mary team beat Oak Hill Academy, then the No. 1-ranked team in the nation.
“Obviously, everybody knows that St. Vincent-St. Mary is when people started to recognize me from a national standpoint,” James told ESPN this week. “And my son is about to play a high school game versus my alma mater in our home state. The only thing that would have been more emotional is if my son was playing St. Vincent-St. Mary at the LeBron James Arena in Akron. That would have been, like — that wou