Jason Whitlock has accused LeBron James of turning Bronny into 'the Make-A-Wish kid' after his son was picked by the Los Angeles Lakers at the NBA Draft.

Bronny has joined his dad in LA after being selected by the Lakers with the 55th overall pick in the second round of last month's draft, having been snubbed in the first round after only playing one year of college basketball at USC.

The 19-year-old being picked by LeBron's team has divided opinion in recent weeks, with fans and analysts torn about a move regarded by many as a clear example of nepotism.

Despite new Lakers coach JJ Redick insisting he 'wasn't handed anything', Bronny has drawn criticism over his move to the Lakers, including from Whitlock.

The conservative sports commentator even labelled him 'the Make-A-Wish kid' while suggesting he has been gifted a charity-like place in the NBA by his legendary father.

'LeBron James has turned his son into the Make-A-Wish kid,' Whitlock said on the latest episode of his 'Fearless' podcast. 'And everyone in the media is going to play along. Everybody is going to play along.

'You've turned your son into the Make-A-Wish kid.'

After his proud moment, Bronny was unveiled as a Lakers player alongside fellow draftee Dalton Knecht, who was selected by LA with the No. 17 pick at the draft. 

And Whitlock believes the two rookies' contrasting outfits at their unveiling speaks volumes about their respective journeys in the sport so far.

'Dalton Knecht's got a nice pair of slacks on, a button-up shirt. LeBron's kid's got on jeans, a hoodie, tennis shoes,' he continued. 

'One guy showed up like he had earned the job and another guy showed up like his dad got him the job. You can just see it in the way that they presented themselves.'

However, as cries of nepotism continued to circulate over his selection last month, Redick came out in support of Bronny and insisted he earned his slot in their roster. 

'Rob [Pelinka] and I did not give Bronny anything - Bronny has earned this,' the new coach said. 'Bronny talks about his hard work. Bronny has earned this through his hard work.

'As we sort of build out our player development program holistically, he's going to have a great opportunity to become an excellent NBA player.'

Bronny lined up for the Lakers for the first time in their NBA Summer League game against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday; winding up two for nine for four points, missing all three of his 3s, with a pair of assists, two rebounds and a steal in just under 22 minutes of court time - 21:43 to be exact - as LA lost 108-94.

The purple and gold drafted him after his lone season at the University of Southern California

As a freshman, the former Sierra Canyon star played in 25 games and made six starts for the Trojans. Bronny averaged only 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists as his team finished with a 15-18 record, placing ninth in the Pac-12. 

While his numbers reflect his placement in the draft, Redick emphasized how LeBron's junior will set the precedent for the Lakers developing young talents. 

'For us, prioritizing player development... we view Bronny as case study [No] 1,' Redick claimed. 'Because [of] his baseline level of feel, athleticism, point of attack defending, shooting passing. There's a lot to like about his game.'

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2024-07-09T18:06:28Z dg43tfdfdgfd