Bronny James and the Lakers are under renewed scrutiny for potential NBA violation: No one’s buying this

Bronny James and the Lakers are under renewed scrutiny for potential NBA violation: No one’s buying this

Now that Bronny James is officially an NBA player — with a multi-year, guaranteed contract to boot — the scrutiny around him is only going to grow, especially as he finds himself on the same team as his superstar father.

Much of the coverage surrounding Bronny, LeBron, and the Los Angeles Lakers at large continues to center on nepotism, amid the contention that the franchise intentionally ignored other prospects in order to draft Bronny — who played one so-so season for the USC Trojans in 2023/24. Those grumblings aren’t going away any time soon, if one veteran sports executive has anything to say about it.

Former MLB exec bashes LeBron, the Lakers, and the NBA

David Samson, the former president of MLB‘s Miami Marlins, sat in on Monday’s episode of “The Dan Le Batard Show” and came with the heat when the conversation turned to Bronny and the Lakers. Samson, who also hosts the “Nothing Personal” podcast, believes the Lakers are “full of s**t” for how they have handled their offseason business: by placing LeBron’s wants at the center.

“All they had to do was have (new head coach) JJ Redick tell the truth. All LeBron had to do was tell the truth about his involvement in JJ Redick, his involvement in the operation of the team,” Samson said. “None of them ever copped to drafting Bronny, as though he was some sort of ‘talent.'”

Samson bashed the Lakers for giving Bronny a four-year, $7.9 million contract (with $4.4 million guaranteed) prior to his Summer League debut — a commitment that far exceeds what players picked 55th overall tend to command from their teams. He then slammed the team for circumventing the NBA’s salary cap, taking LeBron’s two-year, $101.4 million contract extension into account alongside Bronny’s pro deal.

Cohost Domonique Foxworth quickly responded that Samson himself once benefitted from nepotism — his former stepfather, Jeffrey Loria, once owned the Marlins. However, Samson responded by saying he only wanted the Lakers to be honest about their intentions instead of being deceptive.

There is no one buying that Bronny James got $7.9 million because of his ability,” Samson said.

Despite Samson’s palpable outrage, it is virtually impossible for the NBA to investigate the Lakers for salary cap violations — and there is no appetite for doing so when the target of the investigation would be the league’s most popular player. There are no restrictions within the league’s collective bargaining agreement about teams drafting the children of current players, or exactly what kind of contract a team can give to a second-round pick. While suspicion abounds, it is up to Bronny to convince the public that the Lakers selected him for more than his bloodline.

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