DALLAS (AP) — LeBron James didn't get the same break as his Los Angeles Lakers teammates after they won the NBA's inaugural In-Season Tournament.
The superstar went back to LA from Las Vegas on Sunday to watch his oldest son, Bronny James, make his collegiate debut for Southern California nearly five months after going into cardiac arrest during a workout.
The Lakers had another day off before returning to the regular season with a 127-125 loss at Dallas on Tuesday night. James didn't miss a beat, finishing with 33 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
“It was everything for my family,” James said of his detour back to California. “It was just an emotional, draining day, from the time we all woke up to the time the buzzer hit zeros.”
After getting a pat on the rear from his dad before the opening tip, Bronny James had four points, three assists and two rebounds while playing 16 minutes in an 84-79 overtime loss to Long Beach State.
The son didn't greet his father after the loss, and didn't take questions after making a brief statement to a horde of media at USC's Galen Center.
“I think the most important thing, who cares about the win or the loss, the kid was standing tall and standing strong at the end of the game,” said James, who turns 39 later this month. “That is a blessing in its own right, and that is a win. He's won at life, and everything else at this point is extra credit.”
LeBron James entered the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick out of high school in Akron, Ohio, in 2003. The NBA's career scoring leader is in his 21st season.
“That moment was everything for us to be there,” James said. “To see the first person out of our family, out of the James gang, to grace a college campus and a college floor, that was pretty cool.”
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