Some people have the mistaken belief that black fathers are disinterested in their children and do not invest enough time in their lives. However, this assumption is completely untrue and baseless.
Following LeBron James’ humorous dunk during his son’s layup line, there are nonsensical claims that James, a black father, is excessively involved in his children’s lives. This type of pointless discussion arises during the slow summer months when individuals seek any form of diversion from daily baseball broadcasts. However, this debate emerges due to people’s inability to differentiate between constant media coverage and quality father-son time. Ironically, the controversial reaction to such stories will only encourage their propagation in the future.
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina, where I got to watch Bronny, the son of James, compete. The gym was packed, and as the days went by, it only got more star-studded. While I was impressed with Bronny’s natural court vision, what stood out the most was the tight-knit family atmosphere surrounding the team. One heartwarming moment was when Bronny’s younger brother, Bryce, joined the team in a pregame huddle. Another touching moment was when James’ wife, Savannah, and their daughter, Zhuri, were practically twins as they cheered on the game. Towards the end, Zhuri even switched viewpoints from her mom’s lap to her grandmother Gloria’s shoulders.
Gloria and LeBron are the first two key players of an incredible American tale, and when you consider the immense pressure and expectations placed on James, it’s truly remarkable what this family has accomplished. A photo taken at the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina shows little Zhuri James watching the game from atop her grandmother Gloria’s shoulders.
It’s impressive that James has remained authentic to his personality, which is essentially that of a playful and youthful individual. This is definitely not a criticism, but rather the highest form of praise. Despite all the discussions about his shrewdness in business and his possible position as the greatest basketball player ever, James has managed to maintain his sense of humor. This is why his recent social media posts on “Taco Tuesday” are so authentic and charmingly idiosyncratic.
James’ pregame dunks are a reflection of his attitude, which is to take the pressure off of Bronny and his teammates. He understands the unfair expectations that come with his name and believes that his pregame dunks shift the focus to him rather than Bronny. James has previously expressed regret for passing down the James name to his son due to the basketball expectations attached to it. Despite being a basketball player from November to June, James prioritizes being a father figure to his son and imparting important values to his son and his team. This team-based and loyalty-infused culture defines James’ existence, both on and off the court. Anyone who fails to recognize this perspective simply lacks understanding.