Did LeBron James Jr. change his name to Bronny? Examining the young player’s choice to step out of his father’s shadow

Did LeBron James Jr. change his name to Bronny? Examining the young player’s choice to step out of his father’s shadow

2023 McDonald

Bronny James and his father, LeBron James

LeBron James Jr., son of NBA superstar LeBron James, is better known around the basketball world simply as “Bronny.”

Saddled with the name of one of the greatest players in NBA history, the 19-year-old has chosen to take on a nickname rather than shoulder the pressure of being LeBron James Jr.

While his full name connects him to his famous father, he likely prefers the nickname Bronny to help distinguish himself. This begs the question – has he legally changed his name to Bronny?

Did LeBron James Jr. change his name to Bronny?

USC Trojans' Bronny JamesUSC Trojans’ Bronny James
No, LeBron James Jr. has not legally changed his name to Bronny James. He still carries his father’s name despite being known as “Bronny” for years.

With the skills to one day follow his father’s footsteps to the NBA, a big question looms around whether the USC freshman will ever formally adopt the nickname.

On the one hand, keeping his legendary namesake seems like a privilege – a reminder of the legacy Bronny could uphold. However, constant “LeBron James Jr.” comparisons fuel expectations he may never satisfy. Several sources cite Bronny wanting his own identity as to why he informally changed his name years ago.

LeBron James once revealed how his eldest son pursued a separate legacy with the name change. On an episode of “The Shop,” James revealed:

“I asked him, ‘What you want to do with this? You want to get to the pros?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I asked him why. He said ‘Cos I want to make a name for myself.’

“By the way, he changed his name to Bronny. I didn’t. He changed his name. I made him a junior, but he Bronny to the world.”

His father likely understands Bronny’s mindset. After all, LeBron James selected the more unique name of Bryce for his younger son. At 19, Bronny now can legally change his famous name. However, the name “LeBron James Jr.” brings blessings and curses that Bronny continues weighing.

As a young adult, Bronny has time to decide if he wants to formally separate himself from his father’s shadow. Over the coming years, he can figure out how closely he wants to associate himself with his legendary dad over the long run.


Whether he embraces LeBron James Jr. or eventually opts to become Bronny James officially, his name alone will not make or break his promising career. What matters most is how Bronny keeps improving his game as he navigates his basketball journey.