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‘Summer league doesn’t matter,’ declares Undisputed star Rachel Nichols after Bronny James’ injury scare

UNDISPUTED analyst Rachel Nichols has reminded NBA fans that Bronny James shouldn’t be judged by his Summer League performance for the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James‘ son and the No. 55 overall pick of this year’s draft endured a tough Lakers debut in a California Classic game against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.

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Undisputed star Rachel Nichols reminded NBA fans that summer league games are not important after Bronny James’ tough Los Angeles Lakers debut[/caption]

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James scored just four points on 2-for-9 from the field during Saturday’s 108-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings in the 2024 California Classic[/caption]

Bronny, 19, finished with just four points on 2-for-9 shooting in 22 minutes on the court as Los Angeles fell 108-94.

During the game, the 6-foot-2 guard also appeared to have hurt his left knee.

The former University of Southern California playmaker missed Sunday’s 92-68 loss to the Golden State Warriors with swelling in his left knee ruling him out of the Lakers’ second summer league clash.

The team later said they ruled Bronny out as a precautionary measure.

Bronny’s slow start to his pro career came after claims he was only drafted by the 17-time NBA champions to appease his superstar father.

But Nichols, 50, told the rookie’s critics that summer league games can hardly be used to gauge his or any other prospect’s potential.

“Here’s the thing to remember about summer league — it doesn’t matter,” she said on Monday’s Undisputed.

“It doesn’t matter if he takes a game off. … It doesn’t matter that he didn’t have a good shooting night in his debut.

“Summer league does not matter. We have seen players who have had kind of crummy summer leagues go on to have great All-Star NBA careers.

“We’ve had guys who have had great summer leagues fizzle out in the NBA.”


Nichols recalled San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama‘s nightmare summer league debut last year.

The Frenchman went 2-for-13 from the field, ending the night with nine points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

He also got spectacularly dunked on by Charlotte Hornets big man Kai Jones.

Still, Wemby put his talent on full display during his rookie NBA season, averaging 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds. 3.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and 3.6 blocks.

The only purpose of summer league is to get these guys the experience of playing at this level


Rachel Nichols

The 7-foot-4 center earned Rookie of the Year and All-Defensive First Team honors while finishing second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.

“The only purpose of summer league is to get these guys the experience of playing at this level,” Nichols continued.

“This was the first time that Bronny played for these coaches. 

“New teammates, new schemes. And also, by the way, he hadn’t played since March. 

“So the idea that this kid, the numbers, should be the thing we judge him by… I just, I don’t understand that.

“The only thing we need to judge him on is the stuff that we see that doesn’t come up in the box score.”

Bronny is expected to be on the court in the Lakers’ final Cali Classic matchup, Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat.

He then will fly with the team to Nevada for the 2024 Las Vegas Summer League tournament.

The Lakers reportedly plan on giving James Jr. as many opportunities to play as possible this offseason.

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