Bruce Pearl in agreement with Stephen A. Smith on LeBron James nepotism claims

Bruce Pearl believes the nepotism accusations against LeBron James and Bronny James are bogus
Bruce Pearl believes the nepotism accusations against LeBron James and Bronny James are bogus / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Bruce Pearl is in agreement with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith regarding the nepotism accusations against LeBron James and his son, Bronny James, after the latter was taken in the 2024 NBA draft with the No. 55 pick to join his father's franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers: they're bogus.

Smith went on a passionate tirade defending the James family and throwing white executives under the bus for doing the same thing and receiving none of the same push-back.

“We live in a country where nepotism has taken place with white folks religiously, forever,” Smith said (h/t Awful Announcing). “We’ve said little to nothing about it. In the NBA specifically, in a league where at least 70% of the players are Black, we’ve seen nepotism with white folks all over the place. Ownership, executive ranks, player personnel, scouting, coaching, the list goes on and on. We’ve said little to nothing about it. And now this happens with LeBron James, a member of the Mount Rushmore of basketball, and all of a sudden you’ve got people running their mouths.

“Yes, he has manipulated the proceedings somewhat, we get that. Bronny James would not be on an NBA roster if it were not for LeBron James…we all know this. We accept it. The issue is the resentment that’s emanating from people out there. How dare you resent LeBron James…America, not everybody, not most, but a lot of people are about, ‘stay in your place, stay in your lane.’ And LeBron James has religiously been about the business of defining his own lane.”

Pearl simply responded "Preach Stephen A." via X.

Bruce Pearl employs son Steven Pearl on Auburn basketball coaching staff

Pearl's support of Stephen A. is notable because he himself employs his son, Steven, as an assistant on his Auburn basketball coaching staff. No one has accused Bruce of nepotism, though that is for a good reason.

Pearl wasn't at the top of the basketball world when he added his son to his coaching staff, and Steven has done such a good job in his role that he is the top candidate to replace his father when he eventually moves on from the Plains.

Bronny wasn't first-round pick material outside of his namesake, which is a big reason many are so bothered that he had his name called on draft night over several more-deserving prospects.