AKRON, Ohio — Twenty years after LeBron James infamously appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school junior at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, the four-time NBA MVP once again finds himself on the front of the publication.
And this time, he has company.
On a daily cover released on SportsIllustrated.com on Tuesday, the now-37-year-old James can be seen back in the St. Vincent-St. Mary gym -- now named LeBron James Arena. Alongside the Los Angeles Lakers star are his two sons, 17-year-old Bronny and 15-year-old Bryce, who are each set to play at the Sierra Canyon School in Southern California this winter.
While James has previously expressed a desire to play with Bronny in the NBA one day, which would make them the first father-son duo to do so in league history, he also hinted at even grander plans while speaking to SI's Chris Ballard. Asked about the possibility of playing with not only Bronny, but also Bryce, the 4-time NBA champion didn't rule it out.
“I feel like I could play for quite a while," James answered when asked about the possibility. "So it’s all up to my body, but more importantly, my mind. If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky’s not even a limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we shall see.”
For James -- who is preparing to enter his 20th season in the NBA -- to play long enough to play alongside Bryce would be quite the feat.
Now entering his sophomore season at Sierra Canyon, the younger of James' two sons wouldn't be eligible for the NBA Draft until 2026 at the earliest, under current league rules. For James to play that long, he would have to play for at least five more seasons, at which point, he would be 42 years old.
As for Bronny, who ranks as the nation's No. 41 player and a four-star recruit by 247Sports, the idea seems a lot more viable. The older James brother will first be eligible to enter the NBA Draft in 2024 -- the same year that his dad happens to have the ability to opt-out of his new extension with the Lakers.
Speaking to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic in February, James said that it wasn't a matter of if, but rather when he'd be playing alongside his son.
“My last year will be played with my son,” James said. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”