Lakers select Bronny James with 55th pick; 2024 NBA Draft winners & losers; USMNT takes a bad loss



This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.


🏀 Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

THE JAMES FAMILY

In October of 2004, the Cleveland Cavaliers played an eight-game preseason in two weeks. This was months after LeBron James received the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, and an offseason that included the Olympics in Athens. But something else happened that October that was infinitely more important. James became a father for the first time.

Fast forward 20 years and that child, Bronny James, has now been drafted by an NBA team — and not just any team, the Los Angeles Lakers, the team for which his father plays (Yes, technically, the father did opt out of his contract a few days ago, but let’s dispense with formalities for a moment). When the Lakers 2024-25 season kicks off this fall, the overwhelming expectation is that James, 39, and James, 20, will be more than father and son. They’ll be teammates, marking the first time in the history of the NBA that such a pairing has happened.

There is, and will continue to be, a never-ending sea of opinions on the developments that have gotten us to this point. And there will be basketball conversations, but this moment should also recognize one other thing. Congratulations are in order for LeBron and Savannah James, along with for Bronny James and those in their inner circle. 

Don’t get me wrong. A deeper dive into what transpired to reach this moment is fascinating. But we also must meet the noise with the nuance. Here’s a terrific take by CBS Sports‘ Gary Parrish on one aspect of the recent discourse.

  • Parrish: “Did the entire process get manipulated? Yes. Could it reasonably be described as nepotism? Sure. But this kind of stuff actually happens in basketball all the time. Billy Donovan has helped his son land jobs. John Calipari has helped his son land jobs. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brother has been on the roster in Milwaukee for five years. Jalen Brunson’s father is on staff in New York. In other words, there is nothing too unique about LeBron and his agent creating this situation for Bronny. And though some have criticized the Lakers for going along with the plan, I personally think the 55th pick (that typically amounts to nothing) is a small price to pay to keep the NBA’s all-time leading scorer happy and ensure he signs an extension and retires with the franchise.”

As for the rest of the NBA Draft coverage, here’s a sample of what else you can find on our site:

👍 Honorable mentions

⚽ And not such a good morning for …

THE UNITED STATES MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM

The U.S. Men’s National Team finds itself in a bit of trouble this morning. After coming up on the wrong side of a 2-1 final against Panama in a Copa America group stage match, USMNT now must likely win Monday’s game — and possibly with a lopsided score — if the squad wants to see the knockout round. The problem is that they’ll need to do it against a Uruguay team that is 2-0 with a +7 goal differential, but it is possible, and here are all the scenarios that would secure an advance.

Chuck Booth has all of the player rankings from Thursday’s game, plus we’ve got coach Gregg Berhalter sounding off after Tim Weah‘s red card in the 18th minute and Chuck’s ranking of where this loss falls among the five worst defeats USMNT has been handed. Here’s Chuck’s take on Thursday’s game:

  • Booth: “After having a goal called back in the first five minutes of play, it seemed like the USMNT would be off and running but it was anything but as Weah was red-carded in the 18th minute. Joy of Folarin Balogun leading the USMNT to glory evaporated quickly as Cesar Blackman scored an equalizer before Jose Fajardo got the eventual winner. Happening in Copa America, this is the biggest tournament loss that the USMNT have suffered an upset in recent years.”

👎 Not so honorable mentions

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🏈 Weighing the Hall of Fame candidacy of NFL stars

With the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game less than just five weeks away, now seems as good as any to ask whether some of today’s stars will ever be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We’re not talking about players like Patrick Mahomes, whose body of work to date already has made him as a compelling case for Canton as any active player in the league.

No, this exercise will put other players under the microscope. Think Matthew Stafford. Think Davante Adams. Think Russell Wilson. In order to be considered, a player has to currently be on a roster and have played at least eight seasons. Nine CBS Sports NFL writers and editors took part and each player needed five votes to clear the threshold for induction. Now it wouldn’t be fair of me to spoil the fun — but I’m not going to let that stop Bryan DeArdo from evaluating Saints defensive lineman Cameron Jordan and his chances of getting the game’s ultimate honor.

  • DeArdo: “Compelling is the best word to describe Jordan’s Hall of Fame case. He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler who has amassed an impressive 117.5 career sacks. Jordan is also a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team, a distinction that should further help his case. Based on our voting result, it doesn’t appear that Jordan’s single All-Pro selection will hurt his future Hall of Fame chances.” 

🤼 International Fight Week presses on

Saturday night’s UFC 303 was supposed to produce that circle-the-date event at International Fight Week — the return of Conor McGregor after a three-year hiatus. But that, of course, is not what we’re going to get. Instead, the UFC has cobbled together a new main event featuring champion Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka, and a co-main event with Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes. Our Brian Campbell has a great read on the quick rise of Pereira.

  • Campbell: “But given Pereira’s short and opportunistic history as a UFC fighter, which saw him transition to MMA late in his career after a Hall of Fame run as a two-division champion with Glory kickboxing, it’s not surprising that he would accept the risk which comes along with the huge payday that comes with replacing McGregor above the marquee in the UFC’s most important summer blockbuster … In just eight UFC fights, Pereira is 7-1 with six knockouts, has won titles in two divisions and holds wins over former champions such as Sean Strickland, Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz, Prochazka and Hill.”  

📺 What we’re watching this weekend

Here’s how to catch the Rocket Mortgage Classic from Detroit Golf Club.

Friday

⚽ Copa America — Colombia vs. Costa Rica, 6 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Copa America — Paraguay vs. Brazil, 9 p.m. on FS1
Astros at Mets, 7:10 p.m. on Apple TV+
Padres at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. on Apple TV+
🏅 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, 8 p.m. on NBC
🏅 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 8 p.m. on USA Network; 10 p.m. on NBC

Saturday

Euro 2024 — Round of 16: Switzerland vs. Italy, 12 p.m. on FS1
🏀 BIG3 — Week 3, 1 p.m. on CBS
🏅 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, 3 p.m. on NBC
Euro 2024 — Round of 16: Germany vs. Denmark, 3 p.m. on Fox
Dodgers at Giants or Rangers at Orioles, 7:15 p.m. on Fox
🏅 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 8 p.m. on NBC
Copa America — Argentina vs. Peru, 8 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Copa America — Canada vs. Chile, 8 p.m. on FS2
🤼 UFC 303, 10 p.m. on PPV

Sunday

⚽ Euro 2024 — Round of 16: England vs. Slovakia, 12 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Dream at Liberty, 1 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Fever at Mercury, 3 p.m. on ESPN 
⚽ Euro 2024 — Round of 16: Spain vs. Georgia, 3 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Lynx at Sky, 3 p.m. on ESPN3
⚾ Rangers at Orioles, 7:10 p.m. on ESPN
🏅 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 7:30 p.m. on NBC
⚽ Copa America — Mexico vs. Ecuador, 8 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Copa America — Jamaica vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m. on Fox
🏅 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, 8:30 p.m. on NBC





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