Eric Musselman wants Bronny James back at USC despite transfer portal, draft decisions

Bronny James entered his name in both the NBA draft and transfer portal on Friday, but his old team still could bring him back.

The guard, and son of LeBron James, spent his freshman season with the Trojans, though his basketball future is now in doubt.

As USC moves to the Big Ten next season, the team hired Eric Musselman as their new head coach, who takes on the role after five years at Arkansas.

On Friday, he already lent his voice to hoping James remains at the school.

“Well, I mean, I need to try to get a hold of Bronny,” Musselman said following his introductory press conference. “I’ve texted him.”

“Certainly, he has got a lot of options,” he added. “We respect those options. We just want him to know that, hey, you know, this opportunity is here if you want to play at USC. We’d love to have him. Such a talented young man.”

James was limited to 4.8 points and 2.1 assists per game through 19.3 minutes per contest, logging six starts across 25 appearances.

Bronny James is entering the transfer portal and the NBA draft.
Bronny James is entering the transfer portal and the NBA draft. Getty Images

His freshman season came after he suffered cardiac arrest incident during the summer, which delayed the start of his first year.

James is also putting a toe in the water for the 2024 NBA Draft, though he will maintain his college eligibility if he decides to withdraw his name by the early entry withdrawal deadline on June 16.

“I’ve had a year with some ups and downs but all added to growth for me as a man, student and athlete,” James wrote on his Instagram in regards to his decision.

“I’ve made the decision to enter the NBA Draft while maintaining my college eligibility, and will also be entering the NCAA transfer portal. Thank you to USC for an amazing freshman year, and as always thankful for my family, friends, doctors, athletic trainers and fans for their support.”

Eric Musselman is the new head coach at USC.
Eric Musselman is the new head coach at USC. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

James, 19, was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and had also received offers from Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon, per ESPN.

Musselman, who also coached Nevada from 2015-19, has a career 221-93 record as a head coach and has led two teams to the Sweet 16.


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