The prospect of NBA star LeBron James and his son Bronny linking with the Australian National Basketball League has taken a step closer to becoming reality.
NBL owner Larry Kestelman has confirmed that the league has held preliminary talks with the James family on the prospect of teenage star Bronny playing in Australia this year.
The NBL has become a breeding ground for NBA talent in recent years through its Next Star program, which allows young players to compete against men and be paid - unlike the US college system.
LeBron 'Bronny' James Jr of Sierra Canyon High School with his father LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers following the Ohio Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic
It is a program that has seen the likes of LaMelo Ball, Josh Giddey, RJ Hampton and Ousmane Dieng all go on to be high draft picks and NBA stars.
Kestelman has been the driving force behind the revival of the NBL after it came perilously close to collapse around 15 years ago.
He has engineered the return of the Sydney Kings and Brisbane Bullets along with new franchise Tasmania, with more new teams on the horizon.
Josh Giddey is in devastating form for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA and his journey began in the NBL with the Adelaide 36ers (pictured) as part of the Next Star program
LaMelo Ball was the first high-profile American talent to skip the US College system, instead playing a season with the Illawarra Hawks in the Australian National Basketball League
The Kings v New Zealand Breakers match at Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday night attracted a crowd of over 14,000 people.
Bronny, 18, is in the final year of high school at LA’s Sierra Canyon School and will need to have a gap year before he is eligible for the NBA draft.
Kestelman has already started the process of trying to lure him and his famous father to Australia.
'We have absolutely reached out and there's the start of a conversation but it's very early days,' Kestelman told News Corp.
'It would be incredible to see not just him, but I know there was a conversation about him and LeBron playing one season together.
'It's a long shot, but the conversation has begun and we'll be in the mix.'
LeBron James has long signalled his intent to play one season with his son Bronny before he retires. While that is likely to be in the NBA, the door is open for James Snr to play in the NBL
Bronny James in action against Christopher Columbus during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic
Sydney Kings owner Paul Smith signalled his intent to lure the James family to the harbour city last March, saying the Kings were the only destination for the NBA superstar and his rising star son.
'There's only one city that's big enough for LeBron and Bronny, and that's Sydney,' Smith told the Sydney Morning Herald in March.
'We'd fill 18,000 seats every week.
'If it's going to happen, it'll happen as a package, and as he has made clear to the NBA, if you draft my boy, I'm in. It's a two-for-one deal,' he said
'We would fill [Qudos Bank Arena] 19 times a season. We could probably fill it for practices as well. It'll be at the point where you would just sell tickets to the bar that wouldn't even get you in the arena.
James has signalled his desire to play at least one season in the NBA with his son before retirement.
While there is a remote chance James could opt to play in Australia with Bronny, that would be unlikely with the duo likely to link up in 2024 when his son is drafted.
'I need to be on the floor with my boy, I got to be on the floor with Bronny, either in the same uniform or a matchup against him,' James said in one interview.
'My last year will be played with my son. 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,' he said in another