Next season, LeBron James and Bronny James will play just 1.7 miles from one another as the Los Angeles Lakers compete in Crypto.com Arena and the USC Trojans play in Galen Center.
Without L.A. traffic — a variable that can dramatically change any commute — it takes about seven minutes to drive from the Lakers’ home floor to the USC basketball arena. The seven-minute trek — again, on a good day — features a series of transitions from the energized L.A. Live entertainment district through industrial and urban stretches before you run into the pristine decor of USC’s campus.
It all happens on a short stretch of Figueroa Street, a 30-mile corridor named after Jose Figueroa, a Mexican general and governor in the 1830s.
From Crypto.com Arena, you can make your way to Bluestone Lane, a trendy coffee shop just around the corner from the Lakers’ home floor, and get a Sunshine burrito (the dill mayo is a nice touch) and an Aussie iced latte to go. As you continue to drive toward the Galen Center, the Los Angeles Convention Center, a 720,000-square-foot facility, is on your right, and if you look to your left, you’ll see a Remy Martin ad that features Serena Williams.
The next stretch features a variety of car dealerships — Porsche, Toyota, Jeep, Ford, etc. — and a Chevron station that’s charging about $5 a gallon for unleaded right now. Then, the next portion of Figueroa is suddenly a lot different from the area you just left. It’s more of a neighborhood, with strip malls, restaurants and other establishments. Felix Used Cars is open during construction, its sign says, and Ono Hawaiian BBQ has a strong lunch crowd.
But the most memorable scene is about halfway between Crypto.com Arena and the Galen Center. The exterior of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church towers over everything around it. It has a dome that’s 45 feet across. The Spanish Baroque-style venue is nearly 100 years old. And it makes the whole area seem majestic. And then, a few green lights later and the Galen Center is on your left. It’s that quick.
That’s how close LeBron and Bronny will play to one another during the 2023-24 season.