Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith Jr was caught telling LeBron James that he played against his father in his NBA debut 20 years ago. On Monday night, the Rockets took on the Los Angeles Lakers. Smith Jr, who the Rockets selected at No 3 in the 2022 NBA draft, had a message for James before they went head-to-head.
On October 29, 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Sacramento Kings. At the time, James was making his NBA debut with the Cavaliers, while Jabari Smith Sr played for the Kings. "Hey, you played against my dad your first NBA game ever," Smith Jr was caught telling James.
Jabari Smith Jr: “You played against my dad yo first NBA game ever, you feel old don’t you”
LeBron James: “Why you do that to me”
Amazing NBA moment. pic.twitter.com/l9IDAMkPeo — Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) January 17, 2023
James on Smith Jr's words
James, who turned 38 a few weeks ago, admitted hearing those words made him feel old.
"It made me feel extremely old when Junior told me that. I think he even said it like, 'You probably feel old,'" James said, per ESPN. Smith Jr, who was born in May 2003, was just a couple of months old when his father played James in his NBA debut.
"He was kind of mad because he said I made him feel old. I knew I was going to tell him that; just something my dad had told me. I didn't really know. That's just a great stat," Smith said. Meanwhile, James had a big performance to help the Lakers beat the Rockets 140-132 and span their three-game losing streak.
Against the Rockets, James had 48 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. The night earlier, James had 35 points in a one-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. "I was extremely exhausted today, extremely tired. Body was sore from the battle that we had yesterday versus Philly.
I guess once I stepped on the floor for warmups and the crowd fills in, it's my job to go out and play the best way I can," James reflected.