Jaren Jackson Jr. calls LeBron James the ‘greatest player to play’ the game of basketball

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. called Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James the “greatest player to play” the game of basketball on a recent episode of Podcast P with Paul George.

Jackson Jr. showed some major respect for James despite his age, as the Lakers beat the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs this season.

“He kicked our a–,” Jackson said. “And we gotta spin the block – but I hope we get a chance ’cause I don’t know how many more years he wants to do it.”

The Grizzlies star got in an argument with one of the hosts about James being “old” or not, but he concluded it with a very simple statement about the Lakers superstar.

“He’s the greatest player to play,” Jackson Jr. said.

James finished the series against the Grizzlies averaging 22.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

While James is getting up there in age at 38 years old, he is still a dominant player when he needs to be for the Lakers.

Los Angeles ended up making the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 season, knocking off the Golden State Warriors in the second round.

James and the Lakers won three of the final four games against the Grizzlies after Dillon Brooks called him “old” following the Grizzlies’ Game 2 win. For the No. 2-seeded Grizzlies, it was a disheartening way to get eliminated from the playoffs.

Memphis lost badly in multiple games in the series, losing Game 1 in Memphis by 16 points and Game 6 in Los Angeles by 40 points. Game 6 was a dismal performance from a team that was facing elimination.

Memphis has a solid young core with Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, but the team has yet to make it past the second round with this group.

James, who is now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, is under contract with the Lakers for the 2023-24 season, so there is a chance he could match up with the Grizzlies again in the playoffs like Jackson Jr. wants.

A four-time champion, James is widely considered to be one of the two greatest players in NBA history alongside Michael Jordan. Many former and current players have differing opinions, but it seems that Jackson Jr. would take James over Jordan as the greatest player of all time.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.