‘Why you do that to me?!’: LeBron James, 38, sees the funny side as Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr tells Lakers star he played against his DAD in his first NBA game in Sacramento 20 years ago in 2003
Lakers star James introduced himself to the NBA October 29, 2003 when the Cavaliers faced the Kings in Sacramento.
James racked up 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals on the night and while it remains a special memory in his 20-year NBA career, he had long forgotten he had faced up against Jabari Smith, father of Houston’s No 3 draft pick.
Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr and Lakers’ LeBron James shared an amazing pre-game chat
Picked up by cameras and microphones pre-game, the 19-year-old wasted no time in reminding James just how old he really is.
‘Hey, you played against my dad your first NBA game ever,’ Smith told James.
‘Really?’ James responded
Smith said: ‘Sacramento.’
There was a brief silence as James held his laughter back before he said, ‘why you do that to me?’
‘You feel old don’t you,’ Smith said, before action got underway.
The Rockets teenager reminded James he played against his dad during his NBA debut in 2003
James may have ‘felt old’ but he had the last laugh as he scored 48 points in a 140-132 win
While the youngster wasn’t incorrect, his dad never touched the court during James’ eagerly-anticipated debut, instead watching from the bench.
But he did take on the forward a year later when part of the New Jersey Nets.
‘Made me feel old as c**p!’ James, who finished with 48 points in 36 minutes in a 140-132 win, said afterwards.
‘I’ve had the pleasure of playing against a few father and son combinations. It’s been a great ride in these 20 years. Always an honor for me.’
James has had his fair share of father-son combinations try to take him on across 20 years in the NBA, including Rick and Jalen Brunson, Adrian and AJ Griffin, Kenyon and KJ Martin, Samaki and Jabari Walker, as well as the sons of Gary Payton, Gary Trent and Glenn Robinson.