Lakers' LeBron James Says Ken Griffey Jr. Was His Favorite Player Growing Up

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 29, 2022

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 11: MLB legend, Ken Griffey Jr.hugs LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Orlando Magic on December 11, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James gave a unique answer Wednesday when asked to name his favorite player growing up.

The question was seemingly about basketball, but rather than name-dropping someone like Michael Jordan, LeBron switched sports and mentioned Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.:

Ben Verlander @BenVerlander

LeBron James was QUICK with his answer of “Who was your favorite player growing up?”<a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> / The Kid from Akron 🤝 The Kid <a href="https://t.co/V1DPnq1hog">pic.twitter.com/V1DPnq1hog</a>

In addition to being one of the greatest outfielders and power hitters in Major League Baseball history, Griffey was a cultural icon in the '90s.

He is best known for his time with the Seattle Mariners from 1989 to 1999, although Griffey also went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox during his 22-year MLB career.

The Kid was a 13-time All-Star, seven-time Silver Slugger Award winner, three-time Home Run Derby winner and one-time American League MVP, plus he won 10 Gold Gloves thanks to his dazzling defense in center field.

Griffey is seventh on the all-time home run list with 630 blasts, and in 2016, he was nearly a unanimous Hall of Fame selection with 437 of the 440 voters putting him in.

Griffey was also the definition of "cool" during his MLB career, especially when he was with the Mariners.

He gracefully glided through the outfield, had arguably the smoothest swing of all time and would wear his hat backward every chance he got.

Junior likely inspired an entire generation of young people to become athletes, and it seems as though LeBron was part of that group.


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