From his streak of All-Star selections to his standing in the NBA’s all-time scoring list, LeBron James’ longevity and sustained greatness have made way for him to set a number of records that will be hard to break.
Since making his debut in 2003, James has been a part of multiple eras — and generations — of NBA basketball. The fact holds true in more ways than one.
While James maintains the goal of becoming the first active father-son duo when his 18-year-old son Bronny is eligible to join the NBA, he has already played against a number of father-son duos over the course of his career, truly putting his longevity into perspective.
Just how many father-son duos has James faced over the last 20 years? From his head-to-head with Gary Payton in 2004 to a meeting with Jabari Smith Jr. in 2023, here’s a look at the still-growing list.
Rick Brunson & Jalen Brunson
First meeting between LeBron James and Rick Brunson: Dec. 20, 2003
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and Jalen Brunson: March 1, 2022
James and Rick Brunson met six times between 2003 and 2006. Jalen Brunson and James first went head-to-head in 2018 and are set to meet for a 10th time in late January.
Adrian Griffin & AJ Griffin
First meeting between LeBron James and Adrian Griffin: Feb. 25, 2004
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and AJ Griffin: Jan. 6, 2023
Adrian Griffin and James’ careers overlapped for five seasons, a span in which they met six times. AJ Griffin, who was a rookie during James’ 20th season, went head-to-head with LeBron twice in the span of a week.
Kenyon Martin & KJ Martin
First meeting between LeBron James and Kenyon Martin: Jan. 2, 2004
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and KJ Martin: Jan. 16, 2023
Kenyon Martin was the No. 1 overall pick three years before James was selected first overall in 2003. Fast forward 17 years and KJ Martin was a rookie going head-to-head with James.
As a bonus, KJ was a senior at Sierra Canyon High School when Bronny James enrolled as an eighth grader.
Gary Payton & Gary Payton II
First meeting between LeBron James and Gary Payton: Jan. 12, 2004
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and Gary Payton II: Feb. 12, 2022
James and Gary Payton saw their careers overlap for four seasons before the Hall of Famer retired in 2007. While Gary Payton II made his NBA debut in 2017, it took him over four years to first share the floor with James.
Glenn Robinson & Glenn Robinson III
First meeting between LeBron James and Glenn Robinson: Dec. 19, 2003
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and Glenn Robinson III: March 3, 2020
James and Glenn Robinson met once during James’ rookie year when, at 18, he finished with 36 points in a win over the 76ers. James and Glenn Robinson III have met eight times, with the most recent instance coming in 2020.
Jabari Smith & Jabari Smith Jr.
First meeting between LeBron James and Jabari Smith: Dec. 22, 2004
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and Jabari Smith Jr.: Jan. 16, 2023
Over the span of his five-year career, Jabari Smith met James three times as a member of the Nets. Jabari Smith Jr., the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, faces James for the first time on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2023.
Gary Trent & Gary Trent Jr.
First meeting between LeBron James and Gary Trent: Nov. 21, 2003
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and Gary Trent Jr.: March 18, 2022
James’ first season in the NBA was Gary Trent’s last, making way for two meetings during the 2003-04 season. 15 years later, James first went head-to-head with Gary Trent Jr., who he also faced in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Samaki Walker & Jabari Walker
First meeting between LeBron James and Samaki Walker: April 9, 2004
Most recent meeting between LeBron James and Jabari Walker: Nov. 30, 2022
James and Samaki Walker met five times over the span of three seasons. Walker’s son, Jabari, had his first head-to-head with James on Nov. 30, 2022, when LeBron finished with 31 points in a win over the Trail Blazers.