Former Cleveland Cavaliers player Dahntay Jones reflected on his time with LeBron James and pointed out his willingness to listen to honest assessments from teammates.
Jones spoke about a particular incident in which James was critical of Tristan Thompson before apologizing after Jones confronted him.
“Him (James) and Tristan got into it one time,” Jones said. “And he was like, ‘But Tristan ain’t —.’ I was like, ‘But bro, you wrong. Tristan was there. He’ll run through a wall for you. You gotta, you need to apologize.’ Goes and apologize. If you hold him accountable, he’ll listen. If you give him information, he’s taking everything to just be better on a daily basis. That’s where the respect came in because he’s a hell of a teammate. He’s always prepared. He gives everything he has to winning and being dominant. It’s like, okay, it’s not by accident that he’s considered one of the greatest of all time.”
Jones was with the Cavaliers during both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
During both seasons, Jones’ veteran presence was more valuable to the team than the limited numbers he delivered on the court. One of the Cavs who obviously valued Jones’ availability was James, given his willingness to quickly apologize to Thompson.
While the 41-year-old Jones is now retired, James is still going strong at age 37. James has been forced to deal with injuries more often in recent years as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, but he continues to put up consistent numbers when he takes the court.
James has always been seen as a student of the game. He’s displayed a knack for using a remarkable memory that’s combined with his outstanding physical ability to become, as Jones noted, one of the greatest players ever.
Cavs fans will always remember how James was able to lead the team to its first and only title in 2016. In his own small way, Jones was part of that iconic team.
For a superstar of James’ stature, admitting to being wrong can sometimes be a painful pill to swallow. However, James’ focus on winning allows that to go down a little easier.