2 kings: LeBron James and Derrick Henry show mutual admiration for each other

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, both "Kings" by their nicknames, are fans of one another.

The Titans tweeted a snippet of James' new "Thursday Night Football" alternate stream titled “TNF in The Shop," where he saw Henry on the broadcast and sung his praises.

"King Henry, my man," James said. "He's my favorite player in the NFL." Henry's animated response: "King James MUCH LOVE BIG BRO!"

For James, it's about how Henry has changed the game for larger running backs.

"For years they always used to say that running backs that size or that tall couldn't survive," James explained.

He added that Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson also had a similar impact, but Henry is different.

"King Henry changed it in a whole 'nother fashion... not only is he tall like Eric Dickerson, he's built like a linebacker. He runs in between the tackles, he can run outside of tackles. When he gets on the edge, it's either gon' be a stiff arm, or he's going to run around you."

Dickerson, who holds the NFL's single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards from his 1984 season with the Los Angeles Rams, agrees.

While some questioned Henry’s ability to bounce back after he missed half the 2021 regular season with a foot injury, Dickerson saw the potential.

"I consider myself a big back, and when he walked up to me, I was like, 'Damn, he makes me look little," Dickerson, who's 6-3, 225 pounds, recalled of his first time meeting Henry.

"He reminds me of me," Dickerson added. "To me, he's the best back in the league, by far. And to me, it's not even close. And I think people know that. The guy came back and played on a broken foot and didn't even know it.

James, a four-time NBA champion, has had some bold NFL takes. These include include once saying that his favorite player was Carson Wentz and that he no longer roots for the Cowboys, but instead the Cleveland Browns because of how Dallas handled players kneeling during the national anthem.

Henry's Thursday night performance illustrated that James' favorite player selection might be his best football opinion. The 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year ran the Packers defense for 87 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, even recording a jump pass for a touchdown in Tennessee’s 27–17 win over the Green Bay Packers.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs off the field after defeating the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Houston, Texas. The Tennessee Titans defeated the Houston Texans 17-10. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans is Lakers star LeBron James' favorite NFL player. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) (Bob Levey via Getty Images)