Skip to main content

Jamal Crawford dishes on relationship with Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Thirty-two years ago, Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. participated in the Foot Locker Slam Fest. He faced Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter. The latter would receive a score of 9.3 on his second dunk attempt. Meanwhile, on his second dunk attempt, Griffey would receive a 9.1 one. This allowed Carter to advance to the next round.

After his victory over Griffey, Carter was interviewed by ESPN’s Dick Vitale. Vitale started the interview off by saying, “I thought you were a fluke, but you’re for real.”

Carter would respond, “Well, that goes to show Dick that you don’t know everything.”

“I’ll tell you what, you got that right. Hey, a lots of luck. You are going to need it in that next round,” said Vitale.

Carter would go on to thank Vitale. Thus, started Ken Griffey Jr. and his relationship with the game of basketball.

Did Ken Griffey Jr. and Jamal Crawford ever play one-on-one?

ken griffey jr.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Ken Griffey Jr, he spent a lot of his career in Seattle as a member of the Seattle Mariners. During his time in the Pacific Northwest during the mid-90s to the early 2000s, basketball legend Jamal Crawford made a name for himself at Rainer Beach High School in Seattle.

Crawford shared with me that in the past, the baseball Hall of Famer showed up to a couple of his high school games while with the Vikings.

In a recent interview with Crawford at his annual The CrawsOver Pro-Am at Seattle Pacific University, I asked the former three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year if he ever got the chance to play against Griffey Jr. on the basketball court.

Related: Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. play catch before Field of Dreams game

“I’ve never played basketball against Ken Griffey Jr,” said Crawford.

“He took me around when I threw out the first pitch for the first time with the Mariners, and I have a picture in my house with him, me, and my son. But I’ve never played basketball with him. I know he had hops. He used to be in ‘The Rock and Jock game’ for sure doing the dunks.”

Crawford has laced his sneakers up with some of the best that the NBA has had to offer, including GOATS such as the late great Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Chris Paul, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose and more. He also had the opportunity to have some of these greats play in his Crawsover Pro-Am since taking over for the NBA great Doug Christie in the city of Seattle.

Ken Griffey Jr. will bring his father to see LeBron James and Bronny play together

lebon james, bronny james
PHIL MASTURZO via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Ken Griffey Jr. is a fan of basketball, and earlier this year, he was asked by Sporting News’ Erika Fernandez about LeBron James and Bronny James following in the footsteps of he and his father Griffey Sr. The younger Griffey shared when it happens he wants to be in attendance and bring his father.

“When that happens, I’m going to be there. I’m going to take my dad to the game,” Griffey Jr. said.

“We’re gonna go to the game. LeBron being a Nike guy. I’m a Nike guy. I’m gonna make sure I’m there at that game. And I think it’s important that we’re all there in celebrating somebody else’s success. Because that’s the thing when you’re in sports, you don’t celebrate yourself. You celebrate other people. And that’s the beauty of sports. And we’re gonna celebrate hopefully in a couple of years LeBron and Bronny playing together.”

James replied via Twitter and shared, “One of my favorite people in the world!! Love you, kid! Thank you for your love and support from the first day I stepped on the scene.”

Finally, Griffey joined the Mariners’ ownership group last October, according to SI.

“I’m excited for this incredible opportunity to join (Mariners chairman) John (Stanton) and the rest of the Mariners partnership group,” Griffey said in a statement. “This is a dream come true because of the relationship I’ve always had with the team, its fans, and the city of Seattle. I view this as another way to continue to give back to an organization and community that has always supported me, and my family. I’m looking forward to continuing to contribute to this organization’s success in any way possible.”

According to ESPN, Griffey and his family are also a part of the ownership group that owns the Seattle Sounders in 2020.

“This is a meaningful day for our entire family,” Ken Griffey Jr. said in a statement. “My wife Melissa and I said that we wanted to be a part of something special, not only for ourselves, but for our kids to be proud of, and this is it. We know how much this club means to Sounders fans, and for us, this comes back to the city where it all started for our family.

We are joining a first-class organization, and we are so proud to give back to the city we love. To the Seattle Sounders community: we are inspired to become part of what you have created. Like you, we are excited to get behind our incredible team as the players prepare for this year’s playoff run.”

Seattle drafted Griffey Jr. with the first overall pick in 1987, and he would then become a star with the Mariners for the first 11 seasons of his career.

Over his 21 years in Major League Baseball, Junior would rack up awards such as ten Gold Gloves, MVP, All-Star MVP, 13 All-Star appearances, seven Silver Slugger awards, and a three-time Home run Derby Champion. He also is seventh on the all-time home runs list with 630 home runs.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: