Los Angeles Lakers' superstar LeBron James lauded New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his longevity and success in the NFL. In an interview after the Lakers’ 108-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks, James, who recently turned 35, was asked about how critics have counted out the Patriots despite finishing with a 12-4 mark in the regular season. “They just count them out every year, pretty much, saying they can’t do this or do that,” said James, adding that Brady continues to put his franchise in position to be successful. Despite his busy schedule, James told reporters that he definitely pays attention to what Brady does, calling him “one of the greatest football players ever to walk the face of the Earth.” James also lauded Brady’s leadership, longevity and hard work that helps the Patriots to be successful in the past 20 years as their quarterback.

James, Brady share mutual admiration for each other

James and the 42-year-old Brady have mutual admiration for each other, often referencing one another during interviews when asked about their plans on how long they will play in their respective leagues. Two months ago, James was asked about his future plans in the NBA and he replied by referencing Brady, saying "me and Tom Brady are one and the same. We're going to play until we can't walk no more.” Then, Brady responded to James on social media, saying “I’m playing until I can’t dunk anymore! @KingJames”, to which the Lakers superstar replied “Well I’m playing until I can’t throw TD passes anymore! @TomBrady.”

James is in his 17th season in the NBA while Brady is in his 20th season with the Patriots after entering the league as a 199th overall pick in 2010.

As for titles, James has won three NBA championships with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers while Brady has won six Super Bowl trophies with the Patriots. In an earlier interview, James said he hopes to play in the NBA until his son enters the league, but admitted that the rigors of the game are already taking its toll on his body.

Brady focused on leading Patriots past Titans

Brady, for his part, plans to play until he’s 45 years old. However, it remains uncertain if he will finish his career with the Patriots as he will hit the free-agent market after this season. In a report by Adam Schefter, he said Brady has three options – stay with the Patriots, retire or join another team.

Schefter said staying with the Patriots is the least likely option for Brady. As of now, Brady is focused on leading the Patriots to a victory over the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card Game where they are a 4.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Patriots had a chance to clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC and the first-round bye that goes with it but they lost to the Miami Dolphins, 27-24, in their season finale.