Michael Phelps, Nicole Phelps
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LeBron James, ‘just recognizing greatness,’ points to Michael Phelps after dunk

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Michael Phelps sat courtside for a Cavs-Suns game in Phoenix on Sunday, and his presence was not lost on LeBron James.

James reportedly pointed at Phelps after a dunk early in the fourth quarter of a 120-116 Cavs win. Video is here.

“I was just talking to people who were sitting around us, and they were like, ‘Did he just point at you, or is he pointing at me?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t really know,'” Phelps said, according to ESPN.

“Just recognizing greatness, that’s all that’s about,” James said, according to ESPN.

Phelps and wife Nicole reportedly met James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for an Olympic reunion outside the locker room after the game.

Phelps and James shared U.S. Olympic teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012, and James made it out to the Olympic swimming venue multiple times. Phelps now lives in the Phoenix area.

“You built that relationship as Olympians so, it’s always fun to catch up with the boys and watch what they do,” Phelps said Sunday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Those guys are always at swim meets, so it’s enjoyable for me to come watch the boys.”

Phelps and James were rivals for year-end awards in 2016. James beat out Phelps for the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year, after leading Cleveland to its first NBA title, despite skipping the Olympics for the first time.

James mentioned Phelps early in his speech at a Sports Illustrated awards show Dec. 12 in New York, where Phelps attended to receive a lifetime achievement award.

“Mike Phelps, we talk about you at the crib so much, man,” James said that night. “You are literally a fish. Literally. Like, I have no idea how you do what you do. You would definitely win the game that me and my boys play – let’s see who can stay under the water the longest and not come up. You’re not invited to that game, by the way.”

PHOTOS: Boomer Phelps’ first Christmas

Michael Phelps runner-up for AP Male Athlete of the Year

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09:  Gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States kisses his gold medal during the medal ceremony for the Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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LeBron James kept Michael Phelps from taking his third Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year award.

James, a two-time Olympic champion, earned the accolade for 2016 after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title. James, who skipped the Rio Olympics, also was AP Male Athlete of the Year in 2013.

James had 24 first-place votes, followed by Phelps with 16 and Usain Bolt with nine. Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry tied for fourth place in voting. Cristiano RonaldoVon Miller and Andy Murray also received votes.

Phelps won the award in 2008 and 2012, when he captured eight gold medals in Beijing and six medals in London, respectively.

Phelps could have joined elite company with a third AP Male Athlete of the Year honor. Only Michael Jordan (three), Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong (four each) have earned the title more than twice.

James also took the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award earlier this month. Phelps was honored with a greatest Olympian of all time award.

In 2012, Phelps edged James by three votes — 40 to 37 — for the AP Male Athlete of the Year. Bolt was third with 23 votes.

MORE: Michael Phelps says NBA star will return to Olympics for his son

Chris Paul will return to Olympics for his son, Michael Phelps says

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 12:  Chris Paul #3 of the LA Clippers is guarded by Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers during a 121-120 Clipper win at Staples Center on December 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Chris Paul didn’t play at the Rio Olympics in part to spend time with his family. Turns out, his son may have wanted it the other way.

Last week, Phelps said an unnamed basketball player told him that the player’s son asked the player why he wasn’t playing ball at the Olympics this year.

“Daddy, how come you weren’t there this time?” Phelps said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I think he is going to go back and play at the Games for that reason.”

In this week’s Sports Illustrated, Phelps revealed that the player was Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard who played in 2008 and 2012.

“I played golf with Chris Paul in September,” Phelps said, according to the magazine. “He didn’t go to Rio, and he told me, ‘Wait until your son is old enough and he says, ‘Daddy, why aren’t you out there?’ Chris said when he didn’t go this time, his son was asking him every day why he wasn’t there.”

Paul will be 35 years old come Tokyo 2020, which will be older than any previous U.S. Olympic men’s basketball player except for Jason Kidd in 2008 and Larry Bird in 1992.

In March, Paul mentioned his son’s interest in the Olympics. Chris Jr. is now 7 years old.

“Just a few days ago, little Chris asked me, ‘Daddy, will you play in the Olympics again?'” Paul said, according to SI. “Part of me wanted to say yes, because he’s never been part of it. But I told him, ‘I want to spend more time with you.'”

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