Jerry Jonestook a unique path to respond toLeBron James' very public criticism of the Dallas Cowboys owner's controversial 1957 photo ... choosing to do nothing but shower the NBA star with praise.
Jones was asked Friday about Bron's Wednesday comments during his weekly radio hit on the K&C Masterpiece show on Audacy's 105.3 The Fan ... and instead of revealing his thoughts on it all, he opted to simply compliment the Lakers forward.
For roughly two minutes, Jones called James an amazing person ... saying the basketball player is "an absolute great ambassador for sport" who he respects more than possibly anybody else in the world.
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Jones added that it "made buttons pop off my vest" when James previously identified as a huge Cowboys fan.
But, when it came time to address James' comments, the 80-year-old sidestepped.
"I'm just giving him due," Jones said. "I'm just giving him due there. Certainly, he has influence, and just because of all of the above. His accomplishments, how he's utilized his sport and how he's utilized his platform. How we have done it. He has enhanced basketball, he's made a lot of people a lot of money. But, I hope I have too."
Jones -- who did admit to hearing James' remarks -- would not say if he had any interest in meeting with James over it all. He was not pressed further about the issue.
As we reported, LeBron sounded off on reporters earlier this week following a win over the Trail Blazers ... chastising them for not asking him about the 65-year-old photo showing Jones as a teenager standing with a group of white classmates who were trying to prevent six Black students from entering an Arkansas school.