The Kid from Akron, the player who was titled 'Chosen 1' even before he made his NBA debut, LeBron James is about to start his 18th season in the league.
The 35-year-old has arguably achieved more than that what anyone could have ever predicted. Over the last few years, LeBron James has been the subject of GOAT debates around the world along with Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
5 best teammates LeBron James has played with
During his illustrious NBA career, LeBron James has made the NBA finals a whopping ten times, which places him level with third-placed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the all-time list headed by Sam Jones (11) and Bill Russell (12).
Even though the 35-year-old has been exceptional in his career, his ten appearances in Finals wouldn't have been possible had it not been for some world-class teammates who played alongside him.
In this article, we take a look at five of the best teammates of LeBron James, a player who is considered as one of the greatest to have ever played the game.
#5 Kevin Love
Stats with LeBron James - 17.3 PPG | 2.0 APG | 10.0 RPG | 0.5 BPG | 0.7 SPG
Kevin Love was acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the same off-season when LeBron James returned to Cleveland. James and the Cavs saw the potential in Love from his days in Minnesota and traded the number one pick to acquire the player.
After arriving in Cleveland, the 6' 8" power forward was forced to change his style of play to suit the LeBron James-led team better. The change was worth it, as Love made it to the NBA Finals four straight years and also made it to the All-star team twice during that period.
During their four years together, LeBron James and Kevin Love were a part of numerous memorable moments, but none more special than the closing moments of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. It was Kevin Love's excellent defensive effort on Stephen Curry in the dying seconds of the game that eventually gave the Cleveland Cavaliers their first professional sports title in 52 years.
#4 Chris Bosh
Stats with LeBron James - 17.4 PPG | 1.6 APG | 7.4 RPG | 0.9 BPG | 0.9 SPG
Chris Bosh was an integral part of the 'Big Three in Miami Heat' along with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Just like Kevin Love, Bosh, who left the Toronto Raptors in 2010 to join up with his friends in South Beach, also adapted his game to seamlessly fit into the Miami Heat system.
Although Bosh saw his numbers drop significantly during his Miami Heat days as compared to his time with the Raptors, he took on the task of being a decent 3-point shooter big man who was elite in rebounding and making defensive plays.
Even though the team struggled in Bosh and LeBron James' first season together, it wasn't long before the duo found its mojo. Like Kevin Love, Bosh also managed to make it to four straight Finals while playing alongside LeBron James.
The highlight of Chris Bosh' Miami Heat career was the clutch rebound that he grabbed during the final minutes of Game 6 in the 2013 NBA Finals that led to an iconic three by Ray Allen. The now 36-year-old was also responsible for blocking Danny Green's shot at the buzzer in overtime in that same game.
#3 Kyrie Irving
Stats with LeBron James - 22.2 PPG | 5.3 APG | 3.2 RPG | 0.3 BPG | 1.3 SPG
Kyrie Irving is arguably the best point guard Lebron James has played with. Irving's elite ball-handling skills, rim-finishing prowess and great shooting ability have earned him a spot among the top five point guards in the NBA.
His exceptional scoring ability took a giant load off James as the sole offensive threat compared to the last time when the LA Lakers player played for the Cavs.
Kyrie Irving was one of the main reasons why Lebron James decided to come back to Cleveland, with whom he reached three consecutive finals.
Two of Kyrie Irving's best games were when he matched LeBron James with 41 points scored in Game 5 and also hit the clutch three-pointer in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA finals that helped the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise win their first-ever NBA Title.
#2 Anthony Davis
Stats with LeBron James - 26.1 PPG | 3.2 APG | 9.3 RPG | 2.3 BPG | 1.5 SPG
Anthony Davis' first year in the Los Angeles Lakers roster has been nothing short of astounding. He complemented LeBron James brilliantly on the court. The duo of Davis and James is the first pair of 'All-NBA First Team' teammates since Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire for the Phoenix Suns in 2007.
The duo's selfless sharing of the ball and chemistry leading the fastbreak offense in Los Angeles has led many to compare them with some of the iconic Lakers duos such as Kobe Bryant - Shaquille O'Neal and Magic Johnson - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
James, who finished second in the MVP voting this year, and Davis, who came second in Defensive Player of the Year voting , are arguably the most lethal frontcourt in NBA currently.
Anthony Davis' prolific scoring and exceptional defense aided the Lakers in winning the 2020 NBA Title, and analysts predict another finals run for the historic franchise.
#1 Dwyane Wade
Stats with LeBron James - 22.0 PPG | 4.8 APG | 5.2 RPG | 0.9 BPG | 1.7 SPG
Regarded by many as one of the best duos in NBA history and often compared with Bull's legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James is easily one of the best partnerships one may have ever seen in the NBA.
Watching Dwayne Wade and LeBron James in the American Airlines Arena was a sight to behold. From their lethal fast breaks to incredible perimeter defense, Wade and James complemented each other like no other pair in the NBA at the time.
Wade is an extraordinary scorer and one of the best shot-blocking guards seen in the NBA. Along with LeBron James, he won back-to-back titles for the Miami Heat. Wade, who won the NBA title and FMVP in 2006, helped LeBron James become an NBA champion, with the pair appearing in four consecutive finals in the competition.Published 28 Oct 2020, 04:00 IST