LeBron James is one of the greatest players of all time due to his sustained excellence and leadership.
1. Carmelo Anthony
The 2003 NBA Draft class was one of the best of all time. This was the draft class that produced both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. LeBron was supposed to be the next Magic Johnson and Carmelo was supposed to be the next Larry Bird.
Though James and Anthony produced many highlights against one another, people will always wonder how many titles these two would have won had they joined forces instead. Melo is a close friend of LeBron's and he has rebuffed LeBron's recruitment pitches as he has prioritized getting the most money possible instead of taking a paycut to win titles.
Despite being ringless, Melo is one of the deadliest scorers in NBA history. He currently sits at 10th all time in terms of the scoring list and is a one-time scoring champion (2013). Anthony has averaged more than 20 points in his first 14 seasons in the league.
There are very few players in the game's history with the same sweet shooting touch as Melo.
2. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade was another one of LeBron's buddies from the class of 2003. The 2003 NBA Draft class was one of the best of all time and is comparable to the 1984 and 1996 NBA Drafts.
Dwyane Wade got a title before LeBron James did. He was the hero of the 2006 NBA Finals by lifting the Miami Heat to the championship and overcoming a 0-2 deficit. Though he had Shaquille O' Neil as a teammate, Shaq was already past his prime at this time. For his efforts, Wade was the 2006 Finals MVP.
Wade would later team-up with James and Bosh in order to form a superteam in 2010. This team had a four-year run which saw four Finals appearances and back-to-back titles.
Wade is the greatest scorer in Miami Heat history with 21,556 points. The next greatest scorer in Heat history is Alonzo Mourning with 9,459 points.
3. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one of the greatest point guards of all time. He was the 4th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft. Right from the bat, Paul was a great player and facilitator. He averaged 16.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 7.8 APG on his way to Rookie of the Year honors.
Paul's best years were spent with the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers. He led the league in assists four times and steals six times. He would then move on to pair with James Harden and nearly upset the heavily favored Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals.
Chris is a natural born leader and was elected as the president of the National Basketball Players Association on August 2013.
4. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant's relationship with LeBron James is similar to the relationship Larry Bird had with Magic Johnson. They were friends yet rivals at the same time. Durant and James faced each other in the Finals three times; Kevin won two of those series.
Being 7'0" tall with a 7'5" wingspan, Kevin has developed into a decent rebounder and shotblocker. He has been part of two superteams. One was in Golden State with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The other is currently in Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Kevin was paired with James Harden and Russell Westbrook early in his career and all three eventually became MVPs. This was not a superteam as the three were still developing as players.
Kevin is one of the most efficient players in the league as he has shot better than 50% from the field since the 2012-2013 season. He is also a four-time scoring champ, winning the accolade in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 season.
5. Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis was the 1st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Right from the get go, Davis lived up to expectations with a 13.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 1.0 APG average as a rookie. He spent seven seasons with New Orleans and was a 20-point, 10-rebound machine. He also made at least 1 steal and 2 blocks per game. While initially just an inside threat, Anthony developed outside shooting and became a decent three-point shooter.
New Orleans tried to get some talent around Anthony; this included getting the likes of DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo. However, being a small market makes it difficult for New Orleans to acquire premiere talent. After trying his best to win a chip in New Orleans, he landed in Los Angeles and won a title alongside LeBron James in 2020.
© 2021 Jan Michael Ong