LeBron James has had a rather long and successful career in the NBA. While it is an honor to play alongside James, he has also been opportune to sharing the court with some of the best big men in his corner.
It’s no secret that James is a master recruiter when it comes to building teams that can contend for championships. In essence, he has always positioned himself to play alongside superstars he can win with.
LeBron James is known to be vocal in deciding who he plays with. Every star player brings a unique attribute to the table, and James seeks them out for those individual traits. Nevertheless, LeBron James actively makes everyone better, and makes them play at a level they never envisage.
Throughout his career, LeBron James has played for three different NBA teams and has won four championships. That means he has won at least one ring with each of his teammates, active or otherwise.
Superstars jump at the chance to play with LeBron James because he presents their best chance of winning a championship. Recently, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony signed deals with the LA Lakers to improve their chances of winning a championship.
Although LeBron James has teamed up with several incredible big men in the NBA, here are the top five he has played with over the years:
#5 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal joined LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2009-10 season at the age of 37. He was way past his prime, but was still a great player.
Despite being the oldest in the team, O’Neal was the fourth-highest scorer. His 12 points per game average helped the Cavaliers finish the 2009-10 season as the No. 1 seed in the East. However, they fell to the Boston Celtics in the conference semi-finals.
#4 Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson was selected as the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, one season after LeBron James left to join the Miami Heat with ‘The Decision.’ He is one of the players LeBron did not recruit, but enjoyed a productive partnership nonetheless.
Rim-running big men have always thrived next to LeBron James, which is why Thompson’s game improved drastically in the company of James. Although his game was not exciting or filled with highlight reels, he did a great job grabbing rebounds and creating second-chance opportunities.
Thompson played a key role in the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA championship run. He had his way in the paint against the Golden State Warriors, who chose to play small during the NBA Finals. He averaged 6.7 points and nine rebounds in the 2016 NBA playoffs.
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