LeBron James’ 10 least favorite teammates
Every player has favorite teammates. LeBron James has them, too. And then there are players’ least favorite teammates. Though some may immediately verbalize how much they dislike some of their co-workers, James isn’t as vocal about his for fear of disrupting the team’s culture and the overall media sensationalism that will come out of that.
Instead, James has his passive-aggressive way of treating issues with teammates like tweeting about them but not naming them.
Though James will never acknowledge anyone to be his least favorite, we thought of tackling the issue based on what we’ve seen on the court and off. We’re not saying James hates these players. He just doesn’t like them quite as much as he could have.
See if you agree with our top 10 least favorite teammates of LeBron.
10. Kyrie Irving
Among James’ All-Star teammates, Irving is probably his least favorite. James played with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Hughes, Antawn Jamison and Ben Wallace, but none of these have been as challenging as Irving. To be fair, James appreciates Irving’s talents and the fact that he helped deliver a title to the Cavs with his dagger three in the final minute of Game 7. That series bonded the two stars.
But there were days when the two clearly didn’t see eye to eye. Many of them, actually.
Irving is headstrong which helps him be the closer that he is. But during crunch time, it’s hard for either of the two to decide who should have the ball and who should shoot it. As a passer, James willingly gives up the ball to Irving if he’s open. However, the ball doesn’t always go to James at the end of games because Irving decides to take over instead. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s horrible. That’s why the two stars are better of playing for different teams now.
9. J.R. Smith
James loves Smith so much so that when negotiation time came for the latter to renew his contract with the Cavs, he got a pretty darn good deal. But that deal looks really bad for Cleveland now.
But it’s feast or famine when you’re teammates with someone as streaky and emotional as Smith. In the infamous Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals with a few seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Cavs tied with the Warriors, Smith rebounded the missed free throw from his teammate, George Hill. Rather than give the ball to James for the game-winner, Smith dribbled out the clock thinking they were ahead.
A visibly frustrated James yelled at Smith and as the two headed for the bench, you could tell that the game (and the series) was over from there. James refused to acknowledge Smith’s presence nor anyone else for that matter during a break in the action.
If James had a choice, he’d rather have had a more consistent shooter for a teammate rather than someone who makes boneheaded plays at crucial moments like occasionally Smith does.