When it comes to LeBron James, mixed opinions will always be shared whether it is coming from players, media members of fans. Some may argue that he is the greatest basketball player of all-time, while others will point out his Finals records. Many will point out that James brings the best out of his teammates on the court and away from it, while a few may not the world of him as a leader. As far as James is concerned, he tends to be very popular with his teammates since he strongly values holding friendships with his peers.
Through various events and get-togethers, James is always attempting to reunite his teammates even when they aren't on the court. But much like every great player, James also happens to be a polarizing figure who made some enemies along the way, including teammates who weren't thrilled to share an experience with him. Chemistry issues tend to be the main reason as to why some ex-teammates have expressed bitter feelings towards their run as teammates with James.
And that is understandable since James' unique style isn't going to appeal to all players, as they have to be willing to adjust to his reign on the team. From his early days as a Cleveland Cavalier to Miami Heat and now the Los Angeles Lakers, James has had plenty of memorable teammates - some of whom paired up with him numerous seasons while others only lasted a few months. Here are 10 NBA players who couldn't stand playing with LeBron James and 10 who adored him:
20 Couldn't Stand: Isaiah Thomas
There were huge expectations on Isaiah Thomas to come in and immediately deliver for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was the main returning piece in the Kyrie Irving exchange, so it is understandable as to why the team as well as fans were somewhat impatient with Thomas. He wasn't thrilled about being partially blamed for the Cavs' struggles, as well as criticized for his lack of efficiency. An opportunity to play with LeBron James didn't turn out the way Thomas had hoped, as they didn't exactly gel on the court or even away from it, which is why Thomas didn't last half a season before getting traded.
19 Adored: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh may not have been as close of a friend to LeBron James as Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, but they did get along well away from the court. Their bond grew stronger during their stint together as teammates with the 2008 US Olympics team that won a Gold medal, which eventually led Bosh to form a Big 3 with James and Wade in Miami. It's known that Bosh had to make some sacrifices when it came to his game in order to fit in with the duo, but that didn't affect their relationship as they remained close friends on the court and away from it.
18 Couldn't Stand: Eddie House
For his last NBA season, Eddie House returned to the Miami Heat where it all started in 2000. It happened to be the beginning of the new era as the Big 3 emerged for the first time, although the team fell short to the Dallas Mavericks in six games of the NBA Finals. House's stint with the team one month into the following season as he was waived. Since then, House has been critical of LeBron James many times, going as far as to call out his former teammate for his performance in the Finals, adding that he quit on the team.
17 Adored: Ray Allen
In his two seasons with the Miami Heat, Ray Allen got to end his career on a high note with a championship in 2013 alongside LeBron James. They had been on-court rivals in the past as James battled the Boston Celtics' Big 3 for many years, but Allen had no problem joining forces with him. They meshed very well on the court with James creating great looks for Allen from the three-point mark. In a recent interview, Allen referred to James as his favorite teammate for being humble despite his greatness, while also praising his ability to have fun and remain competitive at the same time.
16 Couldn't Stand: Darius Miles
You may remember Darius Miles as the second overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft and being one of the biggest busts of his era. Miles played for the Cleveland Cavaliers with a young LeBron James, and as the 2003 Draft approached - Miles was asked about the possibility of playing with James. His response has now become famous for all the wrong reasons, as Miles doubted that a high schooler could add much to the team, while adding that he would welcome him on the Cavs bandwagon. Needless to say, they didn't get along as teammates which was evident by James's social media caption years later directed at the infamous Miles quote.
15 Adored: Kevin Love
When the Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Kevin Love, it was unknown whether he would fit in next to LeBron James as he was required to change certain aspects of his game. There were also concerns that he may not enjoy taking a backseat to James, as some players struggle to adjust in a reduced role. But Love has always spoken very highly of his former teammate, crediting him for being an incredible partner on the court, and a great friend away from it. Having won a championship together in Cleveland, it built a special bond between the two who will always be associated.
14 Couldn't Stand: Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers was often seen as the weak spot for the Miami Heat during their Big 3 era. He did have some impressive showings from time to time, but he was also prone to disappear and make mistakes on the court. That's why LeBron James was caught by camera going off on Chalmers a number of times, as two got into from it throughout their run with Miami. Chalmers was simply not a fan of James's antics, especially since he believed himself to be a far greater than he actually was - claiming that he was a top 10 point guard in the league at some point.
13 Adored: J.R. Smith
When JR Smith was brought to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was unknown whether he would be productive for the team. Known for having a unique personality and attitude towards the game, some believed that JR would struggle to fit next to LeBron James who demanded the absolute best out of his teammates. To his credit, J.R. Smith did prove the doubters wrong as he gave the team some very good years, including his production on the Cavs' route to claim the 2016 championship. They even got along well away from the court which was surprising considering their very different personalities.
12 Couldn't Stand: Mo Williams
Considering that LeBron James was highly responsible for Mo Williams' one time All-Star appearance in 2009, you would think that the latter would adore him. They definitely got along very well during their first stint together from 2008 to 2010, which is why he was brought back to the team when James returned in 2015. The duo did get to win a championship as teammates, although Williams' role was significantly reduced the other time around. But they had a falling out that affected their friendship away from the court as told by Williams himself, who didn't quite enjoy his second stint as James' teammate.
11 Adored: Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson joined the Cleveland Cavaliers towards the end of his career playing for the team from 2015 to 2017. He was another contributor to their 2016 championship victory, and has had nothing but positive things to share regarding his experience as LeBron James's teammate.
As a veteran, Jefferson had been around the league since 2001 and was apart of many impressive squads - but he became even more fond of James once they partnered up for the Cavaliers. From his leadership skills on the floor to personal friendship, Jefferson thoroughly enjoyed his two year stint with LeBron James in Cleveland.
10 Couldn't Stand: Antawn Jamison
Around the trade deadline of 2010, it became apparent that the Cleveland Cavaliers were trying to lure another All-Star player to their roster. With some deals falling through along the way, as well as uncertainty regarding LeBron James' free agent decision in the summer, the Cavs acquired Antawn Jamison with hopes that he can be a double-double threat on any given night. Jamison wasn't bad by any means, but the Cavs needed out of him to keep James around beyond 2010. And given that Jamison's production took a hit next to LeBron, the former didn't greatly enjoy their half a season run as teammates.
9 Adored: Mike Miller
From 2010 to 2013, Mike Miller was teammates with LeBron James on the Miami Heat as the duo claimed two rings along the way. In 2014, James was the reason as to why the Cavaliers handed Miller a contract in the summer since he wanted to bring him to the team by any means necessary. Miller was a role player who was very familiar with his strengths and used them to his advantage, and that's exactly how James found him wide open for so many three pointers. The two also became great friends in real life as Miller was one of LeBron's favorite teammates.
8 Couldn't Stand: Larry Hughes
For two and a half seasons, Larry Hughes got to play with LeBron James as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team had just started making the playoffs in the James era, and Hughes was expected to provided plenty of assistance in the postseason. That didn't come to fruition as Hughes's level significantly dropped off, which is why the Cavaliers traded him mid-season in 2008. Since leaving the team, Hughes has thrown some shots towards his former teammate James. Based on some of his comments, it's safe to assume that Hughes wasn't a fan of James' playing style on the court.
7 Adored: Michael Beasley
When Michael Beasley joined the Miami Heat in 2013-14, he was expected to provide a scoring spark off the bench. While he didn't have his best year with the team, as Beasley fell down the rotation, he was still on great terms with LeBron James. That is exactly why the latter approved Beasley's signing with the Los Angeles Lakers since James is well-familiar with Beasley's talents. Beasley has previously referred to James as his older brother in interviews, which shows that their relationship has grown stronger than just teammates. He also revealed that they often played against each other one on one during practice.
6 Couldn't Stand: Carlos Boozer
As the most hyped prospect of all-time, there were huge expectations for LeBron James to come into the NBA and instantly perform from his rookie season. As the Cleveland Cavaliers were expected to draft him with the first pick, some interviews with held with then members of the team including Carlos Boozer. The latter voiced his thoughts that James may not make much impact on the Cavs, especially since they already had better players at his position. A quick look at the Cavs' roster in 2002-03 will have you question Boozer's answer, so it's no wonder that he only lasted another year with the team.
5 Adored: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Coming into the league, some members of Cleveland Cavaliers didn't welcome LeBron James with open arms. Such wasn't the case with Zydrunas Ilgauskas who was glad to have him on the team and quickly became a friend of his. They would go on to play together from 2003 until 2010 when James decided to leave to the Miami Heat. Given how close they were as teammates and friends, James managed to convince Ilgauskas to sign with the Heat for his last season in the NBA. In 2014, Ilgauskas's number was retired by the Cavaliers, and James attended the ceremony to pay tribute to his friend.
4 Couldn't Stand: Ricky Davis
Ricky Davis believed that he would be the face of the franchise even when LeBron James arrived to Cleveland in 2003. He went as far as to claim that James was a good addition to the team since he could provide him with assistance. Needless to say, Davis only played 22 more games for the Cavs prior to his trade to the Boston Celtics. While he didn't clash with James behind the scenes, they simply had no chemistry on the court; which wasn't a surprise since Davis thought very highly of himself and perhaps underestimated LeBron James as a player.
3 Adored: Tristan Thompson
When LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland in 2014, he was consulted by management regarding the current roster of the team. James signed off on the team trading away Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett in a deal to acquire Kevin Love, but he wanted to keep Tristan Thompson on the team. The latter's name had also come up in trade discussions, but James was interested to see what he could bring on the court. The two meshed very well on the court as James brought the best out of Thompson, allowing him to play a role that was perfectly suitable for him.
2 Couldn't Stand: Kyrie Irving
Despite winning a championship together, Kyrie Irving didn't have the greatest time next to LeBron James. He didn't enjoy taking a backseat to James at all times, as well as not receiving credit enough for his contributions to the team. Irving requested a trade from the Cavs since he wanted to run his own team as he didn't want to be seen as James's sidekick anymore. Considering that James tends to dominate the ball on his teams, it's understandable that some fellow All-Stars may struggle to adjust, especially since some players want to be in the spotlight as much as possible.
1 Adored: Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James had been close friends since their younger days, but they grew even closer once both entered the NBA through the 2003 Draft. They had strong desire to play with each other as the two friends agreed to sign an extension in 2006 that makes both of them free agents in 2010. Four years later, their wish came true upon joining forces for the Miami Heat to form one of the better duos in history. Their expectations were met once they stepped on the court as both players thoroughly enjoyed being teammates for four NBA seasons.