Ever since entering the league a long while ago, LeBron James has completely dominated the Eastern Conference (and the entire NBA, for what it’s worth), becoming one of the most successful players in NBA history despite losing several NBA Finals.
James has successfully led both the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the ultimate stages of the competition, and playing alongside The King has been a synonym to a trip to the finals, making guys like James Jones win a ring as professional groupies.
Nonetheless, with James winning it obviously means that another guy is losing, and it’s pretty safe to say that LeBron’s haters aren’t just some angry fans, but also rival players that have struggled to thrive due James dominance in the Eastern Conference.
Today, we’ll name the top 11 players that haven’t been able to win the O’Brien because of LeBron James over the course of his career.
11-10. Paul Millsap, Al Horford
The Atlanta Hawks even managed to put together the best record in the Eastern Conference a couple of years ago under Mike Budenholzer, but that didn’t stop LeBron James from whooping their butts over and over to knock them out of contention, making Millsap struggle as one of the best players in the Association that’s never won a Championship.
Horford, on the other hand, has not only suffered James dominance as a member of the Hawks, as the Dominican center was also recently beaten by the Cavs in the past Eastern Conference finals, where the Celtics seemed poised to go back to the NBA finals.
9. Joe Johnson
JJ has always been one of the league’s most versatile scorers, although there was a time he was a huge liability for his team due to that incredibly lucrative deal he had that made him really hard to trade.
Still, the former Hawk and Net has always been a very productive player, but the Heat or the Cavs constantly knocked them out of contention during the best years of his career, so he should try and make a move to a contender to try and win a Championship before retiring to finally get back at the King.
Carmelo Anthony is one of the best small forwards in NBA History but he never played in the Eastern Conference Finals. He played only once against LeBron James and Miami Heat but he lost 1-4 in that series.
Melo played 7 seasons for the New York Knicks and only 3 NBA Playoffs. He lost against the Boston Celtics (2011, 0-4 1st Round), Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers (2-4, 2013 2nd Round).
Even if he played only once against LeBron James, players like Wade and Bosh selected LeBron instead of Melo, and maybe selfishness is one of the biggest reasons why he never played for the Super Team.
7-6. DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry
The Toronto Raptors have also been one of the King’s favorite victims, so DeMar DeRozan has had to be forced to watch LeBron constantly step over him on a yearly basis despite growing into one of the league’s biggest scorers, and he’s probably never going to win a ring unless he gets the hell away from Canada.
And the same goes for Kyle Lowry, one of the league’s most underrated point guards in the entire Association and probably the main reason behind Toronto’s recent success, even if DeRozan takes most of the credit as their go-to-guy on offense. Still, Lowry has always fallen short when it matters the most, and the King has known how to make the most of that every single year.
5. Paul George
Ever since overtaking Danny Granger’s starting spot, Paul George became the ultimate guy for the Indiana Pacers, and there was a time where they became a legit threat to beat the Miami Heat under George’s command alongside Roy Hibbert.
Nonetheless, James and company always managed to beat Frank Vogel’s squad, and when that Pacers core got separated George continued to lead the team, but always getting the very same result against James and his squad.
4-3. Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
Derrick Rose seemed poised to finally end James dominance in the East when he lead the Bulls to the best record in the East during that MVP campaign, but constant injuries stalled his development and the King kept beating the Bulls over and over.
So, when Jimmy Buckets took the reins of the squad, it looked like the Bulls may have another shot at beating Bron, as Butler’s one of the few guys that’s actually been able to play lockdown defense against him, but the result has always been the same, either with the Heat or the Cavs, this guy completely owns the Chicago Bulls.
The defending MVP had a shot at the Championship several years ago when he played alongside Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant, but the Miami Heat was just too much to handle for a young squad that could destroy them if they were still together, but that’s something that’s not very likely to happen ever again.
And obviously, Harden was also a part of that squad, so he was also beaten by Wade, Bosh and of course, LeBron. Besides, Harden has been constantly blamed as one of the main reasons why the Thunder wasn’t able to beat Miami, as he got really cold when it mattered the most after being one of the league’s most prolific scorer during the regular season.