Kevin Durant and LeBron James are 2 of the top 3 small forwards who have ever played the game. They have been the 2 best players over the last decade and have dominated the NBA with their physical ability and tremendous skill sets. Durant is a 2-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James is a 4-time NBA champion with the Heat, Cavaliers, and Lakers.
As both players are winners, they have played with some all-time great teammates. In fact, Durant and James might have had the greatest teammates in modern NBA history. But which player benefitted the most from All-Star teammates? It is time to find out.
Kevin Durant’s Best Teammates
Stephen Curry – 210 Games (3 Seasons)
26.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.9 APG
The greatest shooter who ever lived is Kevin Durant’s best teammate. Curry and Durant were unstoppable together with the Golden State Warriors and that is why they made 3 straight NBA Finals together. Curry is a threat as soon as he steps past half court and is also one of the most unselfish superstars in NBA history. As the point guard who changed the game and helped Durant capture 2 rings, Curry is Durant’s greatest teammate and it isn’t close.
Russell Westbrook – 608 Games (8 Seasons)
21.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 7.5 APG
Russell Westbrook certainly didn’t fit Durant’s playing style the best, but he was an impactful superstar during their time together. Westbrook is the greatest athlete at the point guard position ever, and he formed the best duo in the league with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City. Westbrook and Durant never won an NBA title together and their styles didn’t mesh very well on the court, but there is no doubt Westbrook was a force as Durant’s teammate as an individual.
Klay Thompson – 247 Games (3 Seasons)
20.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.3 APG
Alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson was the best pure shooter that Kevin Durant ever played for. The fact that Durant, one of the best shooters ever in his own right, played alongside Curry and Thompson is almost hilarious to consider. Durant was a third Splash Brother to Curry and Thompson and they made 3 straight NBA titles together.
Draymond Green – 228 Games (3 Seasons)
10.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 7.3 APG
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant famously had a shocking moment on the court together, where Draymond hurt Durant’s feelings enough to force him out of town. But other than that, Green was a defensive force for the Golden State Warriors super team. Green could lock down the paint, defend the perimeter, and also spearhead the fast break after hauling rebounds. Green was the 4th best player on the Warriors squad, and he was certainly important.
James Harden – 259 Games (3 Seasons)
12.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.6 APG
The Beard played with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City as a 6th Man. Harden was still very key for the Thunder and he was the third-best player on the roster behind Durant and Russell Westbrook. Harden is once again Durant’s teammate in Brooklyn, except this time he is an MVP player instead of a bench player. Harden is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history and if he can help Durant win at least 2 rings, he could usurp Curry as Durant’s best ever teammate.
Serge Ibaka – 563 Games (7 Seasons)
11.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.6 APG
The big man complemented Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden exceptionally well in Oklahoma City. Ibaka wasn’t required to score since the three stars were capable of doing that on their own, but he was a great defensive player. Ibaka was one of the best rim protectors and shot blockers in the NBA and he also developed an automatic mid-range jump shot as well. Ibaka couldn’t help Durant win a chip with the Thunder, but he was certainly an important teammate.
Kyrie Irving – 4 Games (1 Season)
28.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 6.0 APG
Kyrie Irving won an NBA title with LeBron James in Cleveland, and he has a chance to do the same with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. Irving is one of the game’s best scorers and he is a superstar on the offensive side of the game. Irving resembles Westbrook in terms of style of play except Irving is a much better shooter from outside. Durant had an issue with Westbrook’s inconsistent shooting but that isn’t the case with Irving who will be unstoppable next to Durant in Brooklyn.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin Martin, Dion Waiters, Joe Harris, Shawn Livingston, Andre Iguodala, Jeff Geren, Chris Wilcox, Enes Kanter, DeMarcus Cousins
LeBron James’s Best Teammates
Dwyane Wade – 371 Games (5 Seasons)
20.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.5 APG
Dwyane Wade is LeBron’s greatest teammate and it isn’t close. Wade taught LeBron James how to win and was an excellent supporting star en route to 2 NBA championships together. For years, LeBron was the best player in the world but he couldn’t get it done in the postseason. Wade handed James the keys to the Heat, took a step back, and the rest is history as LeBron is now a 4-time NBA champion.
Anthony Davis – 86 Games (2 Seasons)
25.9 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
Anthony Davis, a superstar in his prime, has a chance to be LeBron’s greatest teammate. Davis dominates the game on both ends of the floor and is one of the best 2-way players in the world. Davis didn’t have postseason success with the New Orleans Pelicans, but playing with LeBron James in Los Angeles has opened up the game for Davis and the duo have a chance to win their second ring together this season.
Kyrie Irving – 235 Games (3 Seasons)
22.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.1 APG
Kyrie Irving was sensational as LeBron’s teammate in Cleveland. Irving is one of the game’s greatest scorers at the point guard position, and he got the job done in the clutch when LeBron needed him. Irving hit the biggest shot in the NBA Finals in 2016 when he drained a contested three over Stephen Curry in Game 7 to win the series for the Cavaliers. Irving was LeBron’s little brother and he is also one of The King’s best teammates.
Chris Bosh – 356 Games (4 Seasons)
16.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.5 APG
11-time All-Star Chris Bosh is one of the most gifted power forwards in NBA history. Bosh possessed an unstoppable mid-range game and he could also extend his range to beyond the arc. Bosh was limited to being only a third option behind James and Wade in Miami, but he played that role perfectly. Bosh did whatever it took to help LeBron win 2 rings and is easily one of The King’s best teammates.
Kevin Love – 315 Games (4 Seasons)
16.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.1 APG
Much like Chris Bosh, Kevin Love was a former franchise star who was limited to a third option role alongside LeBron James. Love’s role was to knock down open shots, rebound the ball, and defend the rim as much as possible. Love had to accept his diminished role and he performed to his best admirably. Love’s defense on Stephen Curry in Game 7 was one of the best defensive moments in NBA Finals history, and it helped win LeBron his 1sr ring in Cleveland and 3rd overall.
Ray Allen – 185 Games (2 Seasons)
10.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.1 APG
One of the game’s greatest 3-point shooters, Ray Allen joined LeBron James and the Miami Heat when he was older and no longer an All-Star player. But Allen’s impact was still undeniably great. Allen was a nice role player alongside LeBron as he was a spot-up master, but his greatest moment came in Game 6 in the 2014 Finals when he hit arguably the biggest comeback shot in Finals history.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas – 641 Games (8 Seasons)
12.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.1 APG
Ilgauskas was one of the best players in Cleveland’s history because he played 12 out of his 13 NBA seasons with the Cavaliers. Ilgauskas made the All-Star Team twice with the Cavs, but his partnership with LeBron came later in his career. Big Z was a solid scorer and rebounder with his7-foot presence, and he will always be one of LeBron’s most iconic teammates.
Honorable Mentions: Rajon Rondo, Mo Williams, JR Smith, Larry Hughes, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, Richard Jefferson, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson
Both superstar forwards have played with an incredible amount of All-Star and even Hall of Fame talent. Durant and James might have had the best teammates in NBA history throughout their careers as superstar players, and that’s a big factor for their combined 6 NBA championships. But overall, the edge has to go to Kevin Durant. Durant had formed 3 “Big Threes” with teammates in their primes with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and now the Brooklyn Nets.
LeBron James had 2 bonafide superstars in Dwayne Wade and Anthony Davis, but the difference is that LeBron played with Ray Allen and Zydrunas Ilgauskas when they were past their primes. Durant played with 7 star players in their primes and had the advantage of playing in 3 separate Big Threes while LeBron had 2. James also has Anthony Davis alongside the likes of Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder, but Durant edges him slightly.