Everybody knows playing with LeBron James is pretty much a guarantee of having a shot at the NBA Championship, with the King completely owning the Eastern Conference for over a decade and constantly leading teams to the ultimate stage.
All players want to team up with LeBron, not only because of his on-court greatness but because of the fact that they’re not going to be asked to do much with the King playing next to them.
Ever since joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the King has thrived by creating superteams, and that obviously means that some lesser players are just going to ride the wave and enjoy the success that comes by playing with the King.
Today, we’re going to let you know about 10 players you forgot won NBA Championships because of LeBron James, and who knows? Maybe we can add Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley to the list once this season is done.
10. Channing Frye
Channing Frye was never known for his great talents, but he was always one of the most beloved guys on every locker room because of his easy going personality and veteran mentorship.
He worked as a poor man’s Chris Bosh for LeBron James, stretching the floor with his 3 point shooting expertise en route to a Championship. Still, it’s pretty crazy to think that he’s an NBA Champion.
9. Tristan Thompson
Crazy as it may seem, Tristan Thompson was actually a huge factor in the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers Championship run, as he was a monster in both sides of the glass, especially the offensive end.
Thompson earned a huge deal thanks to his performances in the playoffs and the rapport he built with LeBron James, although the Cavs must be really regretting the deal they offered him just a couple of years ago.
8. JR Smith
JR Smith was one of the biggest sensations of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Championship parade. The guy was shirtless for over a month and even told the media that he could run for president afterward.
All jokes aside, nobody ever thought a guy like JR Smith could ever win a Championship, at least before he joined LeBron James and the Cavs. Smith played really solid D and was lights out from three-point land, even though he couldn’t keep up that kind of work in the next seasons.
7. Timofey Mozgov
Timofey Mozgov really enhanced an already impressive team upon his arrival, and he got a lot of praise from LeBron, who stated that he was the first true big man he played with since Ilgauskas.
Mozgov was a major factor down low against the Golden State Warriors and helped the Cavs slow down the pace against their run and gun offense, just to walk away and sign a huge deal with the Lakers afterward.
6. Iman Shumpert
Iman Shumpert came to the Land in the same deal that sent JR Smith there, and truth to be told, he was a stud early on, but constant injuries prevented him from being able of making a bigger impact.
Shumpert’s defense was a major factor through some key stretches of the season, but he would’ve never been a part of a Championship team if it wasn’t for LeBron James, and everybody knows it.
5. Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers was the Miami Heat starting point guard during the LeBron James era, and with the King mostly playing as a power forward, he actually had a lot of chance to run the team’s offense.
Nonetheless, Chalmers became LeBron’s primary scapegoat when things weren’t going the Heat’s way, and he was pretty much demanding Pat Riley to take Shabazz Napier in order to replace him. Still, Chalmers won back-to-back Chips with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.
4. James Jones
LeBron James has always thrived by having sharpshooters next to him, mostly because he does most of his damage in drives and defenses have to double and even triple team him to try and stop him.
For that matter, James Jones was pretty much a perfect fit next to LeBron, as he was only asked to hog as many three-pointers as he could. Jones even followed James to the Cavs when the King came back home, so he owes LeBron 3 rings for being in the right place at the right time.
3. Joel Anthony
The Canadian big man wasn’t the most prolific scorer, nor the most dominant defender either, but he was a hard-working guy that always did the job he was asked to do, even if he didn’t get much playing time at all.
Still, the Center developed a great rapport with LeBron James, even though he was mostly asked to set picks and clear the way for LeBron’s drives. Thanks to James, Joel Anthony is a 2 time NBA Champion.
2. Chris Andersen
Chris Andersen was a bit of a troublemaker until Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra and LeBron James got the best out of him. With his grit, grind and hustle, the Birdman became one of the fan favorite players of James’ Heat tenure.
The walking tattoo always brought a lot of energy in both sides of the glass and developed great chemistry with LeBron, emphatically finishing his lobs. Sadly, injuries took a major toll on his rapid improvement, but he was still a major factor in the Heat’s 2013 Championship.
1. Norris Cole
Norris Cole looked like a stud in the making, as he was a deadly guy in passing lanes that even though was not the most explosive scorer, was an above the average playmaker off the bench for the Heat.
When Chalmers lost his mojo, it was Cole’s time to shine, but he struggled to find consistency and step up as the team’s primary ball handler, up to the point where he’s not even in the league anymore. Anyway, he brought a lot of energy off the bench en route to 2 NBA Championships.