Top 5 NBA Players Who LeBron James Denied a Ring

Published 01/18/2021, 2:34 PM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) poses with 2020 NBA Champion ring before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James is unquestionably the greatest player of this century who has made the NBA Finals an extraordinary 10 times. This is some serious playoff prowess, and along the way, he has dismantled a buck load of future Hall-of-Famers.

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Some like Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka were able to brush off the disappointment and win the elusive NBA title. But others were not so lucky. So, who are these ringless superstars who were denied by king James?

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 25: LeBron James participates in the Miami Heat 2012 NBA Championship Celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

Subdued by LeBron James

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5) Al Horford

When the Dominican Republic international tries to sleep at night, he must have nightmares of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After all, they have eliminated his Hawks and Celtics team a combined 5 times. That includes a 4-o sweep twice!

The 60-win Atlanta team could have gone on to win the NBA championship as it had fellow all-star members – Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and, Paul Millsap.

4) Jimmy Butler

The most recent conquest of the modern-day great. Though for once, Jimmy did not deserve to be on the losing side. Had the likes of Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo not been injured, we wonder what could have been.

3) Russell Westbrook & James Harden

Okay, that may look like we are cheating here; clubbing two players into one. But it is with good reason because both the times Westbrook and Harden lost together to LeBron.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 06: James Harden #13 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets talk during the first half against Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 6, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The first time, it was in the 2012 NBA Finals when Harden was more of a bench player with OKC. Regardless, the star-studded trio including Kevin Durant was swept apart by the Miami Heat in 4 games. And during the recent Playoffs, they faced another shameful drubbing while plying their trade for the Rockets.

2) DeMar DeRozan

LeBron James is the king of ‘LeBronto’, sorry Toronto! At the 2015-16 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Raptors put up a good fight against his Cavaliers team.

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They once leveled the series at 2-2 before relinquishing the next 2 games. In the next 2 seasons, the King simply did a whitewash on him and his team.

1) Paul George

Ah! The very-nearly there guy. He is the only one on this list who gave LeBron a scare; taking the Pacers to 7 games against the Miami Heat. And not just once, but they lost 3 consecutive times in the Playoffs against LeBron’s Heat.

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Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball against LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) in the second half at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Lakers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

These guys are still active and not over the hill quite yet. Especially Paul George and James Harden, who are bidding to topple the LA Lakers with the Clippers and Nets, respectively. Though, the jury is out if they can and break their duck.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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