Top 10 NBA Players Who Could Beat LeBron James 1-on-1
10 Players Capable Of Beating LeBron James 1-on-1
LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, that may be debatable, but it shouldn’t be. After winning the NBA championship last season LeBron has solidified himself as the chosen, King James. He now has the hardware to back up the talk of him being a legendary player. Now albeit just one title, but the fact that LeBron still has many great years of basketball ahead of him is what makes this topic fun. You can be on either side of the pendulum.
Many will say that LeBron can follow the path of greatness that Michael Jordan did while with the Chicago Bulls. Still many will say that LeBron had his moment of fame, and that one NBA title will be his ceiling. Whatever side you sit on no one will know if you are correct until many years down the road.
Likewise the topic of who can beat who 1-on-1, whether that player is currently playing, or an NBA legend, is one that many people like to frequent, particularly when it comes to LeBron. I don’t know if there are 10 players who could beat LeBron in a 1-on-1 game, but these guys would come close.
While this list may not be compiled of guys who are on LeBron’s talent level, they each possess a unique skill set that would allow them to stay in an aforementioned game with the reigning NBA MVP. Ultimately, though each player on here would have a very difficult time in pulling off a win against the world’s best basketball player.
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10. Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari is one of those players who is not on the same talent level as LeBron. But, his great outside shot, and ability to drive to the hole would give him a legitimate shot at an upset win. On the defensive side of the ball Danilo possesses the size to limit LeBron, ultimately though you can only contain LeBron for so long. This match up would be closer than many people think.
9. Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose would need to be healthy for this to be possible, so I'm operating under the assumption that he is fully healthy, and in his old MVP form. If that is the case, then LeBron should watch out. While Rose does not have the outside shot to force LeBron to come out and guard him, his exceptional speed would be difficult for LeBron to guard. While Rose may not be the best defensive guard in the league, he does possess the knowledge, and fundamentals to lock down a player, when need be. Learning defense under Tom Thibodeau certainly helps with that.
8. Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh always takes a huge load of blame for the Heat's failures, but he usually plays quite well. When the Heat were using him out of his element, as a low-post grinder, that's when he had trouble. Bosh is more of a Pau Gasol type finesses player, which could cause trouble if he played LeBron 1-on-1. But he does have the shot to bring LeBron out of the paint, and force him to defend. Bosh would give LeBron trouble.
7. Josh Smith
Just like Danilo Gallinari, and Chris Bosh, Josh Smith is nowhere near the level of talent of LeBron, but his unique set of skills would allow him to give LeBron a fit. He has a streaky shot, and a shaky post game, but he could hold his own on the defensive side of the ball.
6. Dirk Nowitzki
Probably the most unorthodox player on here, but Dirk knows how to get things done, just ask LeBron. Dirk could be ranked higher on this last, as they essentially had a 1-on-1 battle in the 2011 Finals. But I just couldn't talk myself into putting him higher than 6th. Even though he is only 1 year removed from winning the NBA championship Dirk is a different player. Still, though he has a shot that is nearly unblockable, and he's not too shabby on defense.
5. Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade would have a height disadvantage if he were to go head to head with LeBron, but his drive to win is phenomenal, and that alone would give him a chance. He is one of the few players in the NBA who could will himself to beat an opponent who is much better than him.
4. Paul Pierce
Like Dwayne Wade Paul Pierce is one of the few players in the NBA who has a will, and drive to win that can overlook all of the negatives that come with his game. Those negatives consist mostly of a streaky shot, shoddy defense, and lack of speed. Still, though after watching him play after all of these years, going head to head, I wouldn't bet against him.
3. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is having a phenomenal start to the 2012-2013 NBA season. His New York Knicks are undefeated, even though he was essentially a no-show against the Spurs. Nevertheless Melo's offensive repertoire is hard to compete with, and it has been the one thing that has carried him to superstar status in the NBA. There is no real need to talk about defense when it comes to Melo, that's because he doesn't play any.
2. Kobe Bryant
When it comes to having a will to win Kobe Bean Bryant is number 1 on my list. He hates to lose, and will do anything it takes to win. He has an offensive game that has practically no weaknesses, and can hang with the best of em on defense. He'd have a slight height disadvantage against LeBron, but a huge mental advantage.
1. Kevin Durant
When it comes to best player in the NBA debates the only other guy who could be tossed in is Kevin Durant. Durant is in the prime of his career, and only getting better. He can score like nobody else, as evidenced by his past two NBA scoring titles, and has the length to guard nearly anyone in the NBA due to his height. Playing effective defense on the other hand is a different story. For all the great things that Durant can do, his defense has never been considered top notch. If he were to play 1-on-1 with LeBron it would certainly be a great game. Durant would have his work cut out for him on defense, and ditto for LeBron. But, I have a feeling that Durant would come out on top.