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21 NBA Players Who Could Beat LeBron James 1-on-1

20 NBA Players Who Could Beat LeBron James 1-on-1

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers Scared
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LeBron James would beat the vast majority of the NBA in a game of one-on-one 10 times out of 10. But there are a few players he might only beat six-to-nine times out of 10. While most, if not all, of these players would probably struggle to defend the 6-foot-8, 250-pound behemoth, they can generate points and might be able to provide enough D to win. There is certainly a possibility of that happening with all these players.

Kobe Bryant

Jan 21, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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Kobe Bryant

Jan 21, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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The Black Mamba remains one of the best scorers in the game and still has the physical capabilities to match up with just about anyone. Bryant said himself that he thinks he would beat James due to LeBron's unselfish style of play. Tell me you wouldn't pay to see that game.

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant
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Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant
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The Durantula might be the league's most complete offensive player. Which means that he could attack LeBron in a number of different ways and score efficiently. He might not have the athletic gifts that James does, but he's a little taller and a little better shooting from range. That gives him a shot.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul Dribbles
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul

Chris Paul Dribbles
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

CP3 may be pound-for-pound the toughest player in the NBA. He also might be the most clutch player in the league. Combine that with his quickness and court-awareness and he becomes a nightmare for anyone in a one-on-one situation. He might be a pass-first point guard, but he has shown he can take over a game and score at will. That makes him a dangerous opponent, even for LeBron.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry
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Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry
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"Chef" Curry is another one of those guys who can just shoot from anywhere. He hits threes for fun and has good quickness off the dribble. He also has some pretty silky footwork under the rim and can make defenders bite on any number of ball-fakes, head-fakes and jab-steps.

James Harden

James Harden - Houston Rockets
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James Harden

James Harden - Houston Rockets
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James Harden has come into his own since being traded to the Houston Rockets. He now has his own team where he is the primary offensive option and that has allowed him to better showcase his considerable talents. He has great shooting range and touch and he works off the dribble as well as anyone. The quick lefty gives up some size, but he has great footwork and a snappy jumper that would keep LeBron honest.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis
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Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis
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No NBA player has improved at the rate Anthony Davis has over the past couple of years. The unibrow wonder has developed a game that is so solid at both ends of the floor that he would give LeBron fits on defense and then use his length and deceptive post moves to score on the King on offense. Put simply, he would humble LeBron and it would be awesome to watch.

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony Dribbles Upcourt
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony Dribbles Upcourt
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Melo came into the league at the same time as LeBron and has lived in his shadow somewhat. But Anthony's offensive game is nothing to overlook. Like Durant, Melo can score from anywhere. Unlike Durant, Melo also has the frame to take it down low against James and come out on top.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 28, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 28, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Russell Westbrook is an athletic freak. He gives up some size to LeBron, but he has a phenomenal pull-up jumper and a lightning quick first step that would allow him to take it to the rim against a bigger, stronger opponent. There's also the fact that he could probably jump over your house.

Paul George

Paul George
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George

Paul George
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA's fastest rising star can handle LeBron in a real game, which he showed in a tough playoff series before going down with an injury. He's a super, underrated defender and his silky smooth offensive moves are also better than most of the "elite" scorers in the league according to popular opinion. Let's put it this way: He'd raise a lot of eyebrows in this one-on-one showdown.

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge
Gary A. Vasquez- USA Today Sports

LaMarcus Aldridge

May 7, 2015: Gary A. Vasquez; LaMarcus Aldridge
Gary A. Vasquez- USA Today Sports

LeBron is good at everything, but he's not a great post defender, especially against players who can body him up and LaMarcus Aldridge is one of those players. With his great size and length, Aldridge is already a threat to LeBron, but add his athleticism and terrific post moves, and L.A. is a LeBron buster waiting to happen.

Blake Griffin

Golden State Warriors  v Los Angeles Clippers
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Blake Griffin

Golden State Warriors  v Los Angeles Clippers
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Blake Griffin is the only guy on this list who might be as athletic, if not more so, than LeBron. We've all seen the dunk highlights and all that by now. But Blake's athleticism gives him a huge advantage in one-on-one. If you can out-athlete someone, and they're the only one standing in your way, it becomes pretty clear what you have to do: use your athleticism to overpower your opponent. If Blake could do that against James, he could win.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard might be the only guy on this list who is actually stronger than LeBron. He has the size advantage too at 6'11" and would be able to take LeBron into the post without sentencing himself to defeat. Howard's defense is top notch also; he might actually be the only guy on this list who could think about beating James with his D.

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics
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Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics
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The Big German spoiled LeBron's first season with the Miami Heat by winning the NBA title and the Finals MVP as the centerpiece of his Dallas Mavericks team. His turnaround, one-legged jumper is unguardable and at seven feet tall, Dirk has the size to rise up over the King from anywhere on the court.

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Now that he's healthy again, the lightning quick D-Rose could beat LeBron with his incredible athleticism that rivals that of the King himself. Rose's jumper is much improved since the days before his knee injuries and that alone could be the difference-maker in a one-on-one game against LeBron when added to the rest of the skills in his arsenal.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving - Cleveland Cavaliers
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Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving - Cleveland Cavaliers
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Like some of the other guards on this list, Kyrie Irving's quickness is something that can't be measured. The guy's offensive moves are simply too fast to track and he'd give LeBron fits with his quick crossovers that could turn into bursts to the whole or pull-up jumpers. The former Duke star's game has been refined considerably since entering the NBA, even enough to dethrone a King.

John Wall

John Wall Washington Wizards losing streak
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John Wall

John Wall Washington Wizards losing streak
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Another young guard whose game has evolved at an incredible rate over the past couple of years is John Wall. His raw talent earned him a No. 1 overall pick, but now he's started to refine that talent into great stuff that's effective in the NBA. He has enough experience now to know how to attack players like LeBron and he'd use that to his advantage.

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
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Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
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How this kid doesn't get more recognition we'll never know. If he had the chance to go up against LeBron one-on-one, that would probably change. He's incredibly quick off the dribble and he had an underrated jump shot that seems to get more deadly in clutch situations. He'd obviously have his hands full against the King on defense, but LeBron would have a hard time keeping up with Lillard on offense.

Dwyane Wade

March 28, 2015: Mark D. Smith; Dwyane Wade
Mark D. Smith- USA Today Sports

Dwyane Wade

March 28, 2015: Mark D. Smith; Dwyane Wade
Mark D. Smith- USA Today Sports

The Flash had to be on this list. You think a fiery competitor like Wade wouldn't pull out all the stops to win this one? He would love the fact that the odds would be against him and relish the chance to show once and for all that he is still an alpha dog in the NBA. If there was one person you could count on to be that ruthless to a friend, it's Dwyane Wade.

Monta Ellis

April 12, 2015: Jerome Miron; Monta Ellis
Jerome Miron- USA Today Sports

Monta Ellis

April 12, 2015: Jerome Miron; Monta Ellis
Jerome Miron- USA Today Sports

Monta Ellis never gets the recognition of the bigger NBA names, but he's one of the best offensive players in the league. Ellis is about as explosive as they come and has shown in the past that he can go on scoring runs that would make Wilt Chamberlain blush. If he got hot against LeBron, there's not telling what might happen.

Jamal Crawford

Getty Images - Jamal Crawford - Copy
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Jamal Crawford

Getty Images - Jamal Crawford
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Jamal Crawford is as polished a scorer as they come. He's been a Sixth Man of the Year winner precisely because of his incredible ability to generate ludicrous amounts of offense off the bench in limited minutes. While that doesn't guarantee him victory in this type of game, it definitely leaves him in with a shout.

Kevin Love

Kevin Love - Cleveland Cavaliers
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Kevin Love

Kevin Love - Cleveland Cavaliers
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Kevin Love is a little taller than LeBron, is an elite rebounder and can shoot all the way out to the 3-point arc. He'll smother any loose balls or missed shots and he can make you pay with his own smooth offensive game. Much like Dirk Nowitzki, Love's height and quick release on the J help neutralize LeBron's defensive prowess.

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