LeBron James has played with many former All-Stars who were past their primes when they joined forces. Here are all 15, ranked

Jason Miller/Getty ImagesLeBron James and Ray Allen would have formed a dynamic duo if they played together in their primes.

  • LeBron James has played with numerous star players who were past their primes when they joined forces.
  • Some of those players were former All-Stars who were acquired by management to help out James, while others were ageing veterans chasing a championship ring on James’ teams.
  • We ranked each of those past-their-prime All-Stars by who was the best player in their peak years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

LeBron James is sometimes credited with beginning the “super-team” era by joining forces with fellow All-Stars. But the list of stars players who joined James’ teams long after their best years were over is far longer.

Some of those players were former stars acquired by management to give James some help on the court, while others were ring-chasing veterans, hoping for one last shot at a championship.

James’ Lakers team has two such players – Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard. Both players were All-Stars who competed against James Cavs in the 2000s. Now they play together.

From Wally Szczerbiak to Ray allen to Shaquille O’Neal, take a look at our rankings of James’ past-their-primes All-Star teammates. Each player was ranked by their total careers,not just their time with James.


15. Wally Szczerbiak

Tony Dejak/APWally Szczerbiak.

All-Star seasons: 1 – 2001-02

Years with LeBron: 2 – 2007-2009

Career stats: 14.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 48.5% FG, 40.6% 3FG

Other awards: none

One thing to know: Wally Szczerbiak was a valuable veteran addition to the Cavs in 2007, but he averaged just 7 points per game in his two seasons alongside LeBron James. In his prime, he would have been a sharp-shooting wing and secondary scorer that would have thrived with the looks James created for him. He retired after the 2008-09 season.


14. Juwan Howard

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesJuwan Howard.

All-Star seasons: 1 – 1995-96

Years with LeBron: 3 – 2010-2013

Career stats: 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 46.9% FG

Other awards: All-NBA (1995-96)

One thing to know: Howard’s best years came well before James entered the NBA, but he was nonetheless a solid presence at power forward and small-ball centre for much of his career. He and James didn’t end up playing together until 2010 when James joined the Heat and Howard was in his final playing days. Howard later worked with the Heat as an assistant coach.


13. Jerry Stackhouse

Tim Shaffer/ReutersJerry Stackhouse.

All-Star seasons: 2 – 1999-00, 2000-01

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2010-11

Career stats: 16.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 40.9% FG, 30.9% 3FG

Other awards: none

One thing to know: Stackhouse was once an athletic scorer and tough defender. He averaged almost 30 points per game in 2000-01, just three seasons before James entered the league. The two didn’t team up until 10 years later, and only briefly, as the Heat waived Stackhouse after a month.


12. Carlos Boozer

Mark Duncan/APCarlos Boozer.

All-Star seasons: 2 -2006-07, 2007-08

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2003-04

Career stats: 16.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 52.1% FG

Other awards: All-NBA (2007-08)

One thing to know: Carlos Boozer is different from the rest of the players on this list – he played with LeBron James early in his career, but signed with the Utah Jazz as James was heading into his second season. Boozer went onto become a high-scoring forward and effective rebounder whose game was gradually phased out of the league in his later years. Had he stayed in Cleveland, he and James may have gone on to form a powerful scoring duo at the forward spots.


11. Antawn Jamison

Nam Y. Huh/APAntawn Jamison.

All-Star seasons: 2 – 2004-05, 2007-08

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2009-10

Career stats: 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 45.1% FG, 34.6% 3FG

Other awards: Sixth Man of the Year (2003-04)

One thing to know: Jamison was one of the NBA’s better scoring forwards from 1999-2010, but was often over-burdened as a No. 1 option. He would have been an excellent swingman next to James, however. The Cavs traded for Jamison in 2010 after missing out on Amar’e Stoudemire, but he wasn’t a big enough addition to helping keep James in Cleveland.


10. Rashard Lewis

J Pat Carter/APRashard Lewis.

All-Star seasons: 2 – 2004-05, 2008-09

Years with LeBron: 2 – 2012-2014

Career stats: 14.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 45.2% FG, 38.6% 3FG

Other awards: none

One thing to know: Lewis was a player ahead of his time as a stretch-four and an underrated post-up player. He would have been a good inside-out combination with James early in his career, but ultimately ended up next to LeBron in Miami as a veteran chasing a ring.


9. Rajon Rondo

Harry How/Getty ImagesRajon Rondo.

All-Star seasons: 4 – 2009-2013

Years with LeBron: 2 – 2018-19, 2019-20

Career stats: 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.7 steals, 46% FG

Other awards: All-Defensive Team (2008-2012), All-NBA (2011-12)

One thing to know: Rajon Rondo spent his peak years battling against James for Eastern Conference supremacy. Perhaps they would have been an awkward fit, but James certainly would have accepted Rondo’s play-making wizardry and defensive tenacity back then. They remain teammates on the Lakers heading into the 2019-20 season.


8. Tyson Chandler

Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesTyson Chandler.

All-Star seasons: 1 – 2012-13

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2018-19

Career stats: 8.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 59.6% FG

Other awards: Defensive Player of the Year (2011-12), All-NBA (2011-12), All-Defensive Team (2010-2013)

One thing to know: Chandler would be one of the best possible fits next to James – he doesn’t need the ball, creates vertical spacing with his runs to the rim, anchors the defence, and does the dirty work. If James had been partnered with prime Chandler (2007-2014), they would have formed a dynamic duo on both ends of the court. When the Lakers signed Chandler in 2018-19, James’ excitement about the move told you he understood Chandler’s value.


7. Ben Wallace

Harry How/Getty ImagesBen Wallace.

All-Star seasons: 4 -2002-2006

Years with LeBron: 2 – 2007-2009

Career stats: 5.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 47.4% FG

Other awards: Defensive Player of the Year (2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06), All-Defensive Team (2001-2007), All-NBA (2001-2006)

One thing to know: Wallace wasn’t much of a contributor on offence, but he could have anchored LeBron’s Cavs teams defensively while adding a dose of toughness. Wallace’s best years were behind him when he was traded to the Cavs in 2008.


6. Shawn Marion

Matt Slocum/APShawn Marion.

All-Star seasons: 4 – 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2014-15

Career stats: 15.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.1 blocks, 48.4% FG, 33.1% 3FG

Other awards: All-NBA (2004-05, 2005-06)

One thing to know: Though not your typical All-Star player, Marion could have thrived next to James as a do-it-all forward, capable of guarding the opponent’s best player, scoring in transition, and doing the little things. Unfortunately, he and James played together eight years after Marion’s last All-Star Game, when he was a far different and less effective player.


5. Derrick Rose

Rob Carr/Getty ImagesDerrick Rose.

All-Star seasons: 3 – 2009-2012

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2017-18

Career stats: 18.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 45.3% FG, 30.4% 3FG

Other awards: MVP (2010-11), All-NBA (2010-11)

One thing to know: Ironically, Rose and James had a chance to play together in their primes – in 2010, when James was a free agent, and the Chicago Bulls were a suitor. However, Rose was reportedly luke-warm on recruiting James. They ended up playing together on the Cavaliers in 2017 when Rose was on the verge of falling out of the league. Suffice to say it did not work out, as Rose was traded mid-season.


4. Deron Williams

Tony Dejak/APDeron Williams.

All-Star seasons: 3 – 2009-2012

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2016-17

Career stats: 16.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 1 steal, 44.5% FG, 35.7% 3FG

Other awards: All-NBA (2007-08, 2009-10)

One thing to know: Deron Williams was once considered the second-best point guard in the league behind Chris Paul. James would have celebrated if he had a big point guard like Williams giving him 18 & 10 per night, lightening the load James had to carry. By the time they played together, Williams was the reserve guard on the Cavs, playing behind Kyrie Irving.


3. Dwight Howard

Mark J. Terrill/APDwight Howard.

All-Star seasons: 8 – 2006-07 – 2013-14

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2019-20

Career stats: 17.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 58.3% FG

Other awards: Defensive Player of the Year (2008-2011), All-NBA (2006-2014), All-Defence (2007-2012)

One thing to know: James and Howard were once to the top talents in the Eastern Conference, squaring off in the 2009 playoffs, where Howard’s Magic topped James’ Cavs. Back then, they would have formed a dynamic offensive and defensive duo. Their careers have since gone in very different directions, with Howard playing on five teams since 2010 and nearly falling out of the league. Howard even admitted recently that back in the late 2000s, he couldn’t have pictured being teammates with James.


2. Ray Allen

Streeter Lecka/GettyRay Allen.

All-Star seasons: 10 – 1999-2002, 2003-2009, 2010-11

Years with LeBron: 2 -2012-13, 2013-14

Career stats: 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 45.2% FG, 40% 3FG

Other awards: All-NBA (2000-01, 2004-05)

One thing to know: Ray Allen was still an effective three-point ace when he played with LeBron, so it’s easy to forget James wasn’t even getting the best version. Prime Ray Allen was an underrated scorer and athlete. He not only would have spaced the floor for James, but he could have also carried the scoring load on other nights. Their brief partnership worked out, anyway – Allen saved the Heat’s season with a clutch corner three in the 2013 Finals, and the Heat eventually won the championship.


1. Shaquille O’Neal

Aaron Josefczyk/ReutersShaquille O’Neal.

All-Star seasons: 15 – 1992-98, 1999-2007, 2008-09

Years with LeBron: 1 – 2009-10

Career stats: 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.5 blocks, 58.2% FG

Other awards: MVP (1999-00), All-NBA (1993-2006, 2008-09)

One thing to know: Prime Shaquille O’Neal would have been far and away the best player James has ever played with. Even after his best years with the Lakers, O’Neal was still a nightly 18-9 player from 2004-2009. Unfortunately, by the time O’Neal landed in Cleveland, he was nearing the end of his career and was mostly ineffective next to James.


Now, check out who could take home MVP this NBA season…

Jae C. Hong/AP

16 players who could win NBA MVP this season, ranked >

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