LeBron Teammate #7: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Despite missing two full seasons early in his career due to foot injuries, Zydrunas Ilgauskas later became one of Lebron’s best teammates in Cleveland. At 7’3, Ilgauskas had the size needed to protect the paint and defend post scorers. He was also a useful offensive player who could consistently knock down mid-range jumpers. Were he playing in the NBA now, he’d undoubtedly be a stretch five capable of knocking down open threes.
He wasn’t tasked with doing so in the mid-to-late 2000s. This was a missed opportunity given how effective LeBron was in Miami once they decided to play without a traditional center to increase spacing. Had Cleveland had the forethought, they might have won a championship on Lebron’s first go-round with the Cavaliers.
Once LeBron left for Miami, Ilgauskas was the only player to follow him from the Cavaliers. He played 72 games with the Heat before retiring after the 2010-11 season. Unfortunately, despite playing eight seasons together and making two NBA Finals, Ilgauskas and LeBron never won a championship together. Be that as it may, he is among the 10 best players that LeBron played with, as evident by his being a two-time NBA all-star while they were teammates.