Which players does LeBron always beat, and who does he stuggle against most?

Revealed: NBA All-Stars’ favorite opponents, and who they struggle to beat 

  • New study reveals which players NBA superstars have the best record against, and who they lose against most often 
  • LeBron James tops list as the most dominant player, with Stephen Curry in second, and Kevin Durant in third 

New research has revealed which players NBA superstars have the best record against, and who they have the worst record against. 

The study by odds comparison experts Sidelines.io looked at each of the players selected as 2023 NBA All-Stars and analyzed all the opponents who they’ve played at least 20 games against in the league.  

It revealed that the player with the highest win percentage against any other opponent is LeBron James, followed by Steph Curry in second, and Kevin Durant in third. These three are the only players of the current All-Stars who have a win percentage of at least 90% against a player they have faced at least 20 times. 

  1. LeBron James 

Favorite opponent – Kemba Walker 96.80% wins 

Worst opponent – Danny Green 32% wins 

The King has played against Kemba Walker 31 times, and won 30 of their encounters, including a sweep of four victories in the Eastern Conference First Round between the Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats in 2014. None of the All-Stars in the study has a higher win percentage against another player in at least 20 games. James’ next best opponent is Cody Zeller, against whom he has a 95.7 win percentage over 23 games, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (95.5% wins over 22 games). James is so dominant that of the All-Stars included in the study, he has the top five highest win percentages against single opponents.  

Conversely, LeBron’s worst record is against the Cavaliers’ Danny Green. The former teammates have faced each other 25 times, and James has been on the losing side 17 times, giving him a win percentage of 32%. The NBA’s all-time leading points scorer has also struggled against Kawhi Leonard, with 35.7% wins in 28 games, while his third worst record is against Klay Thompson, on 35.9% wins in 39 games. 

  1. Stephen Curry 

Favorite opponent – Wesley Johnson 91.70% wins 

Worst opponent – Tim Duncan 23.80% wins 

Steph Curry’s favorite opponent is former Timbewolves, Suns, Lakers and Clippers guard Wesley Johnson. The two-time MVP played against Johnson 24 times, and won 22 of them for a win percentage of 91.7%. Curry has also racked up a 90% record against point guard Ramon Sessions, who averaged 23 minutes per game during his 11-year, eight-team NBA career. The Golden State superstar’s third best record is against Anthony Davis – he has won 87.5% of his 32 games against the Lakers forward. 

At the other end of the scale, Curry’s lowest win percentage out of the players he’s faced at least 20 times is against Tim Duncan. Curry played 21 games against ‘the big fundamental’, and only won five of them, or 23.8%. The splash brother’s next two worst opponents are also former San Antonio Spurs – Matt Bonner, against whom Curry has six wins in 20 for a 30% win record, and Tony Parker (27 games, 37% wins). 

  1. Kevin Durant 

Favorite opponent – Evan Fournier: 90% wins 

Worst opponent – Derek Fisher: 23.8% wins 

Kevin Durant has faced French guard Evan Fournier 20 times, and emerged victorious 18 times, a 90% win rate, making the current New York Knick his favorite opponent. Wesley Johnson – Steph Curry’s most beaten opponent – is also Durant’s second favorite opponent, as Durant has won in 21 of the 24 games they have played (87.5% wins), while Michael Beasley places third on 85.7% (i18 wins in 21). 

Durant’s worst opponent is Derek Fisher, who he faced 21 times when they were both in the NBA, winning only five times, a victory rate of just 23.8%. That includes a 4-2 playoff loss in the 2010 Western Conference first round. Durant has the second lowest win rate against Jordan Farmar, on six wins in 21, while his third worst opponent is Leandro Barbosa (eight wins in 27 games). 

NBA All-Stars ranked by their most and least favorite opponents 

All-Star Favorite opponent Win percentage against favorite opponent Least favorite opponent Win percentage against least favorite opponent 
LeBron James Kemba Walker 96.80% Danny Green 32.00% 
Stephen Curry Wesley Johnson 91.70% Tim Duncan 23.80% 
Kevin Durant Evan Fournier 90.00% Derek Fisher 23.80% 
Paul George Andre Drummond 87.50% James Jones 27.30% 
Pascal Siakam Caris LeVert 85.70% Jayson Tatum 31.80% 
DeMar DeRozan Ish Smith 82.60% Mike Dunleavy 10.00% 
Giannis Antetokounmpo Zach LaVine 82.60% LeBron James 26.10% 
Damian Lillard Trey Burke 80.00% Andrew Bogut 19.00% 
Jrue Holiday Kemba Walker 78.30% Mario Chalmers 4.50% 
Jayson Tatum Domantas Sabonis 76.20% Eric Bledsoe 36.40% 
Nikola Jokic Carmelo Anthony 76.20% Klay Thompson 31.80% 
Kyrie Irving Serge Ibaka 75.00% George Hill 25.00% 
Jaylen Brown Andre Drummond 72.00% George Hill 36.00% 
Joel Embiid Joe Harris 70.00% Jayson Tatum 29.60% 
Bam Adebayo Tobias Harris 65.00% Danny Green 33.30% 
Julius Randle Justin Holiday 65.00% Pat Connaughton 10.00% 
Donovan Mitchell Ivica Zubac 60.00% Chris Paul 22.70% 
Domantas Sabonis Jordan Clarkson 56.50% Jayson Tatum 23.80% 
Luka Doncic Reggie Jackson 47.80% Kawhi Leonard 27.30% 

All-Stars not included in the study as they have not played at least 20 games against a single opponent: Anthony Edwards, De’Aaron Fox, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Lauri Markkanen, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyrese Haliburton

All data taken from basketball-reference.com as of Wednesday March 8 2023

The study began with the 26 players selected as NBA All-Stars in 2023, and measured their win percentage vs individual opponents against whom they have played at least 20 games. This left 19 players with enough data for inclusion in the study. 

If using this story, please link credit to sidelines.io