Take 2008-09, when Wade posted his strongest statistical season, better than James in several key categories, but still lagged behind both James and Kobe Bryant in the MVP voting.
If there's anything Wade takes as a seriously as basketball, it's fashion.
Yet there was James—who speaks about it far less frequently—atop GQ's list of most stylish male athletes of 2013.
And there was Wade:
Naturally, the two Miami Heat stars didn't see the situation quite the same way.
"They got it right," James said.
How would James describe his style—which, at times, has compelled him to wear a Christmas sweater to the podium in May in Miami.
"I'm a little all over," James said. "My style is like my game. I'm not just one-dimensional. I can shoot, I can pass, I can rebound, I can defend, I can do everything. That's what my style is."
James was gracious, in saying that Wade "should be higher, for sure."
Though he acknowledged:
"D-Wade's a lot different than I am, as far as style," James said.
James, for instance, has never been caught in capri pants.
Wade called his own No. 9 ranking "bogus."
"He's No. 1 in a lot of areas in life, but that ain't it," Wade said, smiling. "But congratulations to him...or whoever he paid to get that."