Top 5: NBA Big 3s

NBA superstars like to team up to give themselves the best chance to win a championship. Current superstar have tend to not be as loyal as former players when picking a team. Since 2000 there have been many Big 3’s in the NBA as I ranked the top 5 Big 3s in no order, as in looking at how successful these trios were and the level of talent of the superstars. Looking at these trios of players, will learn how each was form, how they did when they were together and what has happen to them since.

Warriors: Durant, Thompson, Curry

The current trio that dominating the NBA is the Warriors, as they are currently going for their third straight championship. Before Kevin Durant arrived, the Warriors had a trio with Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and Draymond Green who were all named NBA all-stars. Steph Curry (2009 7th pick) and Klay Thompson (2011 11th pick) both were drafted by the Warriors and took a few seasons before emerging as the splash brothers. Draymond Green was drafted in 2012 in the second round with the 35 pick, as the Warriors had some great picks from 2009 to 2012 and once the trio become stars they became a dynasty winning their first champions in 2015, Steph Curry won the NBA MVPs in back to back season, the 2015-2016 season and was the first unanimous winner in NBA history.The trio before Durant could have made this list as well as they had the best record in NBA history with 73-9 but blew a 3-1 lead to Lebron James Cavs. After that Draymond called Kevin Durant and beg him to come to Golden State. Kevin Durant won the MVP award the season before Steph Curry, and was considered of the NBA best players. Since Kevin Durant arrived to Warriors have looked more unstoppable with winning back-to-back championships. The Trio with Durant made the list over Green is based on talent, having two MVPs and a sharpshooter in Thompson is unfair. If Durant never came the Warriors probably still be going for a three peat and be less hated since the trio were all drafted by the Warriors, but since Durant arrived its a different story. Even if Thompson and Durant leave this summer, like I believe they should (check out Upcoming NBA free agents best destination) this Big 3 will never be forgotten with the dynasty they built with the Warriors.

MVPs Kevin Durant and Steph Curry (Photo by The Comeback.com)

Spurs: Duncan, Parker, Ginobili

The Spurs Big 3 are often forgotten where it comes to Super teams, since Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili aren’t always talk about among NBA elite stars, as well as all stayed loyal and stayed in San Antonio. They were just a well-oil machine that dominated the NBA for years. Tim Duncan is the star of this team as they all did they job very good and Coach Greg Popovich surrounded them with the right pieces. In 1997 Duncan was the first pick in the draft and teamed up with All-star big man David Robinson. Tim Duncan dominated with winning back-to-back championships in 2002, and 2003. After Duncan two foreign players late in the draft landed in San Antonio. In 1999 in the second round with the 57 pick the Spurs selected Manu Ginobili from Argentina, then in 2001 Spurs selected Tony Parker from Belgium with the 28th pick. Manu didn’t sign until 2002 with the Spurs as he was finishing up his european contract. As one of the most dominated trios in history of the NBA winning 4 championships, 2003, 2005,2007, and 2014, as while as winning over 1,000 games together. Manu and Parker emerge as stars to help Duncan and the Spurs become a dynasty and have never missed the playoffs. Duncan retired in 2016 as one of the NBA greats, as Manu retired the next season and Parker got signed by the Hornets. As this trio has ended, they may be forgotten but when you look back in time and see how dominated they were together.

Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker (Photo by Cleatgeek.com)

Celtics: Garnett, Pierce, Allen

The first group of superstar to form a Big 3 was the Boston Celtics. Paul Pierce “The Truth” was the 10th pick in the 1998 draft, and emerge as a star in 2002 and was named an All-star every season from 2002-2006. Kevin Garnett “The Big Ticket” was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 5th pick in 1995 coming straight out of high school. KG became the franchise player for a team needing help in Minnesota, he is the al-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks, assist, steals, games played, minutes, and free throws made. Kevin Garnett won the MVP in 2004, a 15 time All-star in his career, and a 9 times NBA all-defensive team. After failing to make the playoff from 2004-2007 KG got frustrated with the Wolves and wanted to get traded. In 2007 owner Glenn Taylor listed to offers for the franchise player and Celtics made a 7 player for 1 deal. In 1996 the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Ray Allen with the 5th pick in 1996 and was traded to the Bucks. Allen was a 10 team All-star in his career and a key player for the Bucks and the SuperSonics leading them to the playoff for many season from 2001-2007. He was traded to the Celtics for the 2008 season the same season as Kevin Garnett. As Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce were all getting closer to there career they knew they needed to win now. After dominated their first season together and winning the 2008 NBA finals over MVP Kobe Bryant Lakers, the Celtics struggled with injuries and over emerging teams. Kobe and the Lakers came back and won the 2009 Finals and 2010 Finals, then the Miami Heat Big 3 came about. This Big 3 is on the list based on talent level, all 3 are future Hall of Famers and dominate during their years together. In 2012 they split up Ray Allen left for less money to join Miami stars and KG and Pierce were traded to the Nets for 3 future 1st picks (one of the worst trades in history) bringing the Big 3 to a end. Ray Allen retired in 2014 in Miami, KG retired back in Minnesota in 2016, and Pierce retired in 2017 with his former coach Doc Rivers for the Clippers. These 3 will always be remembered for their career and the championship they brought to Boston.

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen (photo by Boston AP)

Heat: James, Bosh, Wade

The Best Big 3 to form by free agent is the Miami Heat. As all 3 stars were drafted in the 2003 NBA draft. Lebron James went 1st overall to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers coming from straight out of High School, and became a star instantly. After winning Rookie of the year, Lebron went on to 15 All-star appearances in his career. As well as making an NBA final appearance, as well as winning the NBA MVP in 2009 and 2010 before joining Miami. Chris Bosh was selected 4th in the draft by the Toronto Raptors, after Vince Carter left, it was Chris Bosh team. Chris Bosh was a star for the Raptors being named a All-star 11 times in his career from 2006-2010 for Toronto and 2010-2016 for Miami. Toronto failed to put a solid team around Bosh, making him very frustrated and ended up leaving. Dwayne Wade was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003 with the very next pick. In 2015 Wade with some help from Shaq went on a playoff and won the NBA Finals, as well as Finals MVP. Dwayne Wade will go down as one the NBA best shooting guards in history, as a 13 time NBA All-star and Miami Heat leader in many categories. In 2010 after struggling to win on their own, these 3 decided to team up, and famously at their introduction saying “Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5, Not 6, but 7 Championships.” Sorry Lebron how does 2 sound, even though these 3 were dominant at the get go as they lost to Dirk Nowitzki Mavs their first season together. Then Miami Heat went back-to-back with championship and Lebron won back-to-back MVP and Finals MVP. After failing for the three peat in 2014 to the Spurs, Lebron opted out of his contract and went back to Cleveland and went to 4 more NBA finals then left for the Lakers who missed the playoffs this season. Bosh and Wade stayed and struggled without the Star Lebron. In 2016 Wade went to the Bulls then teamed up with Lebron again in Cleveland. Wade currently finished up this season and his career with Miami. As for Bosh in 2016 failed his physical and a blood clot, could never get his health and made his comeback in the NBA. He official retired this season in 2019 and got his numbered retired in Miami. Lebron career will be remember for a lot of things, often get compared to Micheal Jordan for being the G.O.A.T. Miami will always love Wade, and this Big 3 will be remember for Lebron Decision on live TV to leave Cleveland for Miami. In there short time together they were one of the most successful teams in NBA history.

Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh (Photo by totalsportsblog.com)

Thunder: Durant, Westbrook, Harden

The only Big 3 that has all won MVPs, sadly these 3 couldn’t stay together and become a dynasty in OKC. In 3 drafts in a row Seattle Sonics/Oklahoma City Thunder draft an NBA All-star, first it was Kevin Durant in 2007 with the second pick. Kevin Durant was named Rookie of the Year, and become an All-star the next season. Durant become one of the best NBA scoring players, winning 4 scoring titles and MVP (2014) in his thunder years. Russell Westbrook was the selected with the 4th pick and help Durant reach the playoffs in his first season. Westbrook was Durant sidekick and help Durant reach the playoffs every season. James Harden was selected 3rd in the 2009 draft and came off the bench for the Thunder. Harden won 6th man of the year award and would provide spark off the bench when Durant and Westbrook were off the floor. This trio will always be remember for after their thunder years as well as all three have won MVP nows. In 2012 Harden couldn’t reach a contract extension and was traded to Houston. In Houston, Harden became an NBA All-star 7 times as well as winning NBA MVP in 2018 after being close the few season before that. James Harden as emerge as unstoppable on offense winning the NBA scoring Leader in 2018, and 2019. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made the finals in 2014 but lost to the Spurs. In 2016 after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Warriors, Durant decided to join the Warriors Dynasty and the rest is history. Russell Westbrook stayed behind and emerge as a triple double machine. In his first season without Durant he average a triple double (most in a single season) and won NBA MVP. The next two season Westbrook has average a triple double in both season, but since Durant left OKC and Westbrook hasn’t made it past the first round of the playoffs. If makes you wonder how good the Thunder could be if these 3 still played together, future generations won’t believe these 3 MVPs were all on one team at one time in their young careers.

James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant (Photo by SI)

Honorable Mention: Why they didn’t make the cut

Clippers: Lob City-Deandre Jordan, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin; No championship, or even conference final appearance

Cavaliers: Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love; to much the Lebron Show, Kyrie/Love never healthy

Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph; No Championship, often forgotten team

Deandre Jordan, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

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