In the 2008 offseason, the Boston Celtics brought the term "Big 3" back into the conversation because they brought in both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play with Paul Pierce. That investment immediately paid dividends because they won the championship that season. The Big 3 label once again came into play when LeBron made his decision in 2010 to form the big three super team consisting of himself, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Yet even though the big three name is most recently associated with these two teams that does not make it a new concept. Players have been teaming up and franchises have been putting legendary trios on the court since the NBA started in 1946, people just did not have a problem with it until the social media era where every fan has a much louder voice.
This list consists of the best big threes in each NBA franchises history. Most of the combinations made the list because they were a key combination of players that had one of the best records in their team's history. Other trios make the cut because their star power was enough to carry them to multiple titles and even the hall of fame in some cases. There were plenty of snubs that could not make the cut because many teams in the league have such a rich history of winning and it was hard to narrow it down to one big three combination. The most obvious choices came from franchises that have little history of success because they have only had a few teams that stand out. The list is mainly based upon each big three's ability to win games together, be individual stars, and each players overall career accomplishments.
30 Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver
Obviously Dominique Wilkins, the best Atlanta Hawk of all-time, is a snub on this list, but somehow the group of Horford, Millsap, and Korver produced a 60-win season and the best Atlanta Hawk season of all time. The Hawks do have a Championship, but that came all the way back in 1958. In 2015, with this big three, they went all the way to the eastern conference finals, however LeBron and the Cavs were too much for them to handle. The unique thing about this team is that they had four players selected to the All-Star team and is one of the few teams in history to accomplish that.
This team did not have one star that was the main focal point and that is what made them so special. Their focus on team oriented play and getting the ball to the open man allowed them to be successful. It is hard to believe the Hawks were that good just three seasons ago, but now none of these players are with the franchise. Since the Hawks have been historically bad to mediocre, they will have to settle for this big three as the teams best of all-time at least regular season wise.
29 Boston Celtics: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish
The Celtics are the most storied franchise in the NBA with the most championships of any team, so it is hard to pick a big three without offending someone. Most of their championships were won during the days of Bill Russell, and the group of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce brought back the term "big three." Yet when you think of the Boston Celtics glory days it is hard not think of Larry Legend splashing a three or Kevin McHale and Robert Parish in the post.
The Celtics and Lakers rivalry in the 1980s brought basketball to the forefront of American sports and helped grow the game into what it is today.
All three of these players are in the NBA Hall of Fame and are some of the best of all-time at their positions. Bird could be the best Celtic ever and the greatest all-around shooter in the history of the game. McHale had some of the best low post moves, footwork, and was one of the best passing big men in the entire NBA. Parish was the consummate professional, locked down the paint on defense, and dominated the glass for one of the best teams in NBA history.
28 Brooklyn Nets: Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson
Since the Nets' history in Brooklyn is so short and disappointing, this big three comes from the days of the New Jersey Nets. The big three of Kidd, Martin, and Jefferson went to back-to-back Finals, but unfortunately they came up short both times. To no fault of their own, they had to play the mighty Kobe and Shaq lead Lakers and the Spurs' big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker all in their prime. This Nets big three was one of the most fun teams to watch in the history of the franchise, with Jason Kidd throwing alley-oops left and right to high flyers Martin and Jefferson.
This squad could run and gun with best of them, yet they could just never win the big game. The only member of this big three that will probably not be a part of the Hall of Fame is Richard Jefferson, but during his time with the Nets he was one of the best young stars in basketball. The Nets franchise won two ABA titles, but they have never been able to claim that elusive NBA championship. The run with this big three got them closer to it than they ever were before and have been since and that is why they find a spot on the list.
27 Charlotte Hornets: Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning
In the early years of the Hornets franchise (the one that ultimately became the Pelicans, but are historically linked to today's Hornets), they were an expansion team with three star players Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and a sharp-shooting sixth man in Dell Curry. In 1995 this big three won 50 games for the first time, which is still the third best season in Charlotte Hornets history. Many expected them to go further in the playoffs as the four seed that season, but the Chicago Bulls beat them 3-1 and took them out in the first round, when the opening rounds were just five games.
The biggest reason why they season they lost that series is because Michael Jordan returned from his brief stint in baseball to come back for the second half of the season. The combination of Bogues, Johnson, and Mourning, all in their primes, created a roster that solidified an expansion team as a legitimate contender. However after the 1994-95 season the Hornets decided to break up this core three and traded Alonzo Mourning to the Heat. The Hornets have never been the same since and they might regret making that trade since Mourning ended up developing into a perennial all-star after that year and eventually won a title.
26 Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman
This is probably the easiest big three to choose out of the entire list because it is by far the best in Chicago Bulls history. They won an incredible 72 games, which was the most in the history of the sport until the Warriors broke that record by one win in 2016. Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to step on an NBA court, and it is easy to see why a big three that includes him makes the list. Quite frankly every championship team for the Bulls was centred around Jordan and Pippen, so the third player in the big three could have been multiple different players.
Dennis Rodman is arguably the most accomplished third fiddle that Jordan and Pippen played with in all of their championship runs.
He complemented their scoring with his rebounding and all out style of play. Seventy-two wins and a title speaks for itself, and all three of these players ended up in the basketball hall of fame. If the list ranked the best big threes of all time instead of being in alphabetical order, then this big three could top the entire list. The main reason why is because Jordan rarely lost to anyone in his career when the title was on the line.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love
The history of the Cleveland Cavaliers was filled with heartbreak and disappointment until they won their first title in 2016. The most impressive part about their championship was that they defeated the 73-win Warriors and back from down 3-1 in the series to do it. At one point in their careers all the members of this big three lead their team in scoring and was the star of the show. All of them combined together were good enough to go to three straight finals, but they were only able to win one of them.
LeBron was the king of this big three and the power struggle between him and Kyrie Irving is what eventually lead to their breakup. When they did play together, the Cavs put the best player in the league next to two All-Stars making them virtually unstoppable in the east. They would have probably combined for more titles if the Warriors were not a strong super team during their run. Every season this core was together they went to the Finals and that impressive in its own right, but bringing a championship to Cleveland was for sure the crowning moment for this big three.
24 Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler
Dirk Nowitzki has been the face of the Dallas Mavericks for the better part of the past two decades and it was great to see him win his only NBA title with this big three. This group of guys was not really considered a big three because their team was lead by Dirk and a cast of role players, but Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler were two of the more notable contributors of that group. Dirk carried the load and beat the heavily favoured Miami Heat in the finals. Jason Kidd had a renaissance season and won his first title with the Mavs. Chandler anchored this squad defensively and made the All-NBA defensive second team when the team won the title.
Out of the three Kidd and Nowitzki will for sure be hall of famers and Nowitzki will go down as the best Maverick of all-time. The big three of Nash, Finley, and Nowitzki or one that includes Mark Aguirre could be considered a snub from the list, but the one championship in the team’s history has to be included on the list. Any big three that includes Dirk is justifiable because he has been the star on almost all of the best Mavericks seasons based on winning percentage.
23 Denver Nuggets: Alex English, Fat Lever, Calvin Natt
When looking at the past best Nuggets players of all-time, Alex English is almost always the fist player that comes to mind. If not for Carmelo Anthony, Fat Lever might be the next player that people think of as well. During the days of English and Lever, the Nuggets were one of the highest scoring teams in the league and averaged almost 120 points per game, but on defense they were one of the bottom feeders and could barely stop anyone. The big three of English, Lever, and Natt allowed them to still outscore most of their opponents on the way to the fifth best Nuggets season of all-time.
English is in the Basketball Hall of Fame and he won a scoring title in 1983, but the team was not successful until 1984, when Natt and Lever were added to the roster. The Nuggets have never won an NBA championship and the furthest they have gone is the Western Conference Finals. The '84 team was one of two teams to accomplish that feat along with a team lead by Carmelo Anthony in 2009. Both Lever and English have their jerseys retired by the franchise, so that is why this big three edges out a big three of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Kenyon Martin.
22 Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer
The glory days of the Detroit Pistons definitely includes the Bad Boys era that won back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. The big three that carried that team to those two titles was Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Bill Laimbeer. Thomas and Dumars were the star scorers, but Laimbeer epitomized the Bad Boys team culture and was the perfect example of a player you love to have on your team and hate to play against. Joe Dumars was the MVP of the first championship against the Lakers in 1989 and Isaiah Thomas took home that honor in the 1990 Finals victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Dumars and Thomas are both inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Laimbeer’s jersey is retired by the franchise.
The snubs from the Pistons could include the big three of Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, and Ben Wallace, but they only won one championship compared to the Bad Boys two. Two is better than one and they also have double the amount of hall of famers. Thomas, Dumars, and Laimbeer have all stayed involved with the game after retirement as members of front offices and even coaching. Dumars has been running the Pistons from 2001-2014 and built that 2004 team that won the title.
21 Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant
The Golden State Warriors did not have much of a history of winning until their first championship in 2015 and they have not stopped since. Their reign over the entire league got even more solidified when they were able to pry Kevin Durant away from Oklahoma City in free agency and paired the last two MVPs with one another. That set up the big three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Durant that won a championship in their one season together and Warriors fans expect many more to follow. They are still the favourite to win the title this season even though they were not the number one seed for the first time in three seasons.
This big three consists of three of the best shooters in history of the NBA and it could be the best big three on the list because of it. Durant took a ton of heat for jumping ship in OKC, but if he finishes his career with three or four titles with this Warriors core it will be well worth it. Barring a dramatic move this offseason in the NBA, or Klay Thompson leaving 2019 in free agency the Warriors are set up to win the next few NBA championships because of this big four, this time including Draymond Green.
20 Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Vernon Maxwell
When Michael Jordan left the NBA to play baseball, that was the perfect moment for Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets to take over the league. He did that with the help of Vernon Maxwell in his their first championship in 1994 and 1995 they got even better when they added a Hall of Fame two-guard in Clyde Drexler. Him and Olajuwon were dominant playing together in college and they replicated Phi Slamma Jamma in the NBA to take home the 1995 NBA championship.
Both of those guys are Hall of Famers, so it was easy to include them on the list along with one of the toughest Rockets of all-time. Olajuwon is arguably the best center in the history of the NBA because of his dominance. The two championships Olajuwon and Maxwell were at the center of are still the only two titles in the franchise's history. The only way this big three will be out done is if they add another big free agent to the big two of James Harden and Chris Paul this offseason. Even if they do that it will be hard to replace Olajuwon, Drexler, and Maxwell as the best big three in Rockets history.
19 Indiana Pacers: Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Jalen Rose
In Indiana's lone trip to the finals, the big three of Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, and Jalen Rose carried them. Too bad for them they ran into a budding dynasty in the lost to Kobe and Shaq Lakers in the 2000 Finals. Reggie Miller is one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history and he had been the face of the Pacers franchise for many years in the '90s before this run to the championship. Mark Jackson is one of the best true point guards in the history of the league and he ranks near the top of the list in all major assist categories.
Jalen Rose was in the prime of his career in 2000 and won the NBA's Most Improved Player that season in what could have been his best year as a pro. The Pacers have not had that much of a winning history and Miller could possibly be their best player in franchise history. Miller is the only member of the big three in the hall of fame and unless Mark Jackson makes a comeback in coaching it will probably stay that way. This big three will be remembered for having the deepest run in the playoffs in pacers history.
18 Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
Lob City turned into Sob City this past offseason when Chris Paul decided to break up the Clippers big three and go to the Houston Rockets in free agency. The trio of Paul, Blake Griffin, and Jordan produced all of the best seasons in Clippers franchise history, but they always flopped during the playoffs. Yet no one will forget all the highlights Paul produced playing alongside the high flying Griffin and Jordan. It is hard to believe a team with three players this talented could never reach a Western Conference Finals, but ultimately injuries is what held them back from their ultimate goal.
Many expected them to win a title or at least go to one, but neither CP3 nor Griffin could stay on the court at the same time long enough to produce a championship.
Now they both play for different franchises. Everyone is familiar with the plight of the Clippers franchise throughout NBA history, so that is why it difficult to see the most successful Clippers roster get broken up before they could reach their end goal. Now the Clippers look to Jerry West to possibly build a big three in Los Angeles that makes fans forget about the days of CP3 and Griffin.
17 Los Angeles Lakers: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy
One of the more difficult big threes to select on the list is definitely that of the Los Angeles Lakers. The have a rich history of winning besides the past few seasons, so it is hard to leave guys off the list like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West. However the team that made basketball the most fun to watch and labeled the Lakers as “Showtime” featured the big three of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy. All three of those guys were easily Hall of Famers and they were the catalysts of probably the greatest Lakers dynasty of all-time. Magic is one of the best passers of all-time and Kareem scored the most points in the history of the NBA, using his patented sky hook for a lot of those points.
They are arguably the two best players ever at their positions, so that is why they make the list over another Laker trio. Those two won a championship without Worthy in Magic’s rookie season, but when they added 1982 number one overall pick Worthy, that was when Showtime truly took off. It was almost unfair that a championship team could add the best player in college because Worthy was the perfect player to run the wing alongside Magic and Kareem on the break. The 1980s Lakers changed basketball forever with their style of play and will go down as the best team in Lakers history.
16 Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph
The Grizzlies have had a rough history since entering the league as the Vancouver Grizzlies when the league expanded in 1995. However, when they moved to Memphis their luck started to turn and they eventually turned into a perennial playoff contender featuring a big three of Mike Conley at point guard, Marc Gasol at center, and Zach Randolph at power forward. At one point this big three was bullying the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs before they went on their dynastic run to four straight finals. Gasol was passed the torch by his brother Pau, who had been the face of the franchise before he was traded away for his brother Marc in 2008.
He and Mike Conley are still with the franchise, but the team is just not the same without Z-Bo patrolling the paint and scoring on the low block. After being the number 4 overall pick in the 2007 draft, Mike Conley started his career off slightly slower than expected, but he has developed into a solid starting point guard over the course of his career. Since Randolph left the team last offseason, the Grizzlies have fallen out of contention and somewhat lost their rugged identity.
15 Miami Heat: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh
When the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh got together, the NBA world went nuts with both excitement and criticism. All of these guys were drafted in the loaded 2004 draft class in the top 5, so it is crazy to think they all ended up on the same team. They are the only big three on the list to be unveiled in front of their fans in a press conference in their arena, where they proclaimed they would win more than eight championships. In their first year together they went to the Finals, but they lost to a Mavericks team whom they were heavily favoured against.
After that they won back to back titles cementing their legacy as the greatest team in Miami Heat history.
When they lost to the Spurs in the finals in 2014 LeBron decided it was time to break up this big three and take his talents back home to Cleveland. Dwyane Wade is the greatest Heat player of all-time, and even he left the Heat for a couple of seasons in the wake of the destruction of this big three. Chris Bosh's career was cut short a couple of seasons after they broke up as well because of an unlikely serious health concern.
14 Milwaukee Bucks: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge
The best big three in the history of the Milwaukee Bucks is far and away Oscar Robertson, Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and Bob Dandridge. They led the Bucks to their only franchise championship with Kareem just entering his prime and Oscar at the tail end of his. Bob Dandridge was a great scorer for the team as well averaging 18.4 points per game to go along with 8 rebounds a game. Alcindor/Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar are two of the best and most memorable players in all of NBA history, let alone Bucks history, so it is an easy call to include this group on the list.
At age 24, Alcindor was one of the youngest players to win the MVP award, and he dominated all season playing every game and averaging 31 points per game. This big three got broken up when Robertson retired after the '73-'74 season and the team was never the same. It eventually lead to Abdul-Jabbar, as he was now known, deciding to leave to go to Los Angeles the year after that to try to win more championships. He would go on to win five more titles and the Bucks have still just won only one. The Bucks could possibly replace this group on the list if they somehow put two more all-stars next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, but that is highly unlikely.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Garnett, Wally Szczerbiak, Latrell Sprewell
The furthest the Minnesota Timberwolves have been in their history is the Western Conference finals and they were carried there by the best T-Wolf of all-time, Kevin Garnett. The two players that go along with Garnett in this big three should tell you why they never won the championship. Wally Szczerbiak and Latrell Sprewell were great players in their day, but they hardly stack up against some of the perennial All-Stars, Hall of Famers, and legends that are on the list for other teams. Wally was more of a spot up shooter than a star for the Timberwolves, and Sprewell had the potential to be one of the greats, but his attitude never allowed him to reach his full potential.
The lack of major help for KG is the reason why he eventually requested a trade from the T-Wolves and won a championship elsewhere with the Boston Celtics. During the season that they went to the western conference finals KG took home the MVP and he is still the only T-Wolf to receive that honor. The big three of Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Andrew Wiggins could take control of this spot if they win a championship in the future.
12 New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Jrue Holiday
The New Orleans Pelicans have only been an NBA franchise since 2013, and they have not done much winning since that time. Originally, they were the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, before the former Bobcats absorbed the older team's history. So the best big three in the Pelicans history is the one they have on their roster right now with Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Jrue Holiday. It is a shame that this combination has still never got a chance to play a full season together, because DeMarcus Cousins tore his Achilles this season and went out for the year before the All-Star break.
This team makes the list over a Chris Paul-led Hornets team because they have a lot more potential moving forward than they had with Paul at that time. Both Boogie and Anthony Davis are top five big men in the league, and they are both in the prime of their careers. Jrue Holiday has also taken a big step forward this season and is playing the best basketball of his career this postseason. If this group can stay together and get healthy, then they could possibly compete for a title next season. However Cousins could leave this offseason in free agency because they might not be willing to pay him after his injury.
11 New York Knicks: Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere
It's crazy to think that the New York Knicks franchise has not won a NBA world championship since the 1970s four decades ago. That team will never be forgotten because of the dominance of their big three: Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, and Dave DeBusschere. Madison Square Garden was the number one place to be in sports in the 1970s and that is what truly made it the Mecca of basketball. It is a shame that the Knicks have not been able to replicate the magic of this era since the turn of the millennium.
Snubs from the Knicks could include the Patrick Ewing-led Knicks teams that included guys like John Starks and Charles Oakley, but this big three has much more star power and two championships under their belt. Nothing symbolizes the will to win and New York grit more than the 1970 Finals when captain Willis Reed came played Game 7 with a torn muscle in his leg and still scored the team's first four points. Those were the only points he scored in the game, but he still managed to win Finals MVP. All three members of this big three are in the Basketball Hall of Fame for good reason.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder: James Harden, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook
The Oklahoma City Thunder became a franchise in 2009, and luckily for them they already came with three budding superstars in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, with the former two drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics before the move to Oklahoma City in 2009. The list would probably look different and include guys like Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, or Dennis Johnson if they stayed in Seattle and were still the SuperSonics. But even with those guys in mind, we're still going with this big three, as they were all future MVPs on the same roster, but they were still not able to win a championship.
They came very close to a championship in 2012 when they played Miami in the Finals, but ultimately lost 4-2.
Now Russell Westbrook is the only member of this big three to be on the roster because they traded James Harden and lost Kevin Durant in free agency – two major mistakes. Looking back on it, this might go down as one of the best big threes in the history of basketball, they just were not all together at the right time. It must be hard for Thunder fans to watch Durant and Harden dominate the Western Conference playing for different franchises.
9 Orlando Magic: Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Horace Grant
The Magic have made two trips to the Finals in their history, but on both occasions they came up short against a better team with a superstar in their prime. The first time they went to the finals was mainly because of their big three that consisted of Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, and Horace Grant. Shaq was the best player of the three, because he was so physically dominate down low on both offense and defense. Penny Hardaway had the best years of his career in the beginning of it when he was running the fast break alongside Shaq.
Horace Grant was a great veteran presence that they needed to go on a long playoff run because he had already won championships with the Chicago Bulls. They were good enough to carry the Magic to the finals but the matchup against Hakeem Olajuwon was too much for them to handle. Unfortunately for this big three Shaq decided to leave the franchise in 1996 and go to the Los Angeles Lakers to be in a larger market. After that Penny Hardaway dealt with major knee injuries and was never the same player that could take over a game early on in his career. This big three did not accomplish all that it could have but it was fun while it lasted.
8 Philadelphia 76ers: Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley
Julius Erving, otherwise known as Dr. J, and Moses Malone won a championship in 1982, but their best big three arguably came in 1985 when they had three future Hall of Famers on one squad. Those players were veterans Erving and Malone, and Charles Barkley in his rookie season. In his rookie year, Barkley was yet not the All-Star player he became, but he still had a great year and ended up on the All-Rookie team. What is staggering about this group is that they were elected to 34 for All-Star games combined, 11 from Barkley, 11 from Irving, and 12 from Moses Malone.
This team led by a seasoned Dr. J went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, but they eventually lost to a legendary Celtics team. They did not have chance to do much more than that, because Moses Malone was traded in 1986 in exchange for Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson. Shortly after that trade, Erving retired in 1987 and the Sixers were never the same without him. Charles Barkley did his best to keep the team a contender, but his act eventually wore thin after he demanded a trade and he was sent to Phoenix to play for the Suns.
7 Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion
The best seasons in Phoenix Suns history came with Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson running the show, but they did not have a solid third player to go with, and that could be the reason why they came up short in the finals. The big three of Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion make the list because they were consistently one of the best teams in the league when they were running the "7 seconds or less" offense under Mike D'antoni. Stoudemire and Marion were perfect running mates for Nash to use on the fast break and it lead to him winning back-to-back MVP awards in 2004 and 2005.
In 2004, they won the most games in the league with 62 victories and they were outscoring and running all their opponents out of the gym. This big three's problem was that all their success occurred in the regular season, and they never even made it to the Finals. If Amar'e never would have gotten off of the bench during a fight and got suspended in one of their playoff runs, that might be a different story. This big three barely edges out Barkley, KJ, and Dan Majerle because they had more longevity with the franchise.
6 Portland Trail Blazers: Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey
The Portland Trail Blazers have won a single championship in their history, but that team was more of a "big one" with Bill Walton instead of a big three. They went to another Finals after that, and that team boasted the best big three Blazers fans had ever seen. Clyde "The Glide" Drexler is possibly the best Trail Blazer in history behind Walton. Drexler combined with the scoring of Porter and the two-way ability of Kersey was too much for the rest of the western conference to handle. Clyde averaged more than 25 points per game and Porter also was dropping over 18 points per game as well.
Kersey was the weak link of the big three, but he was still a major leader on the roster. They would have probably won the title if they had not run into Michael Jordan like a few other teams on the list. He went off against them in the Finals, outmatching Drexler, and he famously had the shrug in the series where even he could not believe how well he was playing. Portland could create another big three to rival the one this list if they add another superstar to team up with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
5 Sacramento Kings: Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Mike Bibby
The Sacramento Kings have never won an NBA title but in the early 2000s they were in the title conversation pretty much every season. Those teams were lead by Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Mike Bibby, and the crowds in Sacramento went crazy with cowbells for their winning ways. Their best season came in 2001 when they won 61 games and were the top seed in the West. Before that season, they traded for Mike Bibby, and that proved to be a huge pick up for them. That season was also the furthest this team went in the playoffs as well, going to the Western Conference Finals, and if it had not been for the Kobe and Shaq Lakers, they probably would have won a title.
Very questionable calls were made against them in the 2002 playoffs, and that caused Sacramento fans to say the league rigged the series. C-Webb was the best player on this team, but Divac and Bibby were no slouches either. Ever since this big three was disbanded, the Kings have never been considered a title contender. Kings fans are dying for to bring back the days of when this big three had Arco arena rocking and created such a great home court advantage in the playoffs.
4 San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli
The big three that won the most games for their franchise is by far Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. When it comes to longevity and success, they could top the list as the best big three in NBA history. The Spurs drafted all these three guys, and somehow they all stayed on with the team their entire career. Even more impressively, they all won four championships together, cementing their legacy as the best big three by far in the history of the Spurs, and arguably the NBA as well. Tim Duncan is the biggest legend out of this group and has been the Rookie of the Year, the MVP, and the Finals MVP throughout his career.
Both Parker and Ginobli were drafted later than they should have been, and have turned into two of the biggest draft steals of all-time.
They are also two of the best Euro players in the history of the league and paved the way for the new wave of European players that are having success in the NBA. The Spurs have been the NBA's gold standard for the past couple of decades and this big three is the reason why. Tim Duncan was the first one to retire two seasons ago, and both Manu and Parker have already hinted at retirement as well.
3 Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka
The Raptors have a shorter history than most teams on the list, because they have only been in existence since the 1995 expansion. They also have not had that much of winning tradition, so the best big three in their history is the one they have currently constructed. Lowry and DeRozan have grown into the star guards Toronto fans can embrace and they became a much better team two offseasons ago when they were able to land Serge Ibaka, who had tons of playoff experience playing in OKC. This season they were dominant in the Eastern Conference and they were good enough to earn the number one seed.
The only question mark about this big three, is if they can have the same amount of success. They won their first series agains the 8th-seeded Washington Wizards, but it was no domination by any means. In years past, LeBron James has been the Raptors' roadblock, and this season it looks like more of the same story because the Cavs just won Game 1 of their second round series. If this group can slay the dragon of LeBron, they will for sure justify their spot as the best big three in Raptors history over a big three like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Antonio Davis.
2 Utah Jazz: Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek
The Utah Jazz's best seasons came when they had one of the best scorers in history – "The Mailman" Karl Malone, who was getting fed passes by one of the best assist men ever, John Stockton. With those two Hall of Famers they went to back-to-back championships, but unfortunately for them they could never beat Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals to accomplish everything they wanted to. The third member of this big three was Hornacek, one of the best shooting two-guards in the league for the Jazz ,but he was not at the level of Stockton or Malone.
They were one of the best dynamic duos for inside and outside offense, so much so that they became the standard to replicate. Maybe if the Jazz front office added another star to become a big three with Stockton and Malone, they could have gotten over the top and won the championship that has eluded the Jazz for so long. It will take a whole lot of success to replace this big three on the list for the Jazz. The only way they will be able to do that is if Donovan Mitchell keeps improving and they add another All-Star to go with him and Rudy Gobert to bring home a title.
1 Washington Wizards/ Bullets: Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Bob Dandridge
The Washington Wizards have been one of the bottom feeders of the NBA for many, many seasons. The only time they were at the top of the league came in in 1978 when were still called the Washington Bullets. Wes Unseld only averaged 7 points per game on this team in the regular season, yet he won the Finals MVP that season because of his rebounding, passing, and defense. In the Finals, they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in seven games, which was impressive for a team that only finished with a 44-38 record in the regular season.
They are considered the worst team in the history of the league to win an NBA title based un regular season winning percentage. That should tell you all you need to know about the winning tradition that surrounds the Wizards franchise. They could form a dominant big three right now if they added another all-star like John Wall’s college teammate DeMarcus Cousins alongside him and Bradley Beal. However, they have a few bad contracts on their roster, so a deal for a max free agent is pretty much put of the question for them unless they make a trade.