Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Threes

Sports radio was playing Dwayne Wade's claim earlier this year that the Miami Heat had the best trio in the history of the NBA - mocking it, of course, after last night's loss to the Celtics (again).

I think the Heat are going to be a tremendous team this year, though I rate LA a better bet to win the championship, and consider Boston a 50-50 bet to beat them in the playoffs. But Wade's comment is just insane. The radio guys mentioned Garnett, Pierce, and Allen as a better group of three, and alluded to there being more, though they didn't mention any.

So I thought about it, and came up with 8 others. I'll bet there are a few more I didn't think of.

In no particular order:

Olajuwon, Barkley, & Drexler
West, Chamberlain, & Baylor
Bird, McHale, and either Parrish or Johnson
O'Neal, Bryant, and Fisher
Jordan, Pippin, and any other starter
Russell, Cousy, & Havlicek
Magic, Kareem, & Worthy
Malone, Erving, & Cheeks

I might go Cowens, Havlicek, and White, even. Greatest Game Ever Played and all that.

1 comment:

Ben Wyman said...

Keep in mind that all 3 Heat players are in their prime, and that makes a difference. Many of the players listed here are greater players than Wade/Lebron/Bosh, but were they when they played with the others in the group? Garnett-Pierce-Allen in their prime would indeed be a better trio, but that's a trio we've never seen.

Also, you're counting total greatness added together as opposed to collective individual greatness here. Wade-Bosh-LeBron are all All-Stars and two of them are MVP-quality (with Bosh the clear weak link of the three, but still a clear All-Star). Some of your groups are two all-time greats and one extra guy who was pretty good. Not the same thing.

I'll allow you Bird-McHale-Parish, West-Chamberlain-Baylor (though all three were clearly a little past their prime when they played together), Russell-Cousy-Havlicek, and Magic, Kareem, Worthy (even though by the time Magic and Worthy were ready, Kareem was past his prime).

But Olajuwon, Barkley, and Drexler were all clearly nearly done when they played together, Fisher was never really an All-Star type player, and no Bulls starter was ever a consistent All-Star-type. And Erving and Cheeks primes never overlapped.

Random fact I found out when double-checking some of this: Moses Malone played until 1995. That's insane to me.