When Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen went to Boston to join Paul Pierce and make a "Big Three" trio, it was only a matter of time before that blueprint was duplicated.
Of course, the next Big Three was created in Miami, and this one was larger than life. Chris Bosh and LeBron James taking their talents to the Heat to pair up with Dwyane Wade, this is the thing that dynasties are made of. At least, that's what they thought.
Two seasons later, the Heat find themselves in the postseason without Bosh, the third and least established of their trio. In his absence, they are struggling. Down 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers, recently crowned MVP James is feeling the walls closing in, the taunts getting louder, the pressure mounting.
What looked like his greatest opportunity to win a ring now looks like an uphill battle. A reminder that, in professional sports, there are no guarantees, only opportunities that need to be snatched up.
There is, of course, another Big Three in the league. Unlike the others, though, this trio was put together by wise front office decisions on draft day and the luck that comes from having Kevin Durant fall to you with the second overall pick.
The Oklahoma City Thunder's Big Three of Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden is not the most established of the trio of Big Threes in the league. That distinction goes to the Celtics, having won a championship as a result of their decision to come together. The Thunder are also not the most scrutinized, either. That would be the Heat, who are feeling the push to make good on their promise to bring championships, plural, to Miami.
The Thunder are the young, fun, sweet kids who are morphing into basketball assassins right in front of our eyes. To talk about snatching opportunities, Durant has hit three game-winners in the postseason thus far, and if the opportunity is there for another, you better believe he'll let the ball fly.
Through raw talent, phenomenal chemistry and a rock-solid resolve, the Thunder's baby Big Three are babies no more. If we want to be honest, they're outplaying the other two more experienced and established trios. Harden, a starter on almost every other NBA team (who is better than him on the wing, save for Kobe Bryant, Manu Ginobili, Dwyane Wade?), is savvy beyond his years; Westbrook's gunning mentality, freak athleticism and tough-as-nails exterior belies an even more mentally tough player inside; and Durant, the best scorer in the game, make a hell of a three-headed monster.
Was James the best player in the league this season? Yes. Is that helping him out in this postseason? That remains to be seen. What has already been shown and proven is that there is no Big Three with a brighter present and future than the trio that calls Oklahoma City home.
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