The 10 Greatest Dynamic Duos in NBA History

K ShakranSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2008

Who is the best dynamic duo the NBA has ever witnessed?

1. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Magic and Kareem teamed up to win five NBA Championships in the '80s (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) as the Lakers reached the NBA Finals eight times in 10 seasons.

2. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen: MJ, Pippen, and the Bulls dominated the '90s. They were winners of six of the eight championships from 1991-'98 against five different Western Conference teams.

3. Bill Russell and Bob Cousy: Russell and Cousy helped build the Boston Celtics' empire of the '50s and '60s. The two teamed up for six NBA Championships before Cousy retired. Russell would go on to win five more.

4. Larry Bird and Kevin McHale: Bird and McHale led the Celtics back to glory, winning three NBA Championships in the 1980s, (1981, 1984 and 1986) with two more trips to the NBA Finals (1985 and 1987) during their playing days together.

5. Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson: In 1970-71, Abdul-Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor, and Robertson led the Bucks to a league-best 66 wins before going 12-2 in the playoffs and defeating Baltimore for the team's only NBA Title.

6. John Stockton and Karl Malone: Stockton, the NBA's all-time assists leader, and Malone, who ranks second all-time on the NBA's career scoring list, spent 18 seasons polishing their pick-and-roll, making the playoffs every year they played together and reaching the Western Conference Finals five times in seven years. 

7. Julius Erving and Moses Malone: The 1983 Sixers racked up a 65-17 regular-season record before going an NBA-best 12-1 in the playoffs. This duo team swept New York, beat Milwaukee in five and defeated the L.A. Lakers in four straight.

8. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant: A dynasty behind O'Neal and Bryant, the Lakers became only the fourth team in NBA history to win three or more consecutive titles. 

9. Tim Duncan and David Robinson: In 1996-'97, before Duncan's arrival and with Robinson out with injury, the Spurs managed only 20 victories. In Duncan's rookie season the club set a record for the largest single-season run, winning 56 games. The two would go on to win two NBA Championships (1999 and 2003).

10. Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars: Thomas and Dumars teamed in the backcourt for the "Amazing" of Detroit, a group of physical players who would use extreme defense on their way to back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990.

11. Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp (Big Possibility): These two are the greatest dynamic duo in the Seattle Sonics' history. But it is argued that Payton was the face of the Sonics' franchise and lasted longer with it. When Kemp bolted out of the Sonics, Payton remained. Kemp destroyed his brilliant career; it was good at the start, but he destroyed himself in his later years with drugs and alcohol.

In addition, the award for the best dynamic duo in the 2007-2008 NBA season goes to: Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony