Like Phil Jackson’s titles, or the vast majority of clovers, great players seem to come in threes, as we controversially (for some reason) witnessed this week in South Beach.
Historically, though, it isn’t just LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh who have joined forces to form a triumvirate of basketball supremacy.
San Antonio has won four titles with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili.
MJ’s Bulls famously featured His Airness, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman (and before that, Horace Grant).
The Lakers of the ‘80s boasted Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy (among other greats), and the Celtics of that era were blessed with the trinity of Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale (not to mention Dennis Johnson).
While there are exceptions on both the light and heavy side of this rule, the successful precedent established over time when getting three highly talented players together is hard to ignore.
Which is why even if the Heat don’t bring home a title in the first year of this experiment due to financial constraints and a late start on assembling their supporting cast, it is hard to imagine them not getting at least one ring at some point.
However, it may soon come to pass that Miami is not the only town fortunate enough to roll out three bona fide superstars at once—and I’m not talking about Kobe, Pau, and Ron-Ron.
No, what I’m referring to was first reported by Marc Berman of The New York Post .
And although the comment from Chris Paul was made in jest, it could be prophesy nonetheless.
Now, we all have heard that Carmelo Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn before moving to Baltimore at the age of eight and played one year of college ball at Syracuse, has Madison Square Garden high on his list of potential destinations after playing out his contract this upcoming season.
With Amar’e Stoudemire already in town, and cap space to burn, the Knicks could take a tremendous leap toward legitimacy by pairing the two forwards, neither of whom will be older than 28 at that point.
Yet, an Amar’e/Carmelo duo just doesn’t seem like quite enough to run with LeBron’s Heat (or are they still D-Wade’s?).
Which is where Paul comes in.
You see, this weekend 'Melo finally tied the knot with former MTV veejay Lala Vasquez in New York.
Though New Yorkers’ hopes were certainly buoyed by the mere fact that Carmelo chose to get hitched in their city (even if it had nothing to do with them), it was CP3 that went ahead and elevated the pipe dreams of NYC to a whole new level.
According to Chris Berman, Paul was giving a speech at the wedding when he floated the idea that he could join 'Melo and Amar’e to “form [their] own Big Three.”
And at that moment fireworks went off, and Paul shredded his well-tailored suit to reveal a Knicks jersey underneath!
Just kidding. But that might as well have happened considering the magnitude of the suggestion.
Alright, Miami, we see your three Olympians…we’ll call (and I know Amar’e wasn’t on the 2008 squad, but that was only because of a detached retina—he’s back on the team now).
It’s almost too much to consider.
To reignite the fierce Heat-Knicks rivalry of the 1990s, Donnie Walsh and Pat Riley are going to bring in three perennial All-Stars each?
Not to mention Chris Paul channeling a young Steve Nash and running D’Antoni’s run-and-gun with two of the best offensive threats in the game.
The best part is, though, that this is truly feasible.
As was mentioned, Carmelo is out of his deal following the upcoming season, and Amar’e is anchored in NY for five years.
Not mentioned is that Paul’s contract gives him a player option following the 2011 season, and why wouldn’t the Hornets want to get at least something in return if Paul made clear (as it appears he is doing) that he is not planning on re-signing there?
Furthermore, even if New York isn’t able to swing a deal for Paul, Tony Parker is an almost equally enticing option.
Like Anthony, Parker will be available after the 2010 season.
Throw in Danilo Gallinari and Anthony Randolph, and (I can’t believe I’m saying it) there may be hope on the horizon for the Knicks.
Whether Paul’s prediction comes to fruition, or the Knickerbockers are forced to go with option “1a” in Tony Parker, the next NBA Big Three could actually arrive in New York.
So enjoy the preeminent trio status while you can, LeBroshade.
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