LA Lakers Trade Rumors: Howard, Kobe and the 20 Best Inside-Out Pairings Ever
As the trading deadline approaches, it becomes time to speculate as to where everyone is going to end up. When Bosh, Wade, and James came together in Miami, the idea of the "Big 3" surfaced in every ESPN report.
Now, it is our turn to find out where the next group of superstars will go and what other players they are going to team up with.
The idea of Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant on a team gave me the idea...who are the best inside/outside combinations in NBA history?
20. Patrick Ewing and John Starks
For better or for worse, these two fought extremely hard to fight in the Michael Jordan ruled Eastern Conference throughout the 90s. They were both on the 1993-1994 team that made it to the NBA finals where they lost to the Houston Rockets.
19. Shaquile O'Neal and Dwayne Wade
After Kobe, Shaq took his talents to south beach where he and wade won the NBA title over the Mavericks.
This marriage did not last very long, but their time together was very successful.
18. Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton
One of the more underrated guard/forward combinations, Kemp and Payton led the 1995-1996 Sonics to the NBA title, where they were defeated by the Bulls in six games.
17. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant
Right now, these two guys make up the best inside, outside scoring punch in the game. Both All-Stars, they have come together to win two NBA titles and have dominated both the Western Conference, and the entire league since Gasol's arrival.
16. Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor
Baylor and Chamberlain never met eye to eye, but their skills, and rank amongst some of the NBA's greatest players make the dynamic duo that they are.
16. Charles Barkley and Kevin Johnson
They played together and lost to Jordan's Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals, but before that were a dominant force.
Only Barkley will appear on the NBA's 50 Greatest list, but KJ was an important part of the Sun's success.
15. TIm Duncan and Tony Parker
What makes them such a good combination is unselfishness. Neither Duncan nor Parker need the ball in their hands, or take 20 shots a night. What they do need to do is win, and they did plenty of that, very well.
Parker has taken over the reigns in the last year or so, but still relies heavily on Duncan for leadership and the occasional 20 foot back shot.
14. Amar'e Stoudemire and Steve Nash
Say what you will about the lack of hardware to back up this duo, but they were one of the most exciting pairs in NBA history. Stoudemire was very important in helping Nash win two MVP awards, but what make these two so special is that when they separated, you really saw how good they were.
Right now, Nash probably wishes the Suns would have re-signed the power forward.
13. Bill Russell and Sam Jones
Jones is the least known of the guards that played with Russell but he won the most tiles (10) during his career. Between the two they won 21 titles.
Jones was known as a clutch shooter and scored more than 15,000 points in his career. The first round pick was part of the most successful time for one franchise in league history.
12. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson
These two forces met at the beginning of Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor's) career and the twilight of Robertson's.
Robertson gave Alcindor the veteran point guard that was hungrier than ever for the title, and Alcindor gave Robertson the beginning of one of the most dominant NBA careers ever.
When you put that together, you get a championship and one heck of a team.
11. Michael Jordan And Dennis Rodman
Jordan clearly carries the duo high onto the list, but many will argue without Rodman, there would not be three straight championships for the Bulls in the late 90s.
Jordan was the heart and soul of the team, but Rodman was the energy, and most definitely the attitude. Together, they both played their roles perfectly; Jordan was Mr. Everything and Rodman picked up every single scrap out there and turned it into a career.
10. Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson
When asked to talk about Robertson, Lucas said, "He obviously was unbelievable, way ahead of his time. There is no more complete player than Oscar."
Robertson is still the only player to ever average a triple double for a season while Lucas averaged more than 15 rebounds per game in his career.
They played very well together but could never get past the Celtics during their reign of dominance; they were a very underrated duo in the scope of history.
9. Moses Malone and Julius Erving
Dr. J and Malone were the core of the 1983 NBA champion 76ers. Malone grabbed the rebounds and Erving provided the electrifying dunks and athletic swingman play.
Together, they dominated through the playoffs, winning 12 of 13 games on their way to the title.
8. Robert Parish/Kevin McHale and Larry Bird
Well cant separate the three because both McHale and Parish were equally as important and in sync with Bird. Larry legend was one of the best pure shooters during his time, but it was Parish and McHale that played the tough minutes inside against Worthy and Abdul-Jabbar.
Honorable mention to DJ.
7. BIll Russell And John Havlicek
Like Cousy, Havlicek shared six titles with Russell. Russell was the most dominant force in the game at the time and always played very well in big games and big spots.
Havlicek was no different. He was an integral part of the Celtics machine that gave Russell 11 titles in the end.
6. Bill Russell and Bob Cousy
They shared six titles together and were part of one of the most successful inside/outside combination in league history.
Russell and Cousy were great together because both made each other's lives easier. Without one, the other would not have been as successful.
5. Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West
Chamberlain's time on the Lakers was not all that pleasant, but he was cordial enough with West to make their time together tolerable for both
They won the 1972 NBA title behind the strong play of both all time greats.
4. Willis Reed and Walt Frazier
Both Frazier and Reed were integral parts of the two championship the Knicks won in the early 1970s. Frazier ran the team, played great defense, and scored the basketball while Reed was the defensive stopper inside and provided rebounding and toughness.
They played well off each other and were both part of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players.
3. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal
Imagine if these guys could have worked out their differences and stayed together? These duo won three championships with Kobe coming into his prime. For a three year reign, Kobe and Shaq were the kings of the Western Conference.
I guess it holds true that there really aren't always enough shots to go around.
2. John Stockton and Karl Malone
The best pick and role tandem in NBA history, "Stockton to Malone" has became the phrase stuck in every Jazz fan’s head for almost two decades. Their chemistry, poise, and teamwork make Stockton’s career 13.1 assists per game and Malone’s 25.0 points per game no accident.
They played old school, fundamental basketball that has yet to be reproduced. In the age of free agency and flashy dunks, its hard to imagine another 1-2 punch like these guys.
1. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
You don’t win five champions in nine years without two of the game’s all time legends. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson lead the Showtime Lakers with a methodical and consistent ability to run the other team out of the gym.
Johnson’s no look, behind the back passes and Abdul-Jabbar’s patented sky hook made the duo the all time leading scorer and all time assists per game leader respectively, in league history.
Don’t think they are number one....just ask Larry Bird.