Greatest NBA Trios of All Time

Marcel SmithSenior Analyst IOctober 26, 2008

10. Jerry West/Wilt Chamberlain/Gail Goodrich (Lakers)

West, Chamberlain, and Goodrich played with each other for only three seasons in the early 1970s. However, they were dominant for those three seasons, as they advanced to the Finals each season, winning in 1972. They had arguably the greatest season ever in 1971-72, as they won a then-record 69 games and had a still-record 33-game winning streak.

9. Moses Malone/Julius Erving/Mo Cheeks (76ers)

Malone, Dr. J, and Cheeks played with each other for four seasons in the '80s. They were fantastic together—Cheeks was the distributor, Erving was the perimeter scorer, and Moses was the inside presence. They won one championship together in the 1982-83 season, when they totally dominated in the playoffs, only losing one game.

8. Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O'Neal/Derek Fisher (Lakers)

Kobe, Shaq and Fisher played with each other for eight seasons, from the mid-'90s until the early 2000s. Together, they won three consecutive championships and advanced to the Finals once more. At the time of their dominance, Kobe and Shaq were the two best players in the league, and Fisher was a great role player, who was a great outside shooter and leader.

7. Isiah Thomas/Joe Dumars/Bill Laimbeer (Pistons)

Isiah, Dumars and Laimbeer played with each other for eight seasons, from the mid-'80s until the early '90s. Isiah and Dumars provided one of the greatest backcourts of all time, and Laimbeer was a good big man who was a four-time All-Star. Together, they won back-to-back championships in the late '80s.

6. Tim Duncan/Manu Ginobili/Tony Parker (Spurs)

Duncan, Ginobili and Parker have been the best trio in the last decade. They have won three championships together. Duncan has been the man inside, Ginobili is a great all-around perimeter player, and Parker has been a high-scoring point guard who is fantastic at getting in the lane and creating.

5. Walt Frazier/Willis Reed/Dave DeBusschere (Knicks)

Frazier, DeBusschere and Reed are one of the most underrated trios ever. Together, they won two championships in the early '70s. Frazier was the great point guard, DeBusschere was the great forward,, and Reed was the great center. All three of them have made the Hall of Fame, and all are one of their greatest at their position.

4. Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen/Dennis Rodman (Bulls)

Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman played with each other for three seasons. They won the championship in all three seasons, as Jordan and Pippen captured their second three-peat. Jordan and Pippen were the great offensive and defensive perimeter players, and Rodman was a great defensive and rebounding machine inside.

3. Larry Bird/Kevin McHale/Robert Parrish (Celtics)

Bird, McHale, and Parrish formed the greatest frontcourt of all time—without a doubt. They were dominant during the '80s.  Bird was the small forward, McHale was the power forward, and Parrish was the center. Together, they won three championships and advanced to the Finals two other times. All three of them made it to the Hall of Fame.

2. Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul Jabbar/James Worthy (Lakers)

Magic, Kareemm and Worthy formed the most entertaining and exciting teams of all time—the Showtime Lakers of the '80s. Together, they won three championships (Kareem and Magic had won two prior to Worthy arriving) in the late '80s.  Magic was the great lead guard, Worthy was the fantastic quick forward who was a great finisher, and Kareem was the inside presence in the halfcourt.

1. Bill Russell/Bob Cousy/John Havlicek (Celtics)

Russell, Cousy and Havlicek dominated the late '50s and early '60s. Together, they won six championships. (Russell won 11 total, Cousy won eight total, and Havlicek also won eight total.)  Russell was the anchor of the defense inside, Cousy was the great point guard, and Havlicek was the great all-around forward who was stellar at both ends of the court.


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