NBA

Harden, Durant and Irving together... what are the greatest NBA 'Big Threes'?

With the Brooklyn Nets reportedly poised to acquire Houston Rockets star James Harden in a blockbuster deal, we look at some of the great NBA trios over time.

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Harden, Durant and Irving together... what are the greatest NBA 'Big Threes'?

ESPN reported that Brooklyn Nets are reportedly close to acquiring Houston Rockets star James Harden in a blockbuster deal. They claim that eight-time All-Star Harden was joining the Nets in a deal also including the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The report said Caris LeVert, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs and four first-round picks – and four Nets pick swaps – were heading to Houston.

The Rockets are reportedly sending LeVert to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Victor Oladipo.

Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince are said to be joining the Cavs.

The move would see the disgruntled Harden reunite with Kevin Durant and team up with Kyrie Irving and ensure that Brooklyn would boast one of the most powerful trio's in NBA. 

Dominant trios in NBA history

With the Nets set to bolster their roster with the acquisition of Harden, we look at some of the most imperious trios in NBA history.

1) Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen/Dennis Rodman (Chicago Bulls)

In his time with the Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan won an incredible six championship rings in eight years from 1991-1998, scooping up five MVP awards in the process. 'Air' Jordan is one of just a handful of superstars who have truly transcended their sports and considered by many as the best basketball player of all time. 

The recent ESPN/Neflix, 'The Last Dance' documentary wonderfully portrayed the dynamic at the Bulls during this time and showed the importance of Jordan's supply outlet with both the defensive brilliance of Rodman and perfect compliment in Pippen.

FILER OF BULLS JORDAN PIPPEN AND RODMANBulls Dennis Rodman (L) Michael Jordan (C) and Scottie Pippen hold up their NBA Championship trophies at a victory rally in this June 16, 1997 file photo. The Bulls, winners of the last three NBA titles, will be without their big three players this year as Jordan has retired, Rodman has shown unwillingness to play this year and Pippen is reportedly involved in trade talks with Houston. rc/Photo by Sue Ogrocki REUTERS

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

Led by Magic Johnson's passing skills and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's scoring, the team relied on fast breaks and won five NBA championships between 1979-91Johnson said at the time that the most amazing aspect of joining the Lakers was the chance to play alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the team's 7 ft 2 in center who went on to become the leading scorer in NBA history.

'Big Game James' Worthy complimented the 'Showtime Lakers' and Magic and Kareem to perfection and was a member of three NBA championship teams with the Los Angeles Lakers (1985, ’87, ’88). Worthy’s career postseason averages of 21.1 points and 5.2 rebounds were higher than his regular-season averages'

3 )Tim Duncan/Manu Ginobili/Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

When used in an NBA context, the term, 'Big Three' invariably focuses on this San Antonio trio with Duncan, Ginoblli and Parker playing together for the Spurs from 2002 through to 2016. In that time, the trio steered the San Antonio franchise to three NBA Championships (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014). In their time together the Spurs won 545 regular season games with 126 wins coming in post- season. 

495643449JG5666_G5_FinalsSAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: Manu Ginobili #20, Tony Parker #9, and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate with the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Miami Heat to win the 2014 NBA Finals in Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals on June 15, 2014 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

4) Stephen Curry/Kevin Durant/Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)

In the three seasons that this trio played together, they took the Warriors to the NBA Finals three times winning the title twice being pitted against Cleveland Cavaliers.

Curry’s range is incredible shooter and remains so to this day and with some of the top two point scorers of all-time (Curry, Thompson) partnered by Durant, the trio were unstoppable for Golden State with the 2017 and 2018 featuring some sublime from the then Oakland based franchise before their move to downtown San Francisco. 

693602612CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 07: Stephen Curry #30, Kevin Durant #35 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors react against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.

5) Larry Bird/Kevin McHale/Robert Parish (Boston Celtics)

Bird, Parish and Kevin McHale played together from 1980-81 to 1991-92 and for all Celtics fans, are the definitive 'Big Three' when it comes to the Boston franchise with the Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trio coming a close second.

The group secured three championships in the 1980s during one of the most competitive eras with the likes of Detroit Pistons, Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers forces to be reckoned with at the time. 

1706669AB_DNA007615031DALLAS - 1986: Larry Bird #33 of the Boston Celtics poses with (L) Robert Parish and (R) Kevin McHale along with his coaches (L-R) Jimmy Rogers, K.C. Jones, and Chris Ford during the 1986 NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas, Texas.