Which “Big Three” has won the most Championships in NBA History?
The Golden State Warriors can make history if they win this year’s NBA Title. Their Big Three have three titles already and are looking to make it four.
When we think of Big Threes in the NBA most fans are taken back to the Miami Heat trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade. Or maybe you think of the current dynasty, the Golden State Warriors, reeking havoc on the league for the last eight years. But Big Three’s have been around for decades. Here is the list of the top trios that went on to win the title.
To spare any controversy, we are not listing who we think is the best Big Three ever. Instead we are going to list them by amount of trophies won during the span of each team’s Big Three
(Seven Titles from 1958-1965) Bill Russell, Sam Jones and Tom Heinsohn
We said best wouldn’t come into the equation in this article, but this was statically the best trio team in NBA history. Under Red Auerbach the trio were unstoppable. They did something that no team had done, or have done since by winning seven straight titles. Heinsohn retired after the ‘65 season but the Celtics would got on to win three more titles to give Bill Russell a total of 11.
San Antonio Spurs (four titles from 2002-2014) Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli
This trio, while maybe not the winningest in the history of the NBA, go down in in the record books for their longevity. Duncan, Parker and Ginobli played 14 seasons together under head coach Gregg Popovic playing old school fundamental basketball. It is the first trio that featured a majority of foreign players, as the Spurs dominated the West for the better part of a decade. They won three titles in five years from 2002-2007. They would have to wait another seven years before lifting the title again. The 2014 title would be the last one the Spurs won and two years later Tim Duncan decided to retire after 19 seasons in the NBA.
(Three titles from 1993-1998) Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Tony Kucoc
We need no introduction for our next team. They were the team that boomed basketball into a global sport while sweeping through the competition with Michael Jordan’s broom. The Bulls won six in total, but we won’t count the first three as Tony Kucoc wasn’t in Chicago yet. Pippen and No. 23 won two in a row before Jordan walked away from the game of basketball after the 1993 season. He wasted no time taking the Bulls back to the promise land for for another coming back for the ‘95-96 season and winning the next three with one of the most famous trios ever. Jordan retired for the second time and the Bulls dynasty broke apart.
Golden State Warriors
(Three titles from 2014-now) Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green
The Warriors are the most recent Big Three Dynasty to pass through the history books of the NBA, and have a chance to add to that legacy this season. Curry, Klay and Draymond were all drafted by the Warriors in a span of four years. Curry was the first drafted in 2009, followed by Thompson in 2011, and Green was selected out of Michigan State the following year. The Warriors showed signs of potential, but it wasn’t until Steve Kerr took over in the 2013 offseason that the Warriors broke their championship seal in the 2014 Finals. They would go to five straight NBA Finals, and win three of them. All three titles came against LeBron and Cleveland as the Warriors won the first, third and fourth in a span in which they met in the Finals four straight years. Golden State would go on to the Finals the next year but lose to the Toronto Raptors in six games while losing Thompson for what would be the the next two years with back-to-back catastrophic injuries. After two years without a playoff appearance, the Warriors are not only back in the postseason but back in the Finals making it their sixth Finals appearance in eight years joining Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston as the only teams to achieve that feat.
Los Angeles Lakers
(Three titles from 1982-1989) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy
Magic and Kareem had already built up a chemistry that took carried them to two NBA titles in 1980 and a couple years later they brought in James Worthy to and won three titles in four years. They, like the Golden State Warriors, and a couple other teams went to six NBA Finals in eight years. Kareem stuck around for another season after winning it all in ‘88, but the the Lakers got swept by the Pistons in the championship series. That offseason Kareem retired ending the memorable run of the Lakers most successful trio.
(Three titles from 1980-1991) Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Perish
Before Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brunson Boston had one of the best front courts ever assembled. Larry Legend was drafted by the Celtics in 1979 and spent his rookie season without the rest of his soon to be prolific trio. The 1980 offseason was a big one for the Celtics. They drafted Kevin McHale and brought in Robert Parish from Golden State. The front office moves paid immediate dividends and Boston would go on to win the NBA Finals in 1981. They missed out on the Finals in the next two seasons, but would return to the title series four straight years. They won it in ‘84 and ‘86, as three of those four Finals matchups were between their arch rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. Larry Bird would retire a season after winning his third title in a span of a decade and the Celtics wouldn’t return to the Finals until 2008 when they won it all against the Lakers again.
(Two titles 2011-2013) LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh
Perhaps the most famous, and maybe the most hated of the Big Threes is the Miami Heat. While LeBron announced the Heat would win “not one, not two, not three” but more titles in the trio’s introduction to the city. Wade was drafted by Miami in 2003 and already had a title in Miami, while Bosh and James were brought aboard in 2010. The Heat could only hang on to the trio for four years, but they went to the Finals in each of those years. They would lose to the Mavericks in their first season as a super team. They bounced back with back-to-back titles against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the San Antonio Spurs, but the Spurs would get the last laugh when they beat the Heat a year later and the super team crumbled as LeBron returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers.