18. LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan
The longest tenured member of this Big 3 is actually center DeAndre Jordan who was drafted by the Clippers in 2008. They then drafted forward Blake Griffin with the #1 pick in 2009 and acquired guard Chris Paul from the Hornets in 2011. The team hasn’t been able to reach the NBA Finals with other great teams in the West including the Warriors and Spurs. These three are still a great trio even if they don’t win any rings. Paul is a nine time All-Star and has led the league in assists four times and in steals six times. Griffin is a five time All-Star who has been injury prone, and Jordan made his first All-Star team in 2017 and has led the league in rebounding twice.
17. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy
The Lakers have basically had three different Big 3s that could rank near the top of this category. The runners up are the trios of Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor as well as the Big 3 of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and anybody that was lucky enough to play with them. The winners are Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worth who played together from 1982 to 1989, winning three NBA Championships in six NBA Finals appearances. Magic and Kareem won two other titles together before Worthy was added, and Abdul-Jabbar won his first ring with the Milwaukee Bucks. Johnson was a three time NBA MVP and also a three time NBA Finals MVP. Kareem was a six time MVP and a 19 time All-Star while worth was a seven time All-Star and one time NBA Finals MVP.
16. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley
The Grizzlies haven’t been around very long, but this trio has been together in Memphis since 2009. Point guard Mike Conley was drafted #4 overall by the Grizz in 2007 and center Marc Gasol joined the team in 2008, with forward Zach Randolph being added in 2009. In 2013 they reached the Western Conference Finals where they were swept by the Spurs. They have been a playoff team almost every year but haven’t won anything. Gasol was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and both he and Conley were named to the All-Defensive Second Team the same year. If this core can stick together for a few more season and add another key piece they have a shot, but still have to get by the top teams in the West.
15. MIAMI HEAT
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh
Even though they weren’t the original Big 3, they may have been the first to coin the term. This Big 3 was also the most storied, and started with LeBron’s “decision” to bring his talents to South Beach. He joined his friend Dwyane Wade. The trio was mocked for their promises of “not one, not two, not three…” but ended up winning back to back NBA Championships and reaching the NBA Finals four seasons in a row. These three were selected to the All-Star Game nine times together. Even though James went back to Cleveland in 2014, the Big 3 wouldn’t have lasted much longer due to Bosh’s health conditions. This Big 3 is also the only trio to win an NBA Championship and a Gold medal together.
14. MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge
Just a few years after the Milwaukee Bucks were formed, they won the NBA Championship in a four game sweep over the Baltimore Bullets. The team was led by two all-time greats, center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and point guard Oscar Robertson. Kareem was also in the greatest Big 3 for the Los Angeles Lakers with Magic Johnson and James Worthy. The “Big O” won the MVP award in 1964 and was a 12 time All-Star and three time All-Star Game MVP. He led the league in assists six times and is considered one of the best of all time. That duo was joined by Bob Dandridge, who also won a title in 1978 with the Bullets. He was a four time All-Star who was known for his defense.
13. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell
Big man Kevin Garnett was the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise for many years, and deservedly so. He didn’t win an NBA Championship until he went to the Boston Celtics, but the “Big Ticket” was a 15 time All-Star and was the NBA’s MVP in 2004. He was known for his defensive and led the league in rebounding for four consecutive seasons. From 2003 to 2005 he was joined by Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell to form Minnesota’s best Big 3. Sprewell was a four time All-Star and was also known for his defense, while journeyman Sam Cassell was a three time NBA Champion, winning two others with the Houston Rockets. Minnesota has gone through some lean years, but soon could have another great Big 3 if they can find one more piece in addition to Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.