Every NBA Team’s Best “Big 3” Of All Time


Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Jrue Holiday

Chris Paul may be the best player in the history of the New Orleans Pelicans, but he didn’t play with anyone good enough to be considered a Big 3. The best trio to play in New Orleans was actually just formed in 2017, consisting of big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins paired with point guard Jrue Holiday. Davis was the Pelican’s #1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and Holiday joined the team in 2013. Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings in 2017 and how successful they can become remains to be seen. Davis is a four time All-Star was the game’s MVP in 2017. He has also led the league in blocks twice. “Boogie” cousins is a three time All-Star, and Holiday is the team’s leader in both assists and steals for 2017.


Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed

The New York Knickerbockers have seen their share of great and not so great years since they were founded in 1946. Although the trio of Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and John Starks was pretty good in the 90s, the all-time Knicks Big 3 includes point guard Walt Frazier, guard Earl Monroe, and big man Willis Reed. Reed was drafted #8 overall by the Knicks in 1964 and Frazier was selected #5 overall in the 1967 NBA Draft. Monroe was picked #2 that same year by the Baltimore Bullets, and joined the Knicks in 1971. Frazier and Reed won their first NBA championship in 1970, and won their second with Monroe in 1973. Reed and Frazier were both seven time All-Stars and Monroe earned that designation four times.


Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a really good thing going from 2009 to 2012, when the Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden all played together. In their final season together, the Thunder reached the NBA Finals where they lost to the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. At the time these guys were playing together in OKC, they were recognized for their talents but it seems like they each became greater after they all broke up. Westbrook is the only one who stayed with the Thunder, as Harden joined the Rockets in 2012 and Durant went to Golden State in 2016. Now that they are all separated, all three of these guys are legitimate MVP candidates which goes to show that they could have gone down as one of the best Big 3s of all-time.


Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Horace Grant

The Orlando Magic didn’t have to wait long to be a good team after they were founded in 1989. Over the years they have had some great players including Dwight Howard and Tracy McGrady, but their all-time Big 3 is made up of center Shaquille O’Neal, guard Penny Hardaway, and big man Horace Grant. They played together from 1994 to 1996 and reached the NBA Finals in 1995. We all know that Shaq was a dominant player and one of the best bigs of all time, but some remember Penny Hardaway best for his “Little Penny” commercials. Hardaway was a four time All-Star and his number was retired by the Magic. Grant is best known for winning four titles with the Chicago Bulls, but he didn’t crack their Big 3 with Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman.


Moses Malone, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks

Young NBA fans may not realize that the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the successful NBA teams in history, winning championships in 1955, 1967, and 1983, and reaching the NBA Finals six other times. The Sixers had a great trio in Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, and Andre Iguodala, and of course Charles Barkley is one of their best players of all time, although he didn’t play with enough other talented players. That makes the best 76ers Big 3 of all-time Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Maurice Cheeks. This trio swept the Lakers in the 1983 NBA Finals after losing to them the year before. “Dr. J” was a four time MVP and won three championships counting the ABA as well. Malone was a three time NBA MVP and Mo Cheeks was a four time All-Star and four time All-Defensive First Team selection before becoming a coach.


Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle

The Phoenix Suns have had a lot of winning seasons, but have never won an NBA championship and only reached the NBA Finals twice. Although the trio of Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion played very well together, they aren’t quite the best Big 3 the Suns have ever had. The Big 3 of Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, and Dan Majerle played together in Phoenix from 1992 to 1995 and reached the NBA Finals in 1993, losing to Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman’s Chicago Bulls. Barkley is remembered for his time in Philadelphia and Phoenix and was an 11 time All-Star and won the MVP the year he reached the finals. KJ was a three time All-Star who went on to become Mayor of Sacramento from 2008 to 2016. Majerle was known for his long range accuracy and was a three time All-Star.


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