The Boston Celtics’ triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen was not the first Big Three. Just ask Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.
The Miami Heat triumvirate of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is not the most successful Big Three. Just ask Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.
But now that James is having fun with his friends in South Beach, it seems that every team “needs” a Big Three of its own.
The Knicks want Chris Paul to come play with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. The Nets want Dwight Howard to go along with the Besiktas legend Deron Williams. Since Brook Lopez would be sent to Orlando in that deal, the third wheel would be presumably be Sundiata Gaines.
But when compiling lists of Big Threes, these teams just aren’t having enough fun.
For instance, a truly big Big Three would be Gheorghe Muresan, Shawn Bradley and Yao Ming, the three tallest living N.B.A. players.
Listed weights are rarely accurate, but you could do worse than a Big Three of Shaquille O’Neal, Oliver Miller and Eddy Curry (though Miller’s recent legal troubles would make this group a bit difficult to sign).
You could even bring in the reality television crowd with a Big Three of Kris Humphries, Lamar Odom and Doug Christie.
The important thing is to remember that all successful basketball team planning should come by first forming a group of three superstars. After all, it is not the 2010-11 season anymore, when a rag-tag group of one superstar (Dirk Nowitzki), one cagey veteran (Jason Kidd) and a bunch of solid players could win it all. Those were the days. (Benjamin Hoffman, NYTSYN)