By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor
With the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in August, many NBA observers automatically installed L.A. as favorites to win the league title. After all, how can an All-Star triumvirate of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis possibly be stopped?
Well as of today, the mighty Lakers are a mere 18-18 on the season.
The NBA has had superstar trios in the past, and not all of them were successful. The Los Angeles Lakers of the early 1970s had Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor – but L.A. didn’t win the championship until Baylor retired. And then there were the Houston teams featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen, three hoops legends who, sadly, were on the downside of their careers. Remember when the Lakers had Shaq, Kobe, Karl Malone and Gary Payton? How about Kobe, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash?
“Super teams” don’t always pan out. But some do.
Here are my Top 7 super trios, in ascending order. Each of the trios has won at least one NBA title together.
7. KEVIN GARNETT, PAUL PIERCE, RAY ALLEN: Won one NBA championship (2008).
6. MOSES MALONE, JULIUS ERVING, ANDREW TONEY: Won one NBA championship (1983).
5. KEVIN DURANT, STEPH CURRY, KLAY THOMPSON: Won two NBA championships (2017, 2018).
4. LARRY BIRD, KEVIN McHALE, ROBERT PARISH: Won three NBA championships (1981, 1984, 1986).
3. LEBRON JAMES, DWYANE WADE, CHRIS BOSH: Won two NBA championships (2012, 2013).
2. MAGIC JOHNSON, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, JAMES WORTHY: Won three NBA championships (1985, 1987, 1988).
1. MICHAEL JORDAN, SCOTTIE PIPPEN, DENNIS RODMAN: Won three NBA championships (1996, 1997, 1998).