On July 10th of this year, the Cleveland Cavaliers had only Kyrie Irving as the centerpiece of their starting lineup. Less than two months later, the addition of both LeBron James and Kevin Love vaulted the trio into discussions about whether or not they might rank among the best Big Threes in NBA history.
While they certainly have the potential to stake their claim to this lofty area in the years ahead, there are other trios that, for the time being anyway, rank above them.
One omission on the list is the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant led Lakers team that paced the three-year run of titles from 2000-02. The reason is they never had (or likely needed) another great player to earn those titles. Plus, their NBA Finals opponents consisted of the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets.
Still, the possibilities James, Love and Irving offer earn them a spot among this top 10 list of Big Threes:
10. Los Angeles Lakers (Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor)
West and Baylor had been mainstays in the Laker lineup for years when Chamberlain arrived in 1968. Despite this incredible core of players, the best they could do was two Game 7 losses in the NBA Finals before Baylor was forced to retire just as the 1971-72 was revving up for a 69-13 regular season and an NBA title.