For every Batman, there’s a Robin. Sidekick and buddy movies are always very popular. Think “Lethal Weapon” or “Toy Story.” Now, former NFL football star Antwon Smith – writing for the website NGSC Sports – has come up with his list of the “Top 10 NBA Duos of All Time.” And yup, the big man is on the list.
NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal makes the list with his former Los Angeles Lakers (who else?) Kobe Bryant. Lead by Shaq and Kobe, the Lakers won the NBA Championship three times in a row back around the turn of the century. By the way, that major feat is something only four teams have done in the entire history of the NBA. More on Shaq and Kobe in a moment… How about the rest of the list?
Not surprisingly – at least not for anyone with even a slight knowledge of NBA history – the list is topped by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls. With Jordan and Pippen topping the playbill, the Bulls won a total of six titles and pretty much completely dominated the NBA through most of the 1990’s. Smith’s article makes a point of the great defense played by the Jordan-led Bulls. He notes the Bulls beat a total of five different teams with eight future Hall of Fame players. Impressive.
Like Shaq and Kobe, the #2 best duo on the list also played for the Lakers. Just set the WayBack Machine a little father back – to the 80’s – for the dominant duo of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Of the 10 NBA finals series played in the 80’s, the Lakers with Magic and Kareem were there eight times. Smith says, “their chemistry was very like no other during the Golden Era of the NBA.”
At #3 are Shaq and Kobe, three-peat winners. In his article, Smith points out that the Lakers might have won even more titles… if O’Neal and Bryant would have been able to patch up their “friendship issues.” They didn’t. Shaq moved on to the Miami Heat, where he won another NBA Championship in 2006.
Entry #4 will require setting that time machine for really, really way back. All the way to the 1950’s! Bob Cousy and Bill Russell guided the Boston Celtics to a total of six NBA titles, extending into the 1960’s. Cousy retired 1963. Bill Russell went on to win an amazing five more titles..for a record total of 11 championships.
Number 5 on the list of all-time best NBA duos is another Boston pair, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale. When Kareem and the Lakers weren’t winning championships in the 80’s, that meant that Bird, McHale and the Celtics were doing the job.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 list, according to Smith’s article:
#6: LeBron James and Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.
#7: Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.
#8: Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (pre-Lakers) of the Milwaukee Bucks.
#9: Karl Malone and John Stockton of the Utah Jazz.
#10: Tim Duncan and David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs.
Honorable Mention to Julius Erving (Doctor J) and Moses Malone of the Philadelphia 76ers.
To see the entire article and vote for your favorites, check it out here: https://ngscsports.com/2019/07/06/top-10-nba-duos/