James, Wade, Bosh hardly first ‘Big Three’
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
When LeBron James was asked during his 2010 TV special about forming a super team in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he pointed to history as a reason for why he decided to join the Heat and why he thought the formula would work.
“This is a league where you become a superstar individually but you become a champion as a team, and I understand that, I know the history of the game,” James said confidently.
“Since 1980 you look at all the teams that won — the Lakers teams, the Pistons teams, the Bulls teams, the Spurs teams, the Celtics teams. … When Magic (Johnson) played, he had Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and (James) Worthy. When (Larry) Bird played, he had Dennis Johnson and Kevin McHale and also Robert Parish. And (Michael) Jordan was great. He also had (Scottie) Pippen and he had Horace Grant.”
James went on to say that teams are not built with two or three players. However, with three superstars on a then-bare roster, three was the number that stood out like red wine on a white carpet.
Hence, the “Big Three” was reborn in Miami.
Throughout NBA history, some of the greatest teams to win championships have strikingly followed the three-star system.
The names of the most popular trios roll off the tongue with ease for basketball fans. Most recently before the Heat it was the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
“I think the biggest thing with a Big Three is you have to throw your egos out and buy in, but you also have to have one main catalyst,” Magic Johnson told USA TODAY Sports.
“Larry was that player for the Celtics, I was that for the Lakers, and I think we saw LeBron become that for the Heat. That was the biggest difference to me that helped them win the title.”
James, Wade and Bosh spearheaded Miami to its first title as a threesome by defeating another Big Three in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
“I think because of salary-cap restrictions we’re starting to see these Big Threes, these … [For more on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh hardly first 'Big Three', click here.]