There have been many great big-threes in NBA history. Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman. Johnson, Worthy, and Abdul-Jabbar. James, Wade, and Bosh. Russell, Havlicek, and Jones. The list goes on and on.
However, until Friday night, the winningest big three of all-time remained Celtics greats: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish, who won 540 games and three NBA titles together. Their record has stood for well over 20 years, but after tying the record Friday night, the Spurs’ trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parkerpassed them with their 541st win together on Sunday. Fittingly, they did so while playing in Boston against the Celtics.
The trio have been playing together since Ginobili came into the league in the 2002-2003 season. Over that time they have never won fewer than 50 games (including in the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season), have never missed the postseason, and have won four NBA championships together. They’re also capable of the most adorable pranks and non-pranks, ever.
Arguments could be had for days about whether or not they make up the “greatest” big three of all time, but you can’t argue with statistics, and assuming the Spurs win at least their usual 50 games this season, they will be nearing the 600 victory mark by the time Duncan and Ginobili presumably retire at the end of the season.
What makes it even better for San Antonio fans is that they already have a new big three set up for the foreseeable future, with Parker sliding in with the next era of great Spurs in Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.