Okay, so maybe Righteous Kill wasn’t the greatest movie. It was generic. It was boring. And it was interesting for perhaps the first 30 minutes in the theatre. Then I had an epiphany: wait, this isn’t going to be Heat. It DEFINITELY isn’t going to be The Godfather, Part II either. I guess my expectations were just a little too high. Who cares if it isn’t a classic? That’s not exactly the worst thing you can say about a flick. But when Robert De Niro and Al Pacino get together on a movie (I’m counting the second Godfather, even though it doesn’t completely work here, only because it was such an ill film), that’s what I expect.
De Niro and Pacino can make any movie watchable just off their sheer individual brilliance. But when they come together? Wooooooo. That combination almost never misses the mark.
It’s become sort of a fad to bash players nowadays for winning only when they get some help. But what’s wrong with that? Almost every iconic moment from the NBA’s history involves some type of duo. Russell and Auerbach. Kareem and Magic. Rodman and the Spurs (not). Scottie and Michael. Kobe and Shaq.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook cause havoc not just because of their talent but for the way they complement each other. One is a shooter. The other, an athlete. One is a guard. The other, a forward. The one thing that sets them apart is they are both young. Really young. To be able to win and lead Oklahoma City at such young ages is remarkable, and it elevates everything about them. Their image. Their expectations. We know they’re great, but they could be gruesome in a few years.
What they could be only adds to what they are, and what they are is really freaking good. Good enough that we put them on the cover of Issue #64, deeming them “the NBA’s Best Duo Since Shaq & Kobe.” We think they are the best one-two punch in the league right now, and still have miles of potential to climb to reach their apex. But where do they stand with the greatest duos in NBA history?
Do the best duos have to win? Can they be the best even if they’re more about style than substance? Do the best duos just score the most, or is it all about how they complement each other? Did Kemp & GP make the best pair ever…just because they connected on the best alley-oops? All interesting questions. As for me, I gotta get back to watching my favorite duo ever, preferably in something other than Righteous Kill.
Who is the best one-two punch in NBA history and why? Think it through because the best answers will be printed in the next issue of Dime.
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