Subway Top 6 NBA Combos
Magic Johnson – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Together Magic and Kareem would win five NBA Championships in the 1980's and reach the Finals an astounding eight times in the ten seasons between 1979-90 and 1988-89. No longer in his prime, Abdul-Jabbar’s Hall of Fame career received new life with the addition of Johnson to the Lakers in 1979. One of their many highlights included the Lakers 1984-85 championship victory over the hated Boston Celtics. A 38 year-old Abdul-Jabbar would tally 38 points and 17 rebounds in Game 2 followed by a ridiculous 36-point performance in Game 5. Johnson averaged 18.3 points, 14 assists and 6.8 rebounds in the series.
Michael Jordan – Scottie Pippen
While many dynamic duos have come and gone over the years, few, if any can compare to the combination of Jordan and Pippen in Chicago. His Airness is the undisputed best baller of all time. Pippen was no slouch either, as the versatile forward was a force on both ends of the court on his way to a Hall of Fame career of his own. Together, they won six championships in eight seasons between 1990-91 and 1997-98, completing two three-peats and helping the Bulls win an NBA record 72 games in the 1995-96 season.
Kobe Bryant – Shaquille O’Neal
It’s arguably the most acrimonious relationship in NBA history. Shaq and Kobe did what the legendary Lakers teams of the past couldn’t – becoming only the fourth team in NBA history to win three or more consecutive championships. Their on court relationship was never rosy. Kobe wasn’t quiet about his concerns regarding Shaq’s lack of commitment to getting in shape. O’Neal believed Kobe’s selfishness held the team back - Shaq’s step-father once yelled at Kobe to pass the ball during a game. No matter how much they hated each other, Shaq and Kobe rank as one of the best duo’s of all time.
Karl Malone – John Stockton
They came together to form arguably the best pick-and-roll combination in NBA history. Stockton, one of the game’s greatest passers, and Malone, one of the game’s greatest power forwards. The numbers speak for themselves, as Stockton remains the NBA’s all-time assist leader, with 3964 more assists than anyone else in league history. Malone sits No. 2 on the all-time scoring list, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That they never reached the summit and won a championship together in Utah unfortunately defines their legacies to some, but in 16 seasons together, they never missed out on the post-season, and advanced past the first round nine times.
Bill Russell – Bob Cousy
They set the benchmark for those who followed. Bob Cousy, the floor general on offence, paired with the defensive beast that was Bill Russell, formed one of the NBA’s all-time greatest partnerships. Cousy would lead the league in assists for eight consecutive seasons and together they would win six NBA titles before the legendary point guard retired. Russell would win five MVP titles and 11 NBA championships to round out an unbelievable career.
Tim Duncan – David Robinson
They were together only for the last six seasons of Robinson’s career, but The Admiral and The Big Fundamental made the most of the time they did play side by side. With Duncan emerging into the greatest power forward of all time and Robinson still providing more than adequate quality as he rode off into the sunset, the Spurs combo came to be known as the “Twin Towers” while giving birth to a San Antonio dynasty. In their six seasons together, the Spurs won two championships, qualified for the playoffs each season and won at least one playoff series in five out of six years, with Duncan capturing two MVP awards and two Finals MVP awards during that time.