T O P
IrwinJVincent

The top 3 seems quite undeniable for me. In whatever order, depending on your preference on style, or if you like better two top 10 players vs one goat and one top 30. * Magic & Kareem * Kobe & Shaq * MJ & Pippen After that, it gets trickier for the other two spots. Also, depending on the evaluation about longevity vs peak (and championship success). I'd say you gotta choose between these three: * Steph & KD * Stockton & Malone * LeBron & Wade Also there's others you maybe can consider other of course: * Bird & McHale * Wilt and Jerry * TD & (Admiral?/Parker?/Manu?/Pop?) * Etc* Edit: formatting.


LiteratureOk1869

West-Baylor


lenflakisinski

Stockton and Malone should be a no brainer. Played together for 20 years. Malones points record and Stocktons assist record go hand in hand


mylifeforthehorde

Lol TD could match with any one of those and it would be a solid duo


C0oK1e_Monsta

This is pretty solid and really good arguments. Steph/KD are in tier 1 for me tho. - 2 of the top 13 players of all time. - Greatest team of all time - Basically never lost a championship except because KD tore his Achilles I know that team gets hated on a lot because of KD’s weak move or whatever but they were so good it was the best basketball I’ve ever seen and I watched the 3 peat Lakers


LoudRise858

The idea that KD is a top 13 player of all time lmfaooooo


TheDrFunk

Stockton and Malone?! Are you serious? I get they were competing with Jordan but come on. Also, MJ and Pippen belong in a class of their own. The others should be in the next tier.


doppido

Stockton and Malone literally never had talent around them. They had Mark Eaton early who was the 80's-90's Rudy Gobert but worse on offense Then they had hornacek in the late 90's They made the playoffs every single year of their career with little to no help from anyone else (minus Jerry Sloan) and have the most assists from one player to another in NBA history. Not including them would be the joke Side note: not a big fan of either as people off the court and seriously wouldn't mind seeing the statues come down


patarack

Embiid and Imperial Japan


Tragic-tragedy

HarMussolini erasure


biinroii01

1. Kelly Olynyk & Lauri Markkanen 2. Bol Bol & Paolo Banchero 3. Kevin Huerter & Domantas Sabonis 4. Kyle Kuzma & Kristaps Porzingis 5. Quentin Grimes & Jericho Sims


PuljuBulju

1. Magic and Kareem 2. Jordan and Pippen 3. Shaq and Kobe 4. Curry and KD 5. Malone and Stockton I think Kareem/Magic is the best duo of all time because they were both top 10 players of all time and also super accomplished together


Supreme_God_Bunny

I can easily see someone putting MJ and pippen above them just because of how much of a tandom they was, They was the perfect mix of offense and defense and no matter who got guarded by them it was gonna be a tough battle indeed, Also they do have 1 more ring as a duo


PuljuBulju

Yeah but it's 1 more ring vs 3 more finals appearances and Pippen wasn't a player who could win a title as the main guy


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Who says Magic could either if his team wasn't disgustingly stacked. Seems kind of like an arbitrary argument anyways, considering winning as the main guy and being a duo aren't evaluating the same thing at all.


PuljuBulju

I have more faith in Magic winning one as the best player over Scottie Pippen lol. I am evaluating player quality and accomplishments, sure they won 1 fewer title but I think they are the better two players pretty easily. Again two top 5-7 all time players vs the GOAT and a top 40 player Jordan played on stacked teams too, he started to win when his team was good enough for him to pass out of double teams


Supreme_God_Bunny

His team's wernt stacked like the lakers or Celtics lol he just had a good team built around him and only 3 of his teammates made All-Star and 2 of them was when he left in 93-94


PuljuBulju

Are you shitting me they were totally stacked and filled with tons of clutch role players, who gives a fuck about them making the all star game


PAWG-S0TH0TH

To be fair, like 3 players have won a championship "by themselves" in the last 50ish years of bball? Dirk, Hakeem and Giannis (and that one is debatable, khris is a baller fo sho). And yes, Magic is more likely, but that shouldn't be relevant to the context of a duo's accomplishments, which is the metric OP stated we should use. And yes, Jordan's team was stacked. But that's like saying the 18-19 raptors and warriors were both stacked. There's levels... but those Lakers teams were all-star squads.


PuljuBulju

Dirk and Hakeem were the best players on their team but they were loaded with shooters surrounding them. The coaches figured out a winning formula ahead of their times. But the only thing OP said was "The five pairs of players that have accomplished the most together given context and other factors, and in what order?" I don't think the 1 title should overrule the fact that Magic/Kareem are objectively two better players who won several league MVPs and finals MVPs. The Lakers had to play a super team with several hall of famers in multiple finals and the 90s Bulls were going to come out of the East anyway


mkk4

Edit: The Sixers were a super team too imo because 4 of their top 5 leaders in mpg for that team were Hall of Fame players with two of those players winning a total 4 NBA MVP's and 3 ABA MVP's.


PuljuBulju

The Pistons were also stacked as fuck too. It is true that the Bulls 100% had harder opponents leading up to it in their conference but the Lakers had harder finals opponents with the early to mid 80s Celtics, sixers, bad boy pistons, then the Bulls with Worthy being hurt


mkk4

I agree, and as the biggest Pistons fan in the world growing up in Michigan our best Pistons team was the team that lost in the 1988 Finals to the Lakers because it still had both Adrian Dantley and Rick Mahorn.on the team and Isiah was still in his prime as a scorer.


PAWG-S0TH0TH

I mean, the Dirk and Hakeem thing only emphasizes the point i was making about winning as "the guy" being irrelevant? Weird you'd argue against yourself... seems a bit like you're focusing on being right in general as opposed to the topic at hand. Personally, I find that regular-season success, even with awards, becomes noise when the sheer pressure of a dynasty kicks in. It's valid to say they're greater, but based on my own heuristics, I just see Jordan and Pippen as the ideal duo, because you have 6/6, pure dominance and the best \#1 option and probably best \#2 (NOT 1A 1B) of all-time. Agree to disagree, I suppose.


PuljuBulju

Nah it emphasizes that they were able to win as the central player to championship winning teams because they are top 25 players of all time. I'm making the specific argument that 99% of people would choose both Magic and Kareem to build a franchise around over Scottie Pippen, when they are on the same team you can rely on one of them to take over a finals series for example. Pippen was definitely a franchise player but I don't think he's on that level even in comparison to his contemporaries (Hakeem, Malone, Barkley, Shaq etc..). There's context in 6>5 considering they had to play top 10 of all time Celtics teams in the finals, the Bulls were the favorite in every final they played because talent was more spread out in the league and they had both MJ/Pippen on amazing contracts that helped the cap tremendously. The showtime Lakers also made it to 3 more finals which is more valuable than not making them at all TLDR: I attribute 6/6 more to Jordan than the strength of the Jordan/Pippen duo while you can point to Magic/Kareem both having their crucial moments in their own finals


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Hmm. I think talent has an exponential value in heuristical terms in the NBA. Or in other words, talent scales multiplicatively as opposed to additionally. The law I use for the Finals is that the best player, wins. It is basically almost always true, like 90% of the time. Take the last years for instance: curry, giannis, lebron, kawhi, kd, maybe lebron but still prob kd, lebron (only lost cuz injuries cucked), lebron (ya idk man, timmy d+pop effect). Like even when it fails, there's a big asterisk. For mostly that reason, I value talent extremely heavily. And this could be a topic for another post, but I personally just think MJ is a step-above Kareem. Esp as a guard, he naturally has the ball more. I'm going to use an analogy, hopefully you play video games. Okay, take a 2v2 (yes bball is 5v5, but the top 3 do 80% of the lifting) situation and you have 3 roles. Tank, damage, sup. Basically game theory, if you're familiar. You have two damage characters with some support or a tank and the highest damage character. Naturally, if played correctly, the tank+dmg would win. Not sure if that makes them greater, but it does make them better if you think of scottie being the ultimate unlocker of Jordan's potential. And the greatest talent *usually* wins. Side-note, but I really wonder about Klay and Scottie. They perfectly adapted to be \#2 options, but I wonder what could have been if they were forced to be the guy, considering they're so adaptable.


Environmental-Egg985

Pippen certainly could win a title as the main guy. This is revisionist and absolutely delusion, Pippen was 2nd in MVP voting the year after MJ left. Pippen was a top 5 player in the league during his prime.


fuckitiroastedyou

>Pippen certainly could win a title as the main guy. This is revisionist and absolutely delusion, *Pippen was 2nd in MVP voting the year after MJ left.* Pippen was a top 5 player in the league during his prime. They also lost in the second round.


Environmental-Egg985

so 1 year where he massively over achieved and kept the same regular season record despite the goat leaving is a negative on his record. SMH


fuckitiroastedyou

Not a negative at all, just not as big a positive as you make it out to be


porkchop487

> Pippen was a top 5 player in the league during his prime. No he wasn't. He was 3rd in MVP voting because he exceeded expectations the first year Jordan was gone. It was similar to how Westbrook won MVP due to exceeding expectations when Durant left despite clearly not being the actual best player in the league. The next year he had dropped down to 7th. Prime Pip was on the higher end of top 10 in the league in his prime, behind MJ, Barkley, Hakeem, Shaq, Malone, David Robinson, Ewing, etc. While on the other hand Magic wasn't just top 5 in the leauge, he's arguably top 5 all time


Environmental-Egg985

Lol Westbrook didn't win MVP because he exceeded expectations, he won because he was inarguably a top 2 player in the league and averaged a freaking triple double over a year. You are delusional.


porkchop487

Lebron Harden Curry and KD were all better lol. Inarguably top 2 my ass


Environmental-Egg985

Disagree and so does virtually every puntdit from Zach Lowe to Bill Simmons, but either way, those are all clearly players that can lead a team to a championship. If you are a top 5-7 player in the league then you can be a best player on a championship team, which it is clear Pippen was.


porkchop487

Except Pippen wasn’t. I already named 7 players better than him.


Environmental-Egg985

A vast majority people consider him a top 30ish player all time, he has more rings then every player you listed, the only years in his prime he wasn't playing with the goat he finished 3rd and 7th in MVP voting. And you don't think he could lead a team to a championship lol Chauncy Billups led the pistons to a championship.


adirtybubble

what the hell are you talking about. Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons absolutely never had Westbrook as a top 2 player? I can't tell if im missing a joke or something.


Environmental-Egg985

top 2 player that season, reread the comments. and they both had him in their top of 2 of MVP that season.


adirtybubble

inarguably is an insane take. It was very rare to find anyone oustide of Oklahoma that thought he was a top 2 player. 90% of fans had LeBron, KD and Curry clearly in a tier above him.


Environmental-Egg985

They both had him in their top 2 for MVP that season


adirtybubble

Bro that’s not the same thing as being a top 2 player in the league. The vast majority thinks Giannis is the best player in the league right now but didn’t vote him MVP. Nobody thought Rose was the best player in the league. Also Lowe voted Russ 3rd and obviously thought Lebron, Curry and KD were better players.


Important-Shallot131

Maybe he could have. He really only had one chance. I dont think his tenure on the Rockets or blazers count due to age (his and others).


ColdPressedSteak

Incredibly hard perimeter to get by when MJ wanted to lock down on defense with Pippen. I think I have them tops Kobe/Shaq peak has an argument if just by offensive peak and not accomplishments/longevity


markmyredd

If Kobe and Shaq got along and stayed together until around '06 or '07 when Shaq started his decline they would definitely be top. Their time in the 90s Kobe was just too young yet


SquimJim

I think the top 3 are right. 4 and after are harder imo. I feel like Lebron + Wade deserve a spot somewhere up there considering they won multiple times together.


Background-Sir5324

They don’t. They’re not even over bird/Mchale


SquimJim

I wouldn't put Steph + KD ahead of Bird/McHale either


rbc1980

These are the top 5 for sure. I’d only move Jordan and pip to the 1 spot and Stockton and Malone to the 4 spot. Their 20 years together and two finals appearances against MJ got to count for more than the blink-and-it’s-over years of curry and kd.


Zhangsanity

I gotta put Shaq and Kobe #1. No other team has ever had a playoff run like '01, and those Magic/Kareem teams had way better help outside the top two.


youchoobtv

72-10,69-13, 62-20 ...3 great seasons all ending with championships. How many times did Shaq and Kobe lose as a duo?


JoJonesy

1. Magic/Kareem 2. Jordan/Pippen 3. Shaq/Kobe 4. Curry/KD 5. Bird/McHale I get why people are putting Stockton/Malone so high for the longevity and accolades, but IMO you can't be on that list if you haven't won a ring. Folks are also sleeping on Bird/McHale tbh, and I don't think that ought to be a homer take— how many players in NBA history have been All-NBA 1st team on the same team in the same season?


JoJonesy

...putting this in a reply, but that thought got me curious, so I looked it up. Players since the NBA merger to be All-NBA 1st team on the same team, in the same season: * LeBron/AD (2020) * Nash/Stoudamire (2007) * Kobe/Shaq (2002, 2003, 2004) * Malone/Stockton (1994, 1995) * Bird/McHale (1987) * Magic/Kareem (1984, 1986) * Erving/Malone (1983) All of these duos have an argument for this list tbh (except Nash and Stoudamire). Bird and McHale are the only ones I found who got in *at the same position* (AD was voted in as a center in 2020), which may or may not matter tbh


RosaReilly

Looking even further back in time: * Frazier/Reed (1970) * Monroe/Unseld (1969) * Robertson/Lucas (1965, 1966, 1968) * West/Baylor (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967) * Cousy/Sharman/Russell (1959) * Cousy/Sharman (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959) * Arizin/Johnston (1956) * Cousy/Macauley (1952, 1953) * Mikan/Pollard (1949, 1950) * Feerick/McKinney (1947)


C0oK1e_Monsta

Damn that’s an interesting list. Erving/Malone is an underrated one. I’m surprised LeBron/Wade isn’t here too. Wade was so good during the Heatles and arguably the 3rd best person in the NBA at the time


LoudRise858

Wade was only great his first year with LeBron, after that he quickly started to become less effective on the court


JoJonesy

IMO LeBron/Wade doesn't make it only because Wade started to drop off pretty soon after LeBron got there


iamgarron

Feel like cousy/Russell should be here and definitely above Stockton/malone


Clapbakatyerblakcat

Tobi and Bobi are the league leaders in stolen hearts.


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Imo, pippen+jordan> magic+kareem. While likely not better in a vacuum, they were just perhaps the most synergistic tandem of all time. They could lockdown 1-4, both passed fantastically which basically eliminated the need for a pure PG, and their scoring suite was second only to KD and Curry. Plus their sheer consistency in their prime and decently less stacked team gives them the edge, considering they won one more ring on far less finals appearances. 6/6 is a level of dominance we might never see again, and the 80s were almost as talented as the league today. Edit: i meant 90s, not 80s


OpportunitySmalls

I'd argue they were synergistic because of the triangle negating the need for a PG to be the focal point, Magic and Kareem are just 2 guys who make all the sense independent of system. Kawhi/PG and Tatum/Brown are definitely not on the level of Jordan/Pippen but show the flaw in just having 2 elite perimeter guys and not a point guard or center.


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Apples to oranges. Different eras can't be compared in that regard, everything is entirely different. Defensive schemes, hand-checking, prevalence of the 3, more off-ball movement and tons of switching, etc. Also, i want to specifically iterate that Jordan and Pippen were both 98 percentile passers. They both couldve averaged 10. The two duos you named are like average, with assists padded by usage. The reason why they could have two players as star wings was solely because they were both amazing passers. This is huge, because it allows for the center to focus on rebounds and defense, and it allowed for a shooter to play "point" like Kerr.


tofuhoagie

Some others worth mentioning: Thomas / Dumars Olajawon / Drexler Pierce / KG West / Chamberlin Duncan / Parker Dr J / Moses Russel / Cousy (won 6 titles together)


Tapprunner

Sprewell and Carlesimo


perkinsfor3

1. GP and Kemp 2. \- 5. Others


VinylJones

This is the only acceptable answer and my NBA Jams professional record will reflect that.


Sochan_Solo

Admiral/Duncan before DRob got too old and injured has to be there. Shaq/Kobe Jordan/Pippen Magic/Kareem And (I hate to say this soooo much) But… Ugh Stockton/Malone. KD/Curry were great but they kinda each did their own thing. And it was short lived.


OKCDraftPick2028

KD/Curry defeated one of the best teams of all time during their run. Harden Rockets is probably a championship team in 2011 to 2015 and 2019 to last year. and I'm only counting 2011 season onwards. The synergy in those rockets team is insane


Sochan_Solo

lol


Giannis1995

Wade - LeBron Kobe - Shaq Magic - Kareem Jordan - Pippen Curry - Klay


therapist122

What being compared to Russ in 3pt% does to a guy


JPDNBA23

1. Magic and Kareem 2. Jordan and Pippen 3. Stockton and Malone 4. Lebron and D Wade 5. Shaq and Kobe


spanther96

Larry Legend and McHale have to be in the top 5. wasn’t blessed to see them play but their highlights are unreal, so much chemistry and their styles complemented each other very well. the accolades speak for themselves


m1j5

Montrezl harrell and a ladder


KhanQu3st

Harden and the Basketball 5x


thatisgangster

Tatum and brown


realestinhiding

Shaq/Kobe and Steph/KD should be the top 2


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Man go to bed kid, or school, or something besides spew liquid-nitrogen cold-takes.


realestinhiding

You got ppl in these comments saying the MJ/Pippen duo > those 2 lmfao


PAWG-S0TH0TH

"The five pairs of players that have accomplished the most together" 5 rings combined vs 6 rings Remember to pay attention in English! Reading comprehension is one of the most valuable skills one can possess. Good luck kid.


Vicentesteb

>5 rings combined They won 6 combined. 3 together, 1 Shaq and 2 Kobe. But thats the issue they won half their rings without eachother so they should really be that high up.


realestinhiding

He's talking about the duo of KD/Steph winning 2 rings while Shaq/Kobe won 3. It's fairly obvious that a duo of 2 top-10 players ever is better than MJ/Pippen.


realestinhiding

6 rings where Pippen averaged less than 20 PPG for half of them while also failing to mention that they have less rings because they played less time together. Very sure that compares to KD/Steph and Shaq/Kobe both averaging nearly 30 PPG. But this is r/nba, so dorks like you are just looking to be pompous for some upvotes.


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Bill Russel never averaged 20 and is still far better than MuH 50 pPg Wilt. Your point is moot. Also why you care about regular season ppg in a debate about greatness? You want to be great, you win. It's not a pissing contest about scoring, and defense wins championships. I'd suggest you rethink your notion of the word "pompous". What you seem to equate to pompous is likely just what other people would equate to not being a flaming moron. Good luck with your generational duo of AD and LeBron! You guys are contenders for sure, based on your logic, since Ad+LeBron get da big numba!


realestinhiding

>Bill Russel never averaged 20 and is still far better than MuH 50 pPg Wilt. Your point is moot. Bill Russell is the greatest defender of all time and was the best player on a dynasty. Pippen isn't in his stratosphere. >Also why you care about regular season ppg in a debate about greatness? Yes. PPG is the only thing that makes Kobe/Shaq and Steph/KD a better duo than MJ/Kobe. >You want to be great, you win. It's not a pissing contest about scoring, and defense wins championships Scottie Pippen was objectively worse than every single player in the Shaq/Kobe and Steph/KD duos. Him reaping the benefits of having MJ as a teammate doesn't mean he's better than them. >Good luck with your generational duo of AD and LeBron! You guys are contenders for sure, based on your logic, since Ad+LeBron get da big numba! I never mentioned LeBron, but it's clear you're just sexually attracted to Michael Jordan so you got some issue with LeBron lmfao fucking bum


PAWG-S0TH0TH

Dude lol what? You mention defense as like this huge factor one sentence and literally contradict yourself as hard as possible the next by saying PPG is the only metric that matters. Hope you're staying warm under that bridge. You got the torch lit for trolling so I'm sure you good, I respect that, R.I.P. the 90s-2010 internet. Maybe it'll be like music or fashion where it becomes a cycle that repeats old styles... but prob not.


Comfortable_Pop_3407

Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer


Geezmanswe

Luka and Dorian Finney-Smith. /s


aeiou-y

Dirk and Jet Dirk and Nash Dirk and Finley


LoudRise858

I’m seeing a whole bunch of people naming big 3s instead of Duos. Like Shaq said the greatest one two punch is Shaq and Kobe, sure they only won half the chips of MJ and Scottie but both players had their own championships as the No.1 option. Number 2 is clearly MJ and Pippen 3: Magic and Kareem, before Worthy arrived and became a big 3 they had won 2 chips 4: Stockton and Malone, I understand the lack of chips but the stats speak for themselves 5: West and Baylor, shame they couldn’t win one together but while Bill Russell and the Celtics were winning year after year, this duo was right there at the top dominating and evolving an era of basketball Steph and KD, Bird and McHale, LeBron and whoever he played with are examples of duos who don’t count because they were all a part of big 3s. There’s a huge difference between a duo and a big 3


EggcelentBreakFist

Magic/Kareem Jordan/Pippen Shaq/Kobe Lebron/Delly Pacers/Injuries Kyrie/Delusion Goat tier duos


207_god

1) Jaylen Brown and Kyrie


GuayabaTree

Kwame Brown and Smush Parker