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10 Best NBA Duos of All Time

To win the NBA championship, a team needs world-class players, at least two, to be precise. Over time, we've witnessed many iconic pairs take on the game together. A great duo features at least two who can defend, score at a high rate, and lead. There have been serious debates on the internet, especially on social media platforms, on who those NBA duos of all time are.

Picking the all-time combo is like making a crypto gamble. You risk annoying many fans if you don't pick their favorite stars. But, how do you determine a great pair? It is not easy because all groupings are from different seasons and eras. Below is our top 10:

1. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen - SP, Chicago Bulls

These two legends have to take the top spot. The pair emerged in the late 1980s. MJ is regarded as one of the most highly regarded in the history of b.ball. He was drafted in 1984 by Chicago while his teammate joined later in 1987. He played a major part in his incredible scoring ability.

He's arguably one of the coveted scorers in NBA history and finished averaging 5.3 passes, 30.1 points, and 6.2 rebounds per game. However, SP (Joined Portland Trail Blazers later) is the player who made MJ complete. When he joined the Bulls, the team became more compact in defense. Because of these two, the Bulls grabbed six titles in eight years. MJ took home the trophies in all six seasons.

2. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los. Angeles Lakers

Like all legends, these two made a massive impact. After spending six years with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kareem signed for LA in 1975. Kareem was one of the tallest players at 7'2". His height made him unstoppable to beat. He's 3rd in the all-time shot blockers with 3,189 career blocks. His technique "Sky Hook" made him a prolific scorer. The two basketballers formed a perfect duet which put his squad in a great position to win the championship.

The two recorded five NBA championships in the 1980s. Although MJ was a rookie, he shined big and claimed the most valuable player three times before retiring because of an unexpected illness.

3. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers

Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant didn't have a great relationship outside the court. However, their chemistry was unmatched when an NBA game began. The two guided the rest to three straight titles from 2000 to 2002. They almost clinched it again in 2004, but internal discord and injuries destroyed the group.

The iconic combo was at its finest in the 2001 season playoffs. They combined to score an average of 59.8 per and had 15/16 victories.

In those years, there was an interesting trend where many people were winning big money in low deposit casinos when playing basketball slots. Many believed that it was the Kobe and O'Neal machine that brought great luck.

4. Larry Bird - LB -and Kevin McHale - KM, Boston Celtics

KM and LB played for more than a decade each for the Celtics. The latter joined first in 1979, and his teammate followed a year later. In their first season together, they were both known as power forwards. He mostly came off the bench and secured the title in his rookie year. The teammates clinched two more championships in 1984 and 1986. LB got three straight MVP awards in 1984-1986.

5. LeBron James - LJ - and Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade and James joined forces after the 2010 venture. Together with Chris Bosh, they formed the Big Three. Watching the two play together was fun. Their tenure with the Miami Heat was a huge success. Wade already had the championship and Finals most valuable player award to his name in 2006 with Shaquille. LJ was looking for his first title.

In their four years with the Miami Heat, they helped get to four straight. They lost to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 but won the championship in 2012 and 2013. Most people credit Dwyane with showing the king how to be a leader in an NBA title-winning team. LJ clinched the Final's most valuable player prize in both title-winning seasons.

6. Karl Malone and John Stockton, Utah Jazz

Karl and John might be the greater ones on this list never to take the championship, mainly because they played in the same era as MJ. The pair made it to consecutive finals in the late 90s. It's insane for an all-time leader in assists and second all-time point scorer.

7. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

When David Robinson retired from Spurs, most people thought the golden age had ended. However, Tony Parker, the best European export, had different ideas. His arrival at Spurs was the birth of a new era. He established one of the most lethal with Tim. Coached by Gregg Popovich, the two did well for the team and never missed the playoffs in over a decade.

The two qualified five times and won four championships. Duncan bagged the consecutive NBA finals MVP award three times, while Parker won it once.

8. Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers

In the 60s, LA would fall short of the title several times. However, when Wilt Chamberlain joined LA in 1969, everything changed. Wilt and Jerry West formed the best duos ever. Although they were both stars, their pair proved to be very lethal. In 1972, they won 33 consecutive games. The record stood until 1996.

9. Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons

It's not every day that a duo is named the most valuable in one squad. Only three of the greatest duos accomplished this - Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, Kareem, and Mag., and now Dumars and Thomas. Dumars claimed the honor in 1989 when the Pistons defeated the Lakers.

He averages 27.3 points and 6.0 assists. Thomas secured it a year later when Detroit beat Portland.

10. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

These two are regarded as modern-day basketball icons. They formed an iconic pair at GSW when KD joined in 2016 from Oklahoma City Thunder.

They're both offensive stars, and they contributed massively in making the Warriors one of the most dominant teams in recent history. They dominated the western conference finals for many years. In 2018-19, Steph finished the season with 27.3 points each time while KD averaged 26 points. With the two on the team, the Warriors secured two consecutive finals.


The NBA has been a league of superstars like Bill Russell in the last five decades. However, the Last Dance has taught us that it takes more than one superstar to capture championships. For instance, M. Jordan was 1-9 in the playoffs before his partner joined the Chicago Bulls. Together they won the championship a record seven times!