It has always been essential in the NBA to have a handful of amazing players who perform on a regular basis. More importantly, a marquee duo who can manage both ends of the court significantly. There have been some duos in the NBA’s history who have managed to change the face of the league with their dynamic plays and skills.
Justifying the same, these spoken about duos have managed to register themselves in the elite list of the top 5 best offensive-defensive duos of all time in the NBA. In this article, we shall discuss those duos whose chemistry not only went on to lift the NBA Championship but their willingness and passion dragged their team to many magical and historical moments.
5. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)
One of the most successful duos in the 21st century. When David Robinson left San Antonio Spurs in 2003, many speculated the golden era of Spurs has come to an end. But Tony Parker stepped in to start his inexpressible partnership with Tim Duncan.
This pair managed to always take their team into the NBA playoffs while playing together for 15 years, which includes 5 NBA Finals. Out of which, San Antonio Spurs won 4. On one side, Tum Duncan won 3 NBA Finals MVPs, whereas Parker won the same in 2007.
4. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat)
Dreams became reality for Miami Heat when LeBron James paired up with Dwayne Wade in the summer of 2010. Having won back-to-back NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013. With LeBron having excessive athleticism and scoring prowess, Wade made sure the defensive end is completely packed.
This duo had a ferocious vision and passing ability, which left even the best of the teams stranded. It is regarded by many NBA fans, that Wade was the root to which King James grew his legacy and made 4 consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals.
3. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
The Los Angeles Lakers have drafted so many drastic duos in its den, yet Kobe Bryant and Shaq remain to be the most memorable to date. Having won 3 NBA Championships together for the team, this pair was the ideal defensive-offensive duo. With Kobe knocking regular 25 points+ games, it was Shaq who kept the opposition vulnerable at the defensive end.
With Kobe Bryant always being one of the best players on the scoring end, it is surprising to acknowledge that it was Shaq who won all three NBA Finals MVPs from 2000 to 2002.
However, the dramatic separation of this duo in 2004, left the LA Lakers vulnerable from their supreme best for many years to come.
2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers)
Having spent 10 years together at Los Angeles Lakers, this pair brought home the NBA Championship 5 times. Formerly known as Lew Alcindor, it was simply impossible to deceive a mammoth guy with 7’2” frame. For being one of the tallest NBA players, Karim Abdul Jabbar was just unstoppable to beat. Now imagine him joining hands with one of the best rookie scorers of all time, Magic Johnson. It meant Destruction!
Even though Magic Johnson was in his rookie days, he still managed to clinch three NBA Finals MVPs. With Kareem Abdul Jabbar handling the defensive end, it was Magic who seemed to never stop scoring. Eventually, he encouraged the former to join the massacre. To keep it short, on a majority of days the pair contributed half of the team’s score.
1. Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
Undoubtedly, the most iconic defensive-offensive duo of all time in the NBA. Having won a record 6 championship alongside one another. Pippen was the ideal ‘Robin’ to Jordan’s ‘Batman.’ Jordan averaged more than 30 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds to register himself as the arguable G.O.A.T of the sport.
But many are not aware that it was Pippen who made MJ more complete as he may seem. With Jordan lacking the inspiration to carry on, it was Pippen who not only motivated Jordan but also led the team on both ends of the court, around whom the team gathered the courage to the ultimate conquerors in the late 90s.