caseyholdahl

Jun 18

Haberstroh: Drexler/Porter/Kersey One Of The Best 'Big Threes' Ever

By caseyholdahl

With the Finals drawing to a close, Tom Haberstroh over at ESPN.com has attempted to rank the best "Big Three" trios in modern NBA history, presumably to see where Lebron/Wade/Bosh of the Heat and Duncan/Parker/Ginobilli of the Spurs stack up all-time. Haberstroh describes the methodology in detail, and while these kind of historical comparisons are always going to be tough, it seems like a very reasonable approach. And I'm not just saying that because the criminally underrated trio of Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey comes it at No. 8 on Haberstroh's list.
8. Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter | Portland Trail Blazers

Composite WARP: 135.8 | Qualified seasons: 5 (1987-90, '92)

Cumulative WARP: 226.4 | Average WARP: 48.3

Championships as Big Three:
0 | Finals exits as Big Three: 2

Don't think of this Blazers trio as a Big Three? Think again. Clyde Drexler and two-time All-Star Terry Porter made up one of the best backcourts of the Jordan era and Jerome Kersey was no slouch either. Most youngsters these days remember Kersey as the washed-up vet on the 1999 Spurs championship squad, but Kersey was a big-time rebounder and defender at small forward for the Blazers and helped push them to two Finals appearances.

If the rise of this Blazers' core hadn't run parallel with the Bad Boy Pistons and Jordan's Bulls, we probably would think of them much differently.
To give you some context, Drexler/Porter/Kersey is one spot better than Lakers legends Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/James Worthy and just behind Miami's current Lebron/Wade/Bosh "Big Three." I'm guessing that's not exactly what Pat Riley had in mind.

Making this list is small validation for one of the great teams to never win an NBA Championship. Most of the "Big Threes" on the list contain at least two Hall of Famers, which speaks to how underrated the careers of both Porter and, especially, Kersey really are.

By the way, calling Jerome a "washed-up vet on the 1999 Spurs championship squad" is the exact sentiment that comedian Mike Epps is out there trying to dispel.

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