Even though the Boston Celtics did it slightly before them, most people think of LeBron James’ Miami Heat as the first true “Big 3” in modern NBA history.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh were the most feared trio in the league when they first teamed up, but it didn’t pay off right away.
They failed miserably to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks, with James holding the team back in the NBA Finals with arguably the worst stretch in his career.
Notably, they were able to bounce back with three more trips to the NBA Finals, winning back-to-back rings in 2012 and 2013 before losing in 2014 in their final year together.
Now, years later, Heat President Pat Riley told Five Reasons Sports that he called his stars out right after losing in the 2011 NBA Finals, telling them that they needed to choose a pecking order if they wanted to find success.
Pat Riley says that after the 2011 Finals, "and we failed," he had a meeting with the Big 3, and told them that they needed to figure out a pecking order.
That LeBron would be first, Wade would be second, and Bosh would fit in.
"They went to the Bahamas, they figured it out."
— Five Reasons Sports 🏀🏈⚾️🏒⚽️ (@5ReasonsSports) August 8, 2023
Then, they went to the Bahamas and got things right, citing that LeBron would be first, Wade second, and Bosh third.
Truth be told, despite the two championships, it still feels like that core kind of under-achieved.
They had three top-five picks from the same class all in their prime, an up-and-coming coach, a solid supporting cast, and they still could only win two championships before LeBron decided to take his talents back to Cleveland.
They could’ve won at least one more if James decided to stay, but Riley made it clear that he was the one calling the shots.NEXT: Pat Riley Praises Dwyane Wade Ahead Of HOF Ceremony