Active players are not eligible on this list, but the Warriors backcourt of Curry and Thompson will be at least top 3 when it’s all said and done.
10) Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney, Philadelphia 76ers
Toney was one of the most underrated players of the 1980s, a lot of the reason for that was his career being hampered and eventually shortened because of injuries. Cheeks on the other hand were insanely quick and averaged 2 steals per game over a decade. They helped lead the 76ers to the 1983 NBA title.
9) Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher
Kobe was a ball-dominant player and Fisher was a spot-up shooter and together the two complimented each other game to lead the Lakers to 5 NBA Titles.
8) Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, San Antonio Spurs
Parker was not a great shooter but he was a slasher whose mid-range shot was spot-on. Ginobli could hit from anywhere on the court and these guys combined were a driving force behind some great Spurs teams.
7) Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe, New York Knicks
Over an illustrious 10-year career in New York, Frazier collected seven All-Star nods, six All-NBA awards, seven All-Defensive teams, and won two championships. Monroe was flashy and effective as these two combined to make up one of the most explosive backcourts in NBA history!
6) KC Jones and Sam Jones, Boston Celtics
How about this for a stat, with these guys in the same backcourt the Celtics won 8 straight NBA Titles. They had the same last name but were not related, they played like they were twins as they always seemed to operate in perfect cohesion.
5) Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper, Los Angeles Lakers
Sure Cooper didn’t start many games but he damn sure finished them. Coop was a great shooter and lockdown defender and Magic and Coop made Showtime really hit on all cylinders. Magic, will he was the greatest point guard the world has ever seen, how can he not be in the top 10?
4) Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics
Between the two players are 21 All-Star nods, 14 All-NBA First Team honors, and ten NBA Championships. Cousy was the first great point guard in NBA history and while Sharman has largely been forgotten he was a great player and let’s face it, it’s hard to ignore ten championships.
3) Michael Jordan and Ron Harper, Chicago Bulls
This was one of the best defensive backcourts in history. Jordan’s other backcourt mates such as B.J. Armstrong, John Paxson, and Steve Kerr were mainly spot-up shooters. Harper came to the Bulls as a 20 point per game scorer who transformed his game into that of a lockdown defender and with this duo, in the backcourt, the Bulls won a league-record 73 games.
2) Jerry West and Gail Goodrich, Los Angeles Lakers
Jerry West, one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, is a 14-time NBA All-Star and one of the best pure scorers to ever play the game. He had a lightning-quick release and deep range that made him virtually unstoppable in one-on-one situations. Goodrich was no slouch, either. The UCLA great was a double-digit scorer every year after his rookie season and he was excellent as both a facilitator and foul shooter. The duo finally got over the hump in 1972, beating out the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals with both players averaging 25 points per game over the course of the season.
1). Joe Dumars and Isaiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
Until Thomas and Dumars led the Pistons to World Championships in 89 and 90 it was assumed that a low post presence was needed to win it all. That changed with Detroit’s bad boys, Thomas and Dumars could do it all. Thomas was one of the greatest point guards in NBA history and Dumars was a defensive stud who was no slouch on the offensive end of the court either.