As NBA training camps open, three of the most familiar faces in the NBA over the past two decades will not be present, signaling the end of one of the greatest eras in basketball. During last season, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant announced his retirement. After the season ended, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan also announced his retirement. A week before the start of training camp Minnesota Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett added his name to the list of retiring legends, which means the 2021 Hall of Fame Class will be one of the greatest classes ever. The retirement of these players won’t affect their former teams’ online NBA odds because none of them were as productive as they were in their prime, and their contributions can be easily replaced.
While Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan have 10 championships between them to Garnett’s one, Garnett was the player that changed the way the league was and he is partially responsible for creating the modern NBA.
In 2007, after toiling for years in Minnesota, but never advancing past the Western Conference Finals, the Minnesota Timberwolves felt it was time to start rebuilding the franchise, and decided to make Garnett available via trade.
The Boston Celtics, who were also trying to get back to basketball relevance, decided to get some help for their star player, who also hadn’t advanced to the NBA Finals while he was a Celtic. The Celtics decided to make a big splash and traded for Kevin Garnett. However, since Garnett had a no-trade clause in his contract, he was hesitant about signing with Boston until the team pulled of another major move and traded for Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics.
With Allen and Pierce on board, Garnett decided to approve the trade, forming a new Big Three in Boston, which was something the franchise hadn’t had since the days of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish.
At first, there was skepticism the team would play well together because there were three alpha males on the team. However, the three All-Stars complimented each other very well and dominated the NBA from the start of the season, and won the NBA title their first season together, defeating their hated rivals the Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston’s Big Three dominated the Eastern Conference again the next season, but the team couldn’t repeat as champions due to an injury to Garnett. The third season, the team made it back to the NBA Finals after defeating LeBron James and his Cavaliers once again, but this time, Kobe Bryant’s Lakers emerged victorious after a seven game NBA Finals series.
After suffering numerous defeats to the Celtics,LeBron James figured out that he would need a lot of help if he was ever going to defeat the Celtics, and decided to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, forming their own Big Three.
After teaming up, James and the Heat went to four consecutive NBA Finals, winning two of them. As the Heat’s Big Three started to age, James decided to go back to Cleveland and form another Big Three with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and was rewarded by winning the NBA title last year, ending the championship drought in Cleveland