Most Underrated Star Duos in NBA History
NBA star duos are key to the league. During a time where a team has to have three or more stars to win a title, it seems that the concept of a star duo is coming back to fruition with the pairings of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. With that in mind, it’s worth looking back at some of the most overlooked star duos in NBA history.
Most Underrated Star Duos
NBA Star Duo #1: The Blade and Lever
During the 1980s, the Denver Nuggets were led by Alex English and Fat Lever. They made many trips to the postseason and even competed in the 1985 Western Conference Finals. English was injured for most of the series, which makes you wonder what could have been if he had been able to play.
Lever made two All-Star teams and one All-NBA Team while at the same time making his way up the all-time triple-double list. English became one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history and made eight All-Star Games, even winning a scoring title. While they didn’t quite breakthrough for a title, English and Lever still deserve a lot more credit for what they accomplished as a duo with the Denver Nuggets.
NBA Star Duo #2: The Dream and Clyde the Glide
A duo that didn’t play together for very long, but still got a title out of the deal is Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. The Houston Rockets were able to secure two titles during Michael Jordan‘s first absence from basketball in the 1990s, but it was their second title run when Drexler joined forces with Olajuwon. The 10-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection finally secured his lone championship in the 1994-95 campaign.
Granted, he wasn’t quite as dominant as he was during his tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers, but he didn’t need to be as Hakeem the Dream averaged 27.8 points, 3.4 blocks, 3.5 assists, and 10.8 rebounds per game that season. As for Olajuwon, his resume speaks for itself. A two-time champion, three-time blocks leader, 12-time All-Star, MVP, and two-time DPOY. That’s just the tip of the surface for the Dream’s insane Hall of Fame resume.
Star Duo #3: The Big E and The Wide U
If we’re talking about underrated title teams in general, then the 1978 Washington Bullets have to be in that discussion. Leading the way was one of the most prolific frontcourts in NBA history in Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Both in the Hall of Fame now, the two made a dominant pairing.
Unseld is widely considered the best outlet passer the NBA has ever seen and was a monster down low. He made five All-Star Games and won both an MVP award and a Finals MVP to go along with other impressive accolades.
Elvin Hayes averaged 19.7 points during the Bullets’ lone title season making him the primary scoring option in their impressive frontcourt. Not to mention, Hayes made 12 All-Star Games, six All-NBA Teams, and recorded a scoring title and two rebounding titles throughout his career. He and Unseld don’t get enough credit as one of the most successful duos in NBA history.
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