<
>
Insider

Big three not all it's cracked up to be?

Three stars, right? That's the formula for a championship, supposedly.

Never mind that teams have won titles in all sorts of ways, from Dallas' lone-star approach with several not-quite-star-caliber players surrounding Dirk Nowitzki, to the Kobe-Shaq tandem that won three straight rings earlier in the decade, to the Pistons' essentially starless champions in 2004. Doesn't matter: "Three stars" still resonates in the minds of teams and fans alike as the surest path to the championship.