Superstars à Trois

The Heat trio is the latest, but not yet the greatest
July 18, 2010

Call them what you will—King James' New Court and Miami Thrice are early front-runners—but last Thursday, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh instantly became the most dazzling sports trio ever assembled. On the occasion of its formation, here's a brief history of trios, sports-related and otherwise.

1492

The Ni√±a, Pinta and Santa María depart from Palos de la Frontera, Spain, on Aug. 3. Two months later sailors on the Pinta spot the New World.

1844

French magazine Le Siècle serializes Alexandre Dumas's tale that immortalizes Athos, Portos and Aramis, Les Trois Mousquetaires.

1910

New York Evening Mail columnist Franklin P. Adams pens Baseball's Sad Lexicon, a.k.a. Tinker to Evers to Chance, an eight-line poem celebrating the Cubs' double-play combo.

1923

Ted Healy and His Stooges, a physical-comedy-based vaudeville act, premieres. In '34 it is renamed the Three Stooges.

1937

Donald Duck's sister, Della, bears triplets Huey, Dewey and Louie.

1962

François Truffaut spins the love-triangle novel Jules et Jim into one of the most influential art movies ever.

1968

The Byrds' David Crosby, Buffalo Springfield's Stephen Stills and The Hollies' Graham Nash form seminal supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, harmonizing sweetly until later add-on Neil Young goes and messes everything up.

1968

The Lakers trade for Wilt Chamberlain and team the Stilt with two other future Hall of Famers, forward Elgin Baylor and guard Jerry West. This prototype for Miami Thrice might also be a cautionary tale: L.A. loses the NBA Finals in seven games to Boston.

1975

Canadian band Rush, also known as the Holy Triumvirate, concocts 2112, solidifying its place as chief dorks of the prog rock movement.

1976

The adventure series Charlie's Angels takes off on ABC, inspiring a decade of feathered manes. One year later ABC adds comedy to the jiggle TV formula with another trio cohabiting on the then racy Three's Company.

1977

Hockey's goonish Hanson brothers first appear in their trademark horn-rimmed glasses in the movie Slap Shot.

1988

Brat packer Rob Lowe popularizes threesomes—and sex tapes. Slight catch: One of his partners turns out to be underage.

1988

L.A. coach Pat Riley (who 22 years later as Heat president would unite LeBron, D-Wade and CB4 in South Beach) preemptively trademarks the term three-peat, only to see his two-time defending champion Lakers swept by the Pistons in the '89 Finals.

1995

The Seinfeld episode The Switch ends with Jerry propositioned by two willing female roommates. Alas, Jerry declines; he's not "an orgy guy."

1995

Chicago acquires Dennis Rodman, teaming him with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on a club that wins an NBA-record 72 games on its way to a title.

1996

A band composed of Hanson siblings Isaac, Taylor and Zac releases MMMBop, the catchiest and most mind-numbing single based on a gibberish word ever to top the U.S. charts.

2007

G.M. Danny Ainge regenerates the Celtics by adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Joining Paul Pierce as The Big Three, the trio hoists the franchise's 17th NBA championship banner the following June.

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PHOTONATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (CELTICS) PHOTO© COLUMBIA PICTURES/EVERETT COLLECTION (CHARLIE'S ANGELS) PHOTOCOLUMBIA PICTURES/PHOTOFEST (STOOGES) THREE PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONSPHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY SI IMAGING: NIVIERE/LYDIE/NIKO/SIPA (PARKER AND LONGORIA); ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (YAO); JAGDISH AGARWAL/CORBIS (EVEREST); MATT SAYLES/AP (WHITE); GREG NELSON (ANTHONY)

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