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Candace Parker and Steve Smith weigh in on how Brooklyn's star trio will mesh.
RO PARRISH: So in other Big Threes, we know there's always a player that has to sacrifice. You think about Dennis Rodman back in the day with the Bulls. Maybe you think about James Worthy, or present day Ray Allen with the Big Three with the Celtics, Chris Bosh and so on, and so on. So Kyrie now appears to be the third in pecking order. James Harden's the primary ball-handler. KD is KD. Their chemistry is undeniable. Candace, is this going to work?
CANDACE PARKER: Well, Ro, you bring up a great point. You talked about other Big Threes. And with that, you talk about Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, and Dennis Rodman. It is known which of the Big Three is the lesser Big Three.
Same thing with Miami. You talk about Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, the pecking order. Everyone knew who was going to take the last shot. Everyone knew who was going to have to sacrifice-- D-Wade being one of the ones that had a championship, LeBron going for a championship, Chris Bosh coming to join the party. So I think that that pecking order was a lot different.
And the same thing goes with other Big Threes. You even talk about the Spurs and their dynasty with their Big Three, which changed in the future with Kawhi being added to that eventually. But in the case of this, it is debatable. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving has won a championship. James Harden is that third piece that's coming to a team.
Also you take into effect teams that have drafted players that haven't traded in terms of Big Threes. So none of these players have been with this franchise for an extremely long time. KD and Kyrie decided to come over this summer. But for me, I think success goes off of if three guys are at their point in their career when they're ready to win together. Because we saw one of the best Big Threes that could have ever possibly been was OKC, who drafted Russell Westbrook, drafted James Harden, and--
RO PARRISH: Sam Presti got them all together.
CANDACE PARKER: --Kevin Durant. So with that being said, if they were 25, 26, instead of 21, 22, would they have won championships?
RO PARRISH: Hmm.
CANDACE PARKER: So I'm going to go at all of these guys are at the stage in their career when they're ready to win, they're ready sacrifice and they're men, not boys, as James Harden said.
RO PARRISH: Now this isn't something that's out of your jurisdiction. You've been a part of Big Threes in your career, as well. You and Nneka Ogwumike were the primary option, because there was other players that had to in some cases sacrifice as well. How did you handle that situation?
CANDACE PARKER: I think there is a pecking order, but there's also an ability for everybody to understand that within whatever game, anybody can rise to the occasion. As we've seen just in terms of with LeBron leaning on D-Wade for leadership, knowing what it's taken. There's a lot of times you don't know what it takes to win a championship. And guys are striving for that.
One of the best players in the game, LeBron James, did not know what it took to win a championship until he went to Miami and played with other great players. So I think James Harden is searching for that. Searching for that closer, which is KD and Kyrie. And I think that they're going to complement each other. I think everybody's debating they're listening to all of this, and they're understanding that they have a responsibility to prove everybody, prove us wrong. Because nobody believes it's going to work. But guess what? [GAVEL BANGING] I think it's going to work.
RO PARRISH: There it is.
CANDACE PARKER: I got them winning a championship.
RO PARRISH: [LAUGHING]
CANDACE PARKER: I have them winning a championship in Brooklyn. I did not say this year. I said within three years--
--the Brooklyn Nets will have a championship. [GAVEL BANGING]
RO PARRISH: And that is the fact beyond reasonable doubt. Smitty, I know that you've been a part of some special teams. In All Star in '98 with the Atlanta Hawks, you had Mookie Blaylock and you had Dikembe Mutumbo. That was your Big Three in the ATL. Your thoughts on this current Big Three?
STEVE SMITH: Well, you know Candace said it best. And just to add to that, it comes down to communication. But it also comes down to transparent communication. And also what you got to understand is when you're winning a championship, things go on in the locker room you're going to have to be able--
RO PARRISH: Oh! Smitty!
STEVE SMITH: --to be able to--
RO PARRISH: Woo! Woo! Smitty!
STEVE SMITH: --definitely have those conversations that you don't want to have. And that's what I think me, Dikembe, and Mookie had. I mean, we had times where we would go at each other. I mean, and it was all like Candace said, because we're always ready to win and we were trying to win. I think for this Big Three right now it's somebody is going to have to sacrifice. Somebody has got to be more of a facilitator. Some people will have to defend more.
But I think more importantly, you also have to understand is you can't exclude your other teammates. They got to feel a part of this if you want to win a championship. Because it's more than just that Big Three. And if they can get those guys involved and not stand around, constant motion, I think they'll be OK.