Top 10 Dominating Duos in Sports
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Justin Giglio
These are the greatest sports partnerships around! Two sports teammates that play off each other to form overpowering athlete match ups. Chicago Blackhawks power forwards Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews, Peyton Manning & Marvin Harrison, Xavi & Andrés Iniesta, Shaquille O'Neal & Kobe Bryant, Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth, Joe Montana & Jerry Rice, Wayne Gretzky & Jari Kurri, Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen are just some of the record setting combinations in baseball, basketball, hockey, football that scored the goals and touch downs that led their teams to championships in the Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup Finals.
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Script written by Justin Giglio
Top 10 Duos in Sports
Two heads are better than one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 duos in sports.
For this list, we’re counting down the greatest sports partnerships between two teammates. That means you won’t be seeing any player-coach duos or rivalries on this list.
#10: Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews
Chicago Blackhawks (2007-)
When these two entered the league as young phenoms, they had an immediate impact and have since made the Blackhawks a certified dynasty. Winning the first of their Stanley Cups together in 2010, then following that up with subsequent wins in 2013 and 2015; it’s hard to believe that both of these superstars are under 30. A prolific scorer, Kane took home his first Art Ross Trophy for the 2015-16 season – an award given to the player with the most points at the end of the season. Toews, nicknamed Captain Serious, is a well-rounded center with a hockey IQ matched only by the greatest players in the game. Although they only sometimes play on the same line, they’re nearly impossible to contain when they do.
#9: Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth
NY Yankees (1923-34)
Having the two greatest players of a generation playing side-by-side is a recipe for success in any sport. Gehrig joined the Yankeesin 1923 but made only a handful of appearances and was left off the roster when they won the World Series that year. It was only in1926 that he broke out and became a team regular alongside the already legendary Bambino, who had made his name with the Red Sox before becoming a Yankee. The two would go on to win three World Series titles during their time together in New York, and have a combined total of 13 World Series titles between them.
#8: Peyton Manning & Marvin Harrison
Indianapolis Colts (1998-2008)
In only 158 games together, these two former Indianapolis Colts teammates set the all-time NFL record for touchdowns, yards, and completions by a quarterback/wide receiver duo. Together, they brought the Colts their first Vince Lombardi Trophy after the team first moved from Baltimore, following their win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Manning and Harrison produced 12,766 yards and 112 touchdowns with 953 total passes together, becoming one of most dynamic passing offenses in NFL history. With 22 combined Pro Bowl appearances, it’s only a matter of time before Manning is immortalized with Harrison in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
#7: Xavi & Andrés Iniesta
FC Barcelona (2002-15); Spain (2006-14)
Known by some as Xaviesta, the members of this midfield tandem are best friends off the pitch, and have been dominant for club and country in the modern era of European football on it. Together they’ve won seven La Liga titles and four Champions League titles with Barça, as well as two European Championships and a World Cup with the Spanish national team – that’s a lot of silverware. They capped off their incredible career together by winning the league title, the Copa del Rey, and the Champions League title in 2015, completing the Treble for the second time.
#6: Mario Lemieux & Jaromír Jágr
Pittsburgh Penguins (1990-97)
They’re one of the most potent scoring duos in NHL history, and the pair with the best mullets in sports history. Lemieux stands at 8th all-time in scoring while Jagr snagged the number three spot on that list during the 2015-16 season. An injury limited Lemieux to only 26 regular season games in the 1990-91 season, but rookie Jagr stepped up and tallied 57 points. When Lemieux returned to the line-up, there was no stopping the Penguins on their way to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, followed immediately by another one in 1991-92. Lemieux went on to co-own the Penguins, while Jagr continued to add to his points total even 26 years after he was first drafted in 1990.
#5: Shaquille O’Neal & Kobe Bryant
LA Lakers (1996-2004)
Although their personal relationship was shaky, and their big personalities often clashed, Kobe and Shaq led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles and continued the tradition of the dominant Showtime Lakers of the ‘80s. Kobe’s Lakers won two more NBA championships after Shaq’s departure in 2004. Fans often debate what would have happened if Shaq had stuck around in LA. If they had found a way to co-exist on and off the court, these two superstars could’ve continued their dominant style of play to elevate the Lakers franchise to even greater heights.
#4: Joe Montana & Jerry Rice
San Francisco 49ers (1985-92)
Statistically, these two form one of the greatest receiver-quarterback duos in NFL history. Each is arguably the best to ever play at their respective position, and having them both on one team led the 49ers squad of the mid-to-late ‘80s and early ‘90s to six division titles and back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1988 and 1989. With Montana throwing to him, Jerry Rice was able to reach the 1,000-yard receiving mark for seven straight seasons and accumulated 67 passing touchdowns during their time together. That time was cut short, however, when Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993, and we can only imagine what their numbers would look like today had they stayed together for a few more seasons.
#3: Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
LA Lakers (1979-89)
These two Hall of Famers helped make the historic Showtime Lakers a fearsome run-and-gun, up-tempo offensive team. Magic and Kareem’s Lakers won 60 regular season games in the 1979-80 season; their first year playing together. Their dominance over the rest of the NBA – except for maybe their bitter rivals, Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics – made them the dynasty of the ‘80s. Magic’s clean and precise passing and Kareem’s unstoppable scoring abilities made this duo unmatched in their offensive prowess. The two combined for nine NBA MVP Awards, 20 All-Star Game selections, and five NBA Championships while playing together. And boy were they fun to watch, too.
#2: Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen
Chicago Bulls (1987-98)
As one of the most prolific and overpowering basketball partnerships of the ‘90s and arguably of all-time, Jordan and Pippen led the Bulls to six NBA championship titles and the then-NBA record of 72 wins and only 10 losses in the 1995-96 season. More of a defensive mastermind, Pippen was often overshadowed by the large, competitive presence of Michael Jordan. However, Pippen is still considered one of the all-time greats. Together, they were the core of the record-shattering 1995-96 Bulls team, which remains a strong candidate for the greatest team in NBA history.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Dwight Yorke & Andy Cole
Manchester United F.C. (1998-2001)
- Kenny Dalglish & Ian Rush
Liverpool F.C. (1986-90)
- John Stockton & Karl Malone
Utah Jazz (1985-2003)
- Emmanuel Petit & Patrick Vieira
Arsenal F.C. (1997-2000)
- Greg Maddux & Tom Glavine
Atlanta Braves (1993-2002)
#1: Wayne Gretzky & Jari Kurri
Edmonton Oilers (1980-88); LA Kings (1995-96)
The Great One has had his fair share of top-class teammates – including Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Brett Hull – but it was his partnership with the defensive-minded Jari Kurri that stands as one of the most dominant pairings of all time. Despite his focus on defensive play, Kurri finished his career as one of the highest scoring European players in history, with an astounding 1,398 points. The two made a name for themselves in Edmonton by winning five Stanley Cups together, and would play together again as members of the LA Kings in the ‘90s – though not usually as linemates. We all know that Gretzky is regarded as the best hockey player in NHL history, and Kurri will be remembered for helping to make The Great One even greater.
Do you agree with our list? Who are your favorite sports duos? For more exciting Top 10s posted every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.