NBA players with the most championship rings
It’s no easy feat winning the NBA Finals, even for the greatest of players. Here’s a look at the players who’ve achieved it most.
Even the best players in the NBA struggle to earn championship rings. It’s not just about the individual. Winning the NBA Final is a team effort, so winning multiples can be extremely difficult. Of this list of players who’ve won the most rings, the majority were part of the Boston Celtics. The others were Lakers, the two teams who’ve won the most rings (tied at 17).
The Celtics made it to the NBA finals for the first time since 2010 this season, after a hard-fought battle against the Miami Heat in Game 7. But they were unable to add to their ring tally as the Warriors prevailed in Game 6 of the Finals.
Right now, the current active player with the most championships in the NBA is LeBron James, with four rings - two with the Miami Heat, one with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and one with the LA Lakers. He’s made it to the finals 11 times, but only won four, proving just how difficult winning that title really is.
Keeping in mind all of that, let’s take a look at the NBA players with the most rings to their name.
Bill Russell: 11 NBA Championships
The Boston Celtics team of the 1960s was historic. Bill Russell led them to the finals 12 times in 13 years and won 11 of those titles. He was an important shot blocker and defender who impacted the team more than anyone else. Though he wasn’t the greatest scorer of all time, he was able to get the rebounds and though his stats aren’t impressive on the surface, he contributed a lot to his team’s successes.
Sam Jones: 10 NBA Championships
Sam Jones was also a member of the legendary Celtics team of the 60s. He completed his entire 12-year career with the team and won 10 rings during that time in 11 finals. He was one of the leading scorers every single year, and even more importantly, he was the closer. A clutch performer, Jones is regarded as one of the best shooting guards of all time.
Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Tom Sanders, John Havlicek: 8 NBA Championships
This group was also a part of the successful Celtics, earning eight rings during their time with the team. Heinsohn was a forward who contributed immediately after being drafted. He was a high scorer who earned double figures during all nine years of his NBA career. Havlicek was THE leading scorer for the Celtics…of all time. He played as forward and guard and it was that versatility that made him so valuable to the team. In fact, it’s his steal to clinch the series against the Sixers in the 70s which is regarded as one of the greatest moments in NBA history.
Jones was one of those players whose stats don’t look impressive from the outside, but still contributed enough on offense and defense to win eight rings in nine seasons. Tom “Satch” Sanders was with the Celtics for 13 seasons, and was known for his defense and rebounds. His stats don’t come close to telling the story of how he contributed to that team.
Jim Loscutoff, Frank Ramsey, Robert Horry: 7 NBA Championships
Lostcutoff was the Celtics’ top draft pick in 1955 and he proved himself worthy of that spot. He wasn’t the best scorer of all time, but he was an excellent rebounder. He took the team to seven championships in nine years. Ramsey was a clutch performer who played amongst other star players and still managed to average 13 and five throughout his career. Horry individually isn’t that impressive, but he was part of several all-star teams.
In 1994 and 1995, he played for the Houston Rockets, and earned two championships with them. Then, in the 2000s, he was part of the Lakers team led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. That’s not all. He then went on to play for the San Antonio Spurs to finish off his NBA career with another two championship titles.
Bob Cousey, Kareem Abdul-Jabarr, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin: 6 NBA Championships
Bob Cousy was one of the best players for the Boston Celtics in the 50s and 60s. He was a revolutionary ball handler and passer and one of the best playmakers in the history of the league. He led the league in assists for eight consecutive seasons and was a huge difference maker, helping the Celtics to six championships. Kareem Abdul-Jabarr finished his NBA career with the most points, most block shots, most MVPs, and most All-Star selections of all time.
He played a whopping 20 seasons in the NBA, not retiring until 42 years old. He won with the Bucks in the early 1970s and the Lakers in the 1980s, dominating in both decades. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin are one of the greatest duos in NBA history, winning six titles over eight years. During those years, they never had to compete in a Game 7, dominating the whole way through.