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NBA

Who has won the most NBA Championship rings? LeBron, Curry, Jordan...

Steph Curry has the opportunity to pull level with LeBron James on four wins and could yet catch Michael Jordan, but Bill Russell is out of reach.

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Who has won the most NBA Championship rings?

Winning an NBA Championship ring is the dream of every player who starts out in professional basketball. The Larry O’Brien Trophy symbolizes eternal glory and ensures a player’s name join a pantheon of greats that includes the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The kings of the ring

“King James,” as LeBron is known, has won the NBA Championship on four occasions. His first win came when he was at the Miami Heat in 2012, Oklahoma City Thunder on the wrong end of that series. The following year, James led the Heat to a second consecutive win at the expense of the San Antonio Spurs. James later moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers and won a third ring when the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry were seen off in the finals. James’ fourth arrived with the Lakers in 2020, which was the franchise’s 17th NBA Championship win, bringing them level in the all-time stakes with the Boston Celtics. On that occasion, the Lakers beat James’ former team, the Heat, to claim victory.

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Curry, a Warriors legend

Curry has played for the Warriors for his entire NBA career after being selected 7th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft from Davidson. The 34-year-old has won the NBA Championship three times with Golden State, and remarkably against the same opponent on every occasion: the Cavaliers. His first came in 2015, when the Warriors beat James’ Cavaliers. Two years later, Curry and the Warriors repeated the trick, again denying James another ring, and did so yet again in an era when the two sides bestrode the NBA: Curry’s third victory came in 2018 before James left Cleveland for Los Angeles. Against the Celtics in the current series, Curry has the opportunity to equal James’ haul of four NBA Championships.

Celtics legend Russell stands alone

It seems unlikely that any player will ever get close to Bill Russell in terms of overall wins. The Boston Celtics center, who was picked by the St Louis Hawks in 1956 NBA Draft but subsequently traded to the Celtics, won 11 NBA Championships during his one-team career in Boston, reaching twelve finals and claiming a ring in 11 of them (1956-57, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1967-68, 1968-69). Russell is widely considered one of the greatest players in history and was a key component of the Celtics side that won eight NBA Championships in a row from 1959 to 1966. During his 13-year career, he only failed to win the biggest twice and is a fives-time NBA MVP and was selected to the All-Star team on 12 occasions.

Unsurprisingly, the list of players with the most NBA Championships behind Russell is dominated by his Celtics teammates of the era, with Sam Jones on 10, Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Satch Sanders and John Havlicek all on eight and Jim Loscutoff and Frank Ramsey on seven. Only one non-Celtics player, Robert Horry, is among that storied collection of players, the former Rockets, Lakers and Spurs forward also winning seven rings.

Chicago Bulls greats Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen each won six, the same number as Abdul-Jammar (Bucks and Lakers) and Bob Cousy, also of the Celtics.

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