There’s nothing more prestigious than winning an NBA championship, but have you ever wondered who has the most NBA rings of all-time? The names on that list might surprise you, especially considering none of them are active players and most of them were teammates.
The first championship series occurred in 1947 as the BAA Finalas and the first NBA Finals occurred in 1950. There have been 72 championship series in total since then, with the Minneapolis Lakers winning the inaugural NBA Finals series, as well as five of the first ten.
Throughout the history of the Finals, 19 different franchises have hoisted the ultimate prize. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are the franchises who has the most NBA rings – they both have 17 championships. The Milwaukee Bucks are the most recent NBA Finals winners.
So, Who Has the Most NBA Rings?
Several franchises have established themselves as all-time greats with the amount of championships they’ve won and others have yet to achieve the feat, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss today. Instead, we want to know who has the most NBA rings among players.
We all know how difficult it is to win an NBA championship because we see teams compete for the ultimate prize every single year, but most people get so caught up in the modern era that they don’t take the time to appreciate some of the greats that have come before the era today.
It might surprise you to learn that while LeBron James has the most NBA rings among active players at 4 championships, he doesn’t even land in the top-20 of who has the most NBA rings all-time. In fact, one player in particular won nearly three times as much as LeBron – crazy!
Honorable Mentions: George Mikan (5), Jim Pollard (5), Slater Martin (5), Larry Siegfried (5), Don Nelson (5), Michael Cooper (5)
20. Magic Johnson
Championships: 5 (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
Years Active: 1979-1996 (13 seasons)
Magic Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft and won his first championship with the team in 1980. He ended up winning five rings in a nine-year period with the Lakers before retiring in 1991 as a result of testing positive for HIV.
Johnson returned during the 1995-96 season, but only played 32 games before retiring again. He was a 12-time All-Star, four-time assists champ, two-time steals champ, 10-time All-NBA player, three-time MVP, three-time Finals MVP, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2002.
19. Dennis Rodman
Championships: 5 (1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Years Active: 1986-2000 (14 seasons)
Dennis Rodman was a second round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons in 1986 and went on to become one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. He won two championships with the Pistons in 1989 and 1990 before joining the Bulls in 1995 and winning three consecutive rings.
Rodman led the league in rebounding seven times in a row from 1991-1998, never averaging less than 14.9 rebounds per game in any season during that span. He finished his career with 13.1 rebounds per game in 991 games. He was also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
18. Ron Harper
Championships: 5 (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001)
Years Active: 1986-2001 (15 seasons)
In the same 1986 draft that saw Rodman go to the Pistons in the second round, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Ron Harper with the eighth overall pick. The two would become teammates in Chicago in 1995 and won three consecutive championships together from 1996-1998.
Harper went on to win two more rings with the Lakers in the final two seasons of his career. He was a regular 20-point scorer up until he joined MJ and the Bulls in 1994. He was their starting center and took the backseat to MJ, Scottie, Rodman, and the rest of the dominant Bulls.
17. Steve Kerr
Championships: 5 (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003)
Years Active: 1988-2003 (15 seasons)
Steve Kerr was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 1988 and spent time with the Cavaliers and Orlando Magic before landing with the Bulls in 1993. He was a member of the three-peat that included Rodman and Harper, but also won two rings with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003.
Although Kerr never had the level of individual success as some other basketball stars, he’s remembered as one of the better teammates in NBA history. He could hit a clutch shot when needed, played valuable minutes off the bench, and has also won three rings as a head coach.
16. Kobe Bryant
Championships: 5 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
Years Active: 1996-2016 (20 seasons)
Kobe Bryant was the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, but had his rights traded to the Lakers on draft day. He only averaged 7.6 points per game in 71 games his rookie season, but started to take the league by storm the following year and the rest is history.
Bryant led the Lakers to a three-peat from 2000-2002 and then a back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. He finished his career as an 18-time All-Star, two-time scoring champ, 15-time All-NBA player, 12-time All-Defensive player, one-time MVP, two-time Finals MVP, and Hall-of-Famer.
15. Derek Fisher
Championships: 5 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
Years Active: 1996-2014 (18 seasons)
Speaking of Los Angeles Lakers’ legends, Derek Fisher was drafted 24th overall by the team in 1996 and spent a majority of his career alongside Kobe. In fact, he was a member of all five of Kobe’s championship runs, including the famous three-peat and back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.
Fisher also spent stints with the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, and Dallas Mavericks. He averaged more than 10 points per game in seven different seasons, shot 37.4% from beyond the three-point line, and was as reliable as any other point guard in the NBA.
14. Tim Duncan
Championships: 5 (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
Years Active: 1997-2016 (19 seasons)
Tim Duncan was drafted first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1997 NBA Draft and spent his entire 19-year career with the team. In that time, he won five championships – including one in three different decades (the ‘90s, the ‘00s, and the ‘10s). He had an incredible NBA career.
Duncan scored more than 20 points per game in nine of his first 10 seasons and scored more than 13 points per game in each of his first 18 seasons. He was a 15-time All-Star, 15-time All-Defensive player, two-time MVP, three-time Finals MVP, and 1997-98 Rookie of the Year.
13. Bob Cousy
Championships: 6 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963)
Years Active: 1950-1970 (14 seasons)
Bob Cousy was drafted by the Tri-City Blackhawks with the fourth overall pick in the 1950 NBA Draft, but had his rights traded to the Boston Celtics. He spent the first 13 years of his career with the Celtics, winning six championships in that time frame – including five consecutive.
He retired in 1963, but returned during the 1969-70 season with the Cincinnati Royals. He only played seven games and retired for good after that. He was a 13-time All-Star, eight-time assists champ, one-time MVP, two-time All-Star MVP, and 12-time All-NBA player in his 14-year career.
12. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Championships: 6 (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
Years Active: 1969-1989 (20 seasons)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the first overall draft pick in the 1969 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He spent the first six years of his career with the team and won a championship in his second season. During the span, he averaged more than 30 points per game in four different seasons.
Abdul-Jabbar then joined the Lakers in 1975 and won five championships with them from 1980-1988. He was a 19-time All-Star, two-time scoring champ, four-time blocks champ, one-time rebounding champ, six-time MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Hall-of-Famer in 1995.
11. Scottie Pippen
Championships: 6 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Years Active: 1987-2004 (17 seasons)
Scottie Pippen was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics with the fifth overall draft selection in 1987, but had his rights traded to the Chicago Bulls. He spent the first 11 years of his career with Chicago and was a member of both three-peats with MJ. He was a regular 20-point scorer.
Pippen played the final six years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and one more season with the Bulls. He was a seven-time All-Star, one-time steals champ, 10-time All-Defensive player, seven-time All-NBA player, and one-time All-Star MVP.
10. Michael Jordan
Championships: 6 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
Years Active: 1984-2003 (15 seasons)
We crack the top-10 with one of the greatest and most iconic players of all-time, Michael Jordan. He was the player that led the Bulls to six championships in eight years, including two three-peats. He’s the reason players like Rodman, Pippen, Kerr, and Harper are on this list.
Not many players have a resume like MJ. He was a 14-time All-Star, 10-time scoring champ, three-time steals champ, 11-time All-NBA player, nine-time All-Defensive player, one-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, five-time MVP, and six-time NBA Finals MVP.
9. Jim Loscutoff
Championships: 7 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
Years Active: 1955-1964 (9 seasons)
Jim Loscutoff is a name many people might not recognize, especially if you aren’t in-tune with the deep history of the game. He was drafted fourth overall by the Celtics and won seven rings in a nine-year span with the team, including six consecutive championships from 1959-1964.
Although Loscutoff wasn’t the go-to player on his team and he only averaged north of 10 points per game in one season, he was an integral part of the Celtics’ dynasty in the late-1950s and early-1960s. He was a quality rebounder and knew how to get the most out of his teammates.
8. Frank Ramsey
Championships: 7 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
Years Active: 1954-1964 (9 seasons)
Frank Ramsey was drafted sixth overall by the Boston Celtics just two years prior to the team drafting Loscutoff. Ramsey made his debut during the 1954 season and averaged 11.2 points per game, but didn’t play the following year due to military service in the United States Army.
He returned in 1956 and played the next eight seasons with the Celtics, winning seven championships in that span – all of which were with Loscutoff. During his nine-year career, Ramsey scored more than 15 points per game in five straight seasons and is a Hall-of-Famer.
7. Robert Horry
Championships: 7 (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007)
Years Active: 1992-2008 (16 seasons)
Robert Horry is the only player on this list that won a ring with three different teams – only three other players have done so in NBA history. He won two with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995, three straight with the Lakers from 2000-2002, and two with the Spurs in 2005 and 2007.
Horry only averaged north of 10 points per game in three different seasons – all within the first four years of his career. With that said, he was a regular role player and did a little bit of everything, which is why so many teams were able to utilize him to the fullest over his career.
6. Tom Heinsohn
Championships: 8 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
Years Active: 1956-1965 (9 seasons)
Tom Heinsohn was drafted sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1956 NBA Draft and spent his entire nine-year career with the team. He won a championship his rookie season before helping the Celtics begin their infamous championship streak in 1959 and through the 1960s.
In his nine-year career, Heinsohn averaged more than 16 points per game in eight seasons and more than 20 points per game in three seasons. He averaged a double-double twice and was a regular rebounder for Boston, alongside the great Bill Russell. Heinsohn is highly underrated.
5. K.C. Jones
Championships: 8 (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
Years Active: 1958-1967 (9 seasons)
K.C. Jones was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 1956 NBA Draft. He officially joined the team in 1958 and won a championship his rookie season. He was then an integral member of seven straight championship runs with the Celtics from 1960-1966.
Jones played heavy minutes for the Celtics as the team’s starting point guard. While he never put up big numbers and never averaged in the double digits, he was a reliable player and one the Celtics were happy to have back in the day. That’s why they kept him around for so long.
4. Satch Sanders
Championships: 8 (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969)
Years Active: 1960-1973 (13 seasons)
Tom ‘Satch’ Sanders was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the eighth overall pick in 1960. He spent his entire 13-year career with the team, winning seven-straight championships from 1961-1966 and eight total in a nine-year span. He retired four years after winning his last ring.
Sanders only averaged 5.3 points per game as a rookie, but averaged double-digit points in each of the next nine seasons. He rebounded well throughout his career, averaging 6.3 rebounds per game in 916 career games. He was inducted to the Hall-of-Fame in 2011.
3. John Havlicek
Championships: 8 (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976)
Years Active: 1962-1978 (16 seasons)
John Havlicek was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the ninth overall pick in 1962 and enjoyed an illustrious 16-year career with the team. He won a championship his rookie year as the Celtics were in the midst of a 8-year championship streak. Havlicek was there for six of them.
After Bill Russell and Sam Jones retired in 1969, Havlicek continued to dominate the NBA and helped lead them to two more rings in 1974 and 1976. He averaged more than 14.3 points per game in every season of his career, including more than 20 points per game in eight seasons.
2. Sam Jones
Championships: 10 (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969)
Years Active: 1957-1969 (12 seasons)
Sam Jones was drafted eighth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1957. He only scored 4.6 points per game his rookie year, but averaged 10.7 points per game his second season en route to his first championship. That was the start of eight-straight championships for him and the Celtics.
His stats continued to improve every year he spent in the league, eventually reaching a career-high 25.9 points per game during the 1964-65 season. He won two more championships with Boston in 1968 and 1969, bringing him one ring short of the player with the most titles.
1. Bill Russell
Championships: 11 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969)
Years Active: 1956-1969 (13 seasons)
Bill Russell was drafted second overall by the St. Louis Hawks in 1956, but had his rights traded to the Boston Celtics. It was a good move for the team, despite it receiving some criticism at the time due to Russell’s lack of offensive prowess. Of course, he proved everyone wrong.
Russell averaged double-digit points in all but one season – the lone season ending with 9.9 points per game. He led the league in rebounding five times, regularly played more than 40 minutes per game, was a five-time MVP, and won 11 championships in his 13-year career.
Who Has the Most NBA Rings Among Active Players?
A majority of the list of who has the most NBA rings can be attributed to four players – Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. If it weren’t for those four players, a majority of the 16 other players likely wouldn’t be on this list today. That’s how special they were.
With that said, it’s quite surprising not to see any active players on the list. LeBron James is the closest to joining the list with four titles right now. He can make his way on the list if he wins one more before retiring, which is 100% possible considering he always plays for a contender.
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Other active NBA players who has the most NBA rings are Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Udonis Haslem, Patrick McCaw, JaVale McGee, and Danny Green. Five players have two rings, including Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, and Kawhi Leonard.
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