nba championship trophy
nba championship trophy

14 NBA Players With the Most NBA Championships – 2021 Update.

The NBA has 30 basketball teams, each fighting for an NBA Championship. 30 teams divided into two conferences: Eastern Conference and Western Conference. This year (2019), the 2019 NBA Finals was the championship series of the NBA 2018/19 season, which also marked the end to the season’s playoffs. In the best-of-seven playoff series that started on 30th May and ended 13th June 2019, Toronto Raptors, representing the Eastern Conference defeated their Western Conference counterparts Golden State Warriors, by four games to two. By doing so, the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA Championship title for the first time in history, as well as becoming the first team ever, based outside the United States to win a championship. 

Before we get to our list of 10 Players With the Most NBA Championships. We first need to explain the NBA 82 game and playoff structure. Winning an NBA Championship is f*ckin’ hard and here’s why…

14 Players With the Most NBA Championships

  1. Phil Jackson – 13 Championships
  2. Bill Russell – 11 Championships
  3. Sam Jones – 10 Championships
  4. K.C Jones – 8 Championships
  5. John Havlicek – 8 Championships
  6. Tom “Satch” Jones – 8 Championships
  7. Tom Heinsohn – 8 Championships
  8. Jim Loscutoff – 7 Championships
  9. Frank Ramsey – 7 Championships
  10. Robert Horry – 7 Championships
  11. Bob Cousy – 6 Championships
  12. Scottie Pippen – 6 Championships
  13. Michael Jordan – 6 Championships
  14. Kareem Abdul – 6 Championships

How the NBA 82-Game Structure Works

The NBA season has 82 games, from October to April. But why 82 games? Many NBA fans, especially Millenials, have been raising this question on several online platforms. 

This arrangement allows the participating teams to play at most, three times a week for six months. Before forming the NBA in 1946. Teams in the league only played a few dozen games per season, held mainly on weekends.

In the beginning, only 11 teams were playing in the league, each playing 60 games a season. But later, the league downsized further to 7 teams with each playing 48 games. The season lengthened bit by bit, and soon, new franchises across the country joined the league, leading to an increase in matchups until it arrived at what we know today, 82 games in 1968.

The 82-game structure has remained the same for over 50 years since its inception. The reason why they deiced to stop at 82 depended on a variety of factors. First, the owners believed there was a need to balance revenue coming from ticket sales as well as television deals, with the costs including player salaries, travel expenses and many other expenses they incurred running their franchises. Another factor that came into play was the health of the players, as playing long schedules could damage players’ bodies. The conferences emerged in 1968, splitting into two. Since a franchise would play their five rivals 8 times, while the remaining six teams 7 times, the total comes to 82 games in total (5 franchises x 8 plus 6 x 7). 

The 7 games playoff structure 

NBA teams need to win at least 4 games, guaranteeing their chances to advance. So, this kind of became a decider, thus each series should have the number of games that is less than its double, therefore, (4 x 2) – 1. The team with most NBA championships is the Boston Celtics with 17 titles, winning 11 of them with Bill Russell. This makes Bill Russell the only player who has the most rings in NBA history. 

Let’s take a look at players with the most NBA Championships.

14. Kareem Abdul – 6 rings 

Kareem Abdul played professionally for 20 years from 1969 to 1989. He was born on April 16, 1947, in New York. He dominated the NBA Championships during his 20 years career, starting with the Milwaukee Bucks and then Los Angeles Lakers. Kareem Abdul won six titles alongside six MVP awards and finished as the NBA’s all-time scorer, and managing to get into the history books as among the greatest NBA players of all time. 

Kareem Abdul
Kareem Abdul

Fun facts about Kareem Abdul 

  • He tops the charts the NBA charts for scoring, foul and field goals made and attempted, and minutes.
  • In his career, he averaged over 30 points in 4 seasons out of his 20 seasons.
  • In addition, he once broke his hand after punching Bucks center Kent Benson in 1977 (probably had learned one or two fighting moves from Bruce Lee after starring in Game of Death movie)

NBA Playoff Stats 

  • Highest points: 46 vs. Philadelphia, April 3, 1970.
  • Rebounds: 26 vs. Golden State, May 4, 1977
  • Assists: 11 vs. New York, April 13, 1985
  • Field goals made: 20 vs. Chicago, April 18, 1974
  • Free throws made: 13 vs. Golden State, April 29, 1977
  • Blocks: 9 vs. Golden State, April 22, 1977

Teams Kareem Abdul won NBA Championships with...

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won six NBA titles, one with Milwaukee Bucks and five with Los Angeles Lakers. 

13. Michael Jordan 6 rings 

Michael Jordan alias Michael Jeffrey Jordan, or Air Jordan, was born on February 17, 1963, in New York. Jordan is regarded as the greatest NBA player of all time. He won six championships with Chicago Bulls. Jordan, despite being born in New York, was raised in Wilmington, North Caroline. He joined the University of North Carolina in 1981 at Chapel Hill. He won basket against Georgetown in the national championship game, as a freshman and won the College Player of the Year in 1982. His first season as a professional player was in 1984 to 1985 with Chicago Bulls. In his maiden season, Jordan was the highest scorer and was even named the Rookie of the Year.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

Fun facts about Michael Jordan 

  • As a teenager, Jordan had multiple talents, playing baseball, basketball, and football.
  • Many colleges tried to lure Michael Jordan, including Duke, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Syracuse. In addition, he ended up in North Carolina, where he also majored in cultural geography. 
  • While playing for Chicago Bulls, Jordan was named the Most Valuable Player for a total of five times.
  • And the memes (LOL)
Jordan Crying Face
Jordan Crying Face

NBA Playoff Stats

  • Michael Jordan is the only player to lead his team in rebounds, assists, rebounds, and steals as a rookie.
  • He is the only guard ever to record 2500+ points across five consecutive seasons.
  • Jordan is the only player in NBA history to tally 125+ blocks and 250+ steals in the same season.
  • He scored a massive 63 points in a single playoff game.
  • In five playoff series, Jordan averaged over 40 points per game 

Teams Michael Jordan won NBA Championships with...

Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player of all time and has won six NBA championships with Chicago Bulls between 1991 and 1998 in two three-peats.

MJ 50 All Time Plays

12. Tied – Scottie Pippen – 6 rings 

An older teammate of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen made a deadly partnership with him leading Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. He was born in 25th September 1965 in Hamburg, Arkansas. Scottie Pippen is an NBA Hall of Famer, starting his stellar career in college. He was drafted in 1987 after he came fifth. During his early days, Pippen was scouted by many NBA scouts due to his unique skills. He had a wide wingspan and seemingly unrivaled ability to defend, rebound, and score at will. He was drafted with Seattle Supersonics but a few weeks later, he was traded with Olden Polynice to Chicago Bulls. His career took off the following season, which was also his first as a starter. 

Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen and Jordan during the “Flu Game”

Fun facts about Scottie Pippen 

  • He was with Michael Jordan in every championship titles 
  • Out of his first 1000 NBA games, Scottie Pippen won 715, which is the highest by any NBA player in history. 
  • He was once quoted saying that LeBron James was the best player in NBA history before even James had won his first NBA championship.

NBA Playoff Stats 

  • Scottie Pippen had the highest career points in 1999 against Los Angeles -37
  • His highest assist stat was 13 versus Milwaukee on April 27, 1990.
  • The highest rebound ever recorded by the player was 18 against Miami in 1996.
  • He was awarded NBA player of the week 5 times and NBA player of the month 2 times. 
  • His high three-pointers were 7 versus Utah in 1997
  • His highest blocks number was 5 versus Detroit.

Teams Scottie Pippen won NBA Championships with...

Scotties Pippen won six championships with Chicago Bulls.

11. Bob Cousy – 6 rings 

Nicknamed “the Houdini of the Hardwood,” Bob Cousy was born in 1928. He is credited for revolutionizing the National Basketball League, and I considered an outstanding playmaker and the definitive point guard, among the best the grace the basketball court. His family moved to St. Albans, Queens from Manhattan when he was 12 years old. In the following year, he joined St. Albans’ Andrew Jackson High School, where he played for the school basketball team. Cousy involved in an accident and broke his right arm, forcing him to train his left arm to shoot and dribble. As a junior, he was already a star, and when he was a senior, he was awarded the New York scoring title. He bowed out if a high school with 26 points. 

Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy and Bill Russell

Fun facts about Bob Cousy 

  • Bob Cousy was nicknamed “Houdini of Hardwood” because of how he used to dazzle fans on the stand.
  • Speaking of dazzling the fans, did you know that Bob Cousy played with his left hand but he is naturally right-handed? Now you know. He broke his right arm in junior high and was forced to train his left hand to dribble and shoot. What a G.O.AT!
  • He is French-born 

NBA Playoffs Stats 

  • He led Boston Celtics to six championship titles. 
  • In his entire career, spanning across 13 years, he played 924 NBA games, finishing with 16,960 points, 6,955 assists, and 4,786 rebounds. These stats mean 18.4 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Teams Bob Cousy won NBA Championships with...

Bob Cousy ended his career at Cincinnati Royals but it was with Boston Celtics that he won six NBA championship titles.

10. Robert Horry – 7 rings 

Robert Keith Horry was born on August 25, 1970, in Harford County, Maryland. He managed to play for 16 seasons in National Basketball Association (NBA), during which time he won 7 championships. Horry also has the most rings in the NBA for a player not to have played in the 60s. He is also in an exclusive club of only two players to have won the championship with several NBA teams (3). He won with two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with San Antonio Spurs. Robert Horry is considered one of the best clutch performers and winners in the history of the NBA. 

 Robert Horry - 7 Rings
Robert Horry

Fun facts about Robert Horry 

  • He is among the two players to have ever worn the NBA championship with three different teams – San Antonio Spurs (2), Houston Rockets (2), and Los Angeles Lakers (3).
  • Horry is the all-time leader in leader in NBA playoff games having played 238s
  • He is second all-time three-pointers made in the NBA playoffs with 259 and holds the record for all-time three-pointers in the NAB finals with 53.

NBA playoff stats

  • Robert Horry is an all-time three-pointer in the history of NBA Finals with 53.s

Teams Robert Horry won NBA Championships with...

Robert Horry won seven championship titles with three different team, the Houston Rockets (2), the Los Angeles Lakers (3), and San Antonio Spurs (2).

9. Frank Ramsey – 7 Rings 

Another 7 NBA ringer, Frank Ramsey was born on July 13, 1931, and died July 8, 2018, aged 86 years. Ramsey dedicated his entire 9 years career with Boston Celtic and was a major part of the franchise’s dynasty, helping the team win seven championships. After finishing his playing career, Ramsey went on to coach his home town team Kentucky Colonels during the 1970/1971 season. At Boston Celtics, Ramsey played around some of the finest players the game has ever seen, including Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Snatch Sanders, John Havlicek, among many others. To these days, Boston Celtics have retired his famous #23 jersey he wore during his glittering playing career. 

Frank Ramsey
Frank Ramsey

Fun facts about Frank Ramsey 

  • Frank Ramsey is credited as the first true 6th man in NBA history.
  • Out of his seven championships, six of them were consecutive.
  • He worked as a bank president after retiring from basketball as a coach.

NBA Playoff stats 

  • Highest point per game is 30 points versus St. Louis 
  • His field goal made per game is 11, a feat he achieved on five occasions.
  • He made 15 throws in a single game against Los Angeles 

Teams Frank Ramsey won NBA Championships with...

Frank Ramsey is a 7 times NBA champion with Boston Celtics.

8. Jim Loscutoff – 7 rings 

Jams Losctoff Jr. was born on February 4, 1930, and died on December 1, 2015. As a forward, Loscutoff played on seven Boston Celtics championship teams from 1956 to 1964. He started his basketball career as a senior in 1954-55, leading the scoring and rebounding for the Ducks – 19.6 per game and 17.2 rebounds per game respectively. His single-game rebound record of 32 still stands at the Ducks.

Jim Loscutoff
Jim Loscutoff

Loscutoff was fourth overall pick NBA draft of 1955, selected by the Celtics, who were short in desperate in need rebounding and defensive player. As it occurred, Loscutoff slotted into the team swiftly and then more, in his first season as a Celtics, he collected a mind-blowing 27 rebound in a single game, a franchise record at the time. Jim Loscutoff went on to become of the major building blocks of the Boston Celtics dynasty. He played in the same team as legendries Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn. The trio is considered to be the deadliest rebounding front lines of all time, contributing to 11 championships.

Fun facts about Jim Loscutoff

  • He was a Russian native
  • The Celtics wanted to honor him by retiring the jersey number 18, but Loscutoff he insisted against it so that a future Celtic could wear it.
  • He died of Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia complications 

NBA playoff stats 

  • His career-high points are 16 against Syracuse 
  • The highest field goals made are 7 against Syracuse 
  • Free throws made were 4, still against Syracuse.

Teams Jim Loscutoff won NBA Championships with...

Jim Loscutoff won his seven rings with the Boston Celtics 

7. Tied; John Havlicek – 8 rings 

John Havlicek enjoyed an illustrious 16-year basketball career that saw him win eight championships with Boston Celtics. Havlicek was born in 1940 April 8 and died 2019 April 25. He is credited for popularizing the role of the sixth man, which he did with a lot of success and perfection. Havlicek was the first-ever NBA player to score 1,000 points for 16 seasons consecutively. His jersey (#17) was retired by the Celtics in 1978. He was drafted by the Celtics and Cleveland Browns of the NFL, but after failing to make the cut in the NFL, he joined the Boston Celtics in 1962. He played two positions excellently, guard and forward, and is regarded as the best all-around NBA player of all time with lots of stamina. 

John Havlicek
John Havlicek

Fun facts about John Havlicek 

  • He played college ball with the legendary chair-throwing coach Bobby Knight at Ohio State in 1960.
  • His career would have taken a different route had he been picked for professional football by the Cleveland Browns.
  • His Nickname “Hondo” was inspired by the movie of the same name.

John Havlicek Playoff stats

  • Havlicek is the 12th highest scoring National Basketball Association player by total playoffs points scored – 3,776.
  • He won 8 National Basketball Association championships with Boston Celtics and 13 all-time All-Star. 
  • He shares the highest number of points scored in a single playoff game – 24.

Teams John Havlicek won NBA Championships with...

John Havlicek won eight NBA championships with Boston Celtics 

6. Tied; K.C Jones – 8 rings 

A basketball Hall of Famer, K.C Jones is regarded as the best player to ever play the game. K.C. Jones was a total player with stamina and defensive prowess. He was born on May 25, 1932, in Taylor, Texas and is the only black non-player NBA coach to win multiple championships. He started his basketball career at the University of San Francisco, leading the team to two NCAA championships, playing alongside another future Celtics player Bill Russell. They would also play together with the United States Basketball team, winning the 1956 Olympic Games gold medal in Melbourne, Australia. 

K.C Jones
K.C Jones

Fun facts about K.C Jones 

  • After retiring from playing, K.C Jones became the Celtics coach, winning two NBA championships in 1984 and 1986.
  • Before featuring alongside Bill Russell at Celtics, they played together at the University of San Francisco winning the NCAA championships two times.
  • Won eight NBA championships with the Celtics as a point guard.

Playoff stats 

  • He has won eight championships NBA titles, only Bill Russell (11), and Sam Jones (10) have won more rings. 

Teams K.C. Jones won NBA Championships with...

All of K.C jones eight championships he won playing for Boston Celtics.

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5. Tied; Tom “Satch” Jones – 8 rings 

Tom Ernest “Satch” Sanders was born on November 8, 1938, in New York City. He is tied third with Tom Heinsohn for the most NBA championships titles, and also one of the three to hold the record of 8-0 in NBA Finals series. Jones started his basketball career with New York University and later joined the Boston Celtics where he spent thirteen seasons. After retiring from playing, Sanders was appointed the head coach of Harvard University Basketball team from 1973 to 1977, becoming the first African-American to lead any team as a coach in the Ivy League. He also served as the Celtics head coach in 1978, taking over from his former teammate Tommy Heinsohn. 

Tom "Satch" Jones
Tom “Satch” Jones

Fun facts about Tom Sanders 

  • He has won 8 championships with the Boston Celtics

Playoff stats 

  • He shared the 8-0 record with three other players for in NBA Final series 

Teams Tom Jones won NBA Championships with..

The eight championships he won with the Boston Celtics.

4. Tied; Tom Heinsohn – 8 rings 

Born on August 26, 1934, Tom Heinsohn played, coached and became a broadcaster for the Boston Celtics, in a career spanning across six decades. He is the only player to be involved in each of the 17 Celtics’ championships. 

Tom Heinsohn
Tom Heinsohn

Fun facts 

  • The Celtics’ Tommy Award was named after Tom Heinsohn
  • Of all the start-studded names he played with, he had the played the longest with Bill Russell.

Playoff stats 

  • His highest scoring points per game is 37 against St. Louise 

Teams Tom Heinsohn won NBA Championships with..

He won all his championships with the Boston Celtics 

3. Sam Jones – 10 rings 

Samuel Jones was born on June 24, 1933, in Washington, North Carolina. He is regarded as one of the quickest NBA players of all time. After graduating from North Carolina Central University, Jones Joined the Boston Celtics and played for them from 1957 to 1969.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones 

Fun facts about Sam Jones 

  • He is the second NBA player with the most rings (10)

Playoff stats 

  • His highest points per game are 51
  • The highest field goals made by Sam Jones are 19

Teams Sam Jones won NBA Championships with..

Sam Jones won his ten championships with the Boston Celtics 

2. Bill Russell – 11 rings 

Regarded as the greatest winner in sports ever, Bill Russell holds the record of a player with the most rings in the NBA. He was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1934 and started his basketball career with the University of San Francisco alongside his future Celtics teammate K.C Jones.

Bill Russell
Bill Russell

Fun facts about Bill Russell 

  • Bill was once mistaken for Morgan Freeman
  • He was never that proficient shooter; he averaged just 50 percent per game.

Playoff stats 

  • Won an incredible 11 championships with the Celtics, unmatched record to this day. 
  • He won 5 season MVPs 

Teams Bill Russell won NBA Championships with..

All his 11 championships were won with the Boston Celtics 

1. Phil Jackson – 13 rings 

Phil Jackson is regarding as one to he best best coach to touch the floor. His coaching career was unique and special, all at the same time. Coach Phil groomed two generational talents with MJ at the Bulls and Kobe with the Lakers. Combining for a total of 11 rings. Additionally, if you include the 2 he won as a player you get 13! If we’re talking rings, Phil Jackson is defiantly in a league of his own.

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