Awarded to each member of the team that wins the annual NBA Finals, NBA rings are the most sought-after piece of bling in basketball.
In this article, we look at who has the most NBA rings in the sport’s history. We’ve also included a table of every single player who’s won more than two rings at the end, so let’s get right into it!
1. Bill Russell (11 Rings)
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With 11 rings, Bill Russell holds the outright record for the most NBA rings owned by a single player. He is one of the most iconic players from the 50s and 60s, helping the Boston Celtics dominate the league for a decade and a half. Incredibly, Russell played just 13 seasons in the NBA and won the championship in 85% of them.
He is not only the man who won the most rings in the NBA, he redefined how influential a center position could be, and was a huge presence on the court, particularly on defense. Russell was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame (as a player and a coach), and was even awarded the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.
He passed away in 2022 at the age of 88. His record will undoubtedly remain untouched for the rest of history.
2. Sam Jones (10 Rings)
The Celtics dynasty of the 50s and 60s is arguably the greatest in American sports history. The run of eight consecutive championships, recorded between 1959 and 1966, is the longest in US professional sports. So, it’s no surprise that a lot of Bill Russell’s teammates also feature towards the top of this list.
Sam Jones was the yin to Bill Russell’s yang. Russell would intimidate opponents in the paint and block anything that came near to him, where Jones was an athletic shooting guard, known for his ability to knock down clutch baskets.
His 10 NBA rings came in just 12 seasons, and he was a five-time NBA All-Star. He died in 2021, aged 88.
3. Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Satch Sanders, John Havlicek (8 Rings)
Four players share the record for the third most rings in NBA history. Tom Heinsohn, K. C. Jones, Satch Sanders, and John Havlicek all earned eight rings, and, unsurprisingly, were all members of the Celtics dynasty that starred alongside Bill Russell and Sam Jones.
Heinsohn and Jones have the highest championship-winning percentage (89%), as they both played in just 9 seasons. Satch Sanders (62%) and John Havlicek (50%) had a much more modest win percentage, as both played into the 70s when the Celtics’ domination had waned slightly.
Tom Heinsohn is probably the most well-known of this fab four, as he went on to coach the Celtics’ for 9 years, and then had a 30-year career in commentary. He was either a player, coach, or commentator for each of the Celtics’ 17 championship wins and was aptly known as “Mr. Celtic”.
Image: Benoît Prieur/Wikimedia Commons
4. Jim Loscutoff, Frank Ramsey and Robert Horry (7 Rings)
Jim Loscutoff and Frank Ramsey were (you guessed it) also members of the Celtics dynasty.
Both won their seven rings between 1957 and 1964, but flew somewhat under the radar compared to some of their teammates on this list. Loscutoff is the only member of the Celtics dynasty in this article who has not been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Robert Horry is the most decorated NBA Champion from the modern era, thanks to his championship wins with the Houston Rockets (2), the Los Angeles Lakers (3), and the San Antonio Spurs (2).
Although Horry was never a prolific scorer, (he averaged 7 points per game throughout his career) and often started games on the bench, he was known for performing in the big moments, especially in the playoffs.
He hit game-winning shots in the 2002 Western Conference Finals, 2003 Western Conference Finals, and the 2005 NBA Finals. In the latter, he scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and overtime with the performance garnering comparisons to Michael Jordan’s playoff heroics in 1998.
5. Bob Cousy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen (6 Rings)
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Bob Cousy was another Celtics legend who won six NBA Championships with the franchise between 1957 and 1963. He was drafted to the Celtics six years before Bill Russell joined the team.
He is widely regarded as the first great point guard in the history of the NBA, was the league MVP in 1957, a 13-time All-Star, and an eight-time NBA Assist leader.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is another legend associated with a great dynasty, but this time, it’s not the Celtics. After starting his career at the Milwaukee Bucks, where he would win one championship in 1971, he joined the Celtics’ greatest rivals, the LA Lakers, in 1975. Throughout the 1980s, Abdul-Jabbar went on to inspire the Lakers to win five NBA Championships, cementing his status as an all-time great of the sport.
One of the most decorated basketball players of all time, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA career scoring record holder for nearly 40 years, a six-time NBA MVP, 19-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, two-time scoring champion, four-time blocks leader, and one-time rebounding leader.
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan are two legends of the modern NBA that scarcely need an introduction. They formed an incredible on-court chemistry that resulted in two three-peats for the Chicago Bulls from 1991-1993 and 1996-1998.
Both players made each other better and were a dominant force on both ends of the floor. When not playing together, Jordan averaged 7.5 points less, and Pippen 2 points less per game. Both Pippen and Jordan have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and share 21 NBA All-Star appearances between them.
Despite their obvious connection on the court in the 90s, their relationship seems to have soured in recent years. According to Pippen, Michael didn’t properly acknowledge the role of his teammates and the importance they played in the Last Dance documentary released in 2020. However, their legacy and impact on the sport can never be altered, and they rightfully take their place among the most decorated players in the history of the NBA.
What about everyone else?
Image: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
You may have noticed some of the sport’s most famous players are absent from the above list. Where does Lebron rank? What about Dennis Rodman? How many rings did Kobe win?
Well, they only just missed out on the top spots. Kobe Bryant and Dennis Rodman won five each, while Lebron James comes in just below with four NBA championships under his belt.
Check out the below table for a full list of players who have won more than two rings so far. We start with the NBA players with the most rings.
PlayerNo. of ringsChampionship team(s)Bill Russell11Boston CelticsSam Jones10Boston CelticsSatch Sanders8Boston CelticsK. C. Jones8Boston CelticsTom Heinsohn8Boston CelticsJohn Havlicek8Boston CelticsFrank Ramsey7Boston CelticsJim Loscutoff7Boston CelticsRobert Horry7Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio SpursScottie Pippen6Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan6Chicago Bulls Bob Cousy6Boston Celtics Kareem Abdul-Jabbar6Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles LakersLarry Siegfried5Boston Celtics Dennis Rodman5Detroit Pistons, Chicago BullsJim Pollard5Minneapolis Lakers Don Nelson5Boston Celtics George Mikan5Minneapolis Lakers Slater Martin5Minneapolis Lakers, St. Louis Hawks Steve Kerr5Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs Magic Johnson5Los Angeles Lakers Ron Harper5Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers Derek Fisher5Los Angeles Lakers Tim Duncan5San Antonio Spurs Michael Cooper5Los Angeles LakersKobe Bryant5Los Angeles LakersJamaal Wilkes4Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers Klay Thompson4Golden State WarriorsBill Sharman4Boston Celtics Frank Saul4Rochester Royals, Minneapolis Lakers John Salley4Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles LakersKurt Rambis4Los Angeles LakersWill Perdue4Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker4San Antonio Spurs Robert Parish4Boston Celtics, Chicago BullsShaquille O’Neal4Los Angeles Lakers, Miami HeatVern Mikkelsen4Minneapolis Lakers LeBron James4Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles LakersAndre Iguodala4Golden State WarriorsGene Guarilia4Boston CelticsDraymond Green4Golden State WarriorsHorace Grant4Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles LakersManu Ginóbili4San Antonio SpursStephen Curry4Golden State Warriors James Worthy3Los Angeles Lakers Scott Williams3Chicago BullsBill Wennington3Chicago BullsDwyane Wade3Miami HeatWhitey Skoog3Minneapolis LakersDickey Simpkins3Chicago BullsPaul Silas3Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonicsBrian Shaw3Los Angeles LakersByron Scott3Los Angeles LakersJohn Paxson3Chicago Bulls Willie Naulls3Boston CelticsMitch Kupchak3Washington Bullets, Los Angeles LakersKevin McHale3Boston Celtics JaVale McGee3Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers Patrick McCaw3Golden State Warriors, Toronto RaptorsClyde Lovellette3Minneapolis Lakers, Boston CelticsKevon Looney3Golden State WarriorsLuc Longley3Chicago BullsShaun Livingston3Golden State WarriorsToni Kukoč3Chicago BullsStacey King3Chicago BullsJames Jones3Miami Heat, Cleveland CavaliersDennis Johnson3Seattle SuperSonics, Boston CelticsGerald Henderson3Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons Udonis Haslem3Miami Heat Bob Harrison3Minneapolis LakersDanny Green3San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles LakersA.C. Green3Los Angeles LakersDevean George3Los Angeles LakersRick Fox3Los Angeles LakersMario Elie3Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs James Edwards3Detroit Pistons, Chicago BullsGene Conley3Boston Celtics Sam Cassell3Houston Rockets, Boston CelticsBill Cartwright3Chicago BullsJud Buechler3Chicago BullsRandy Brown3Chicago BullsBruce Bowen3San Antonio SpursLarry Bird3Boston CelticsB. J. Armstrong3Chicago Bulls
Lead image: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0