Which players have the most rings?

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

For some people, rings are the number one variable in determining how good/bad an NBA player is. After all, the reason we all do the things we do throughout the season (play games, draft, trade, etc.) is to someday win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy (and obtain the ring that comes with it).

And while I personally don’t think rings should be the sole factor in how we view players (more on this later), it still is an important part of the game at the end of the day.

With that said, which NBA players have won the most NBA titles (and therefore collected the most rings)?

10 Players with Most Rings in NBA History*

1. Bill Russell – 11

2. Sam Jones – 10

T-3. Tom Heinsohn – 8

T-3. K.C. Jones – 8

T-3. Satch Sanders – 8

T-3. John Havlicek – 8

T-7. Jim Loscutoff – 7

T-7. Robert Horry – 7

T-7. Frank Ramsey – 7

T-10. Bob Cousy – 6

T-10. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 6

T-10. Michael Jordan – 6

T-10. Scottie Pippen – 6

*Data Provided by Stat Muse

As you can see, most of this list is made of members of the dynastic Boston Celtics of the 50s/60s. And while they definitely deserve each and every ring they earned, they also played in a version of the NBA that was comprised of only eight/nine teams for the majority of their run.  So, for the sake of fairness, let’s also include a top ten list that omits members of that Celtics’ empire.

10 Players with Most Rings in NBA History (not counting 50s/60s Celtics)

1. Robert Horry – 7

T-2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 6

T-2. Michael Jordan – 6

T-2. Scottie Pippen – 6

T-5. George Mikan, Larry Siegfried, Jim Pollard, Slater Martin, Don Nelson, Michael Cooper, Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan – 5

*Data Provided by Stat Muse

Now that we’ve cleared the Celtics fog, we can see that Robert Horry is the all-time leader in rings collected by a non-Celtic. This should serve as a bit of a lesson. Yes, Horry is a fine player. But is he the best player ever? No, of course not! I’m sure even he’d tell you that.

That just goes to show how you can’t use rings as the sole determinant of greatness. Yeah, this list has names like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant. But what about LeBron James, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Garnett, Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlain? Are they less great than guys like Michael Cooper, Ron Hunter, or Derek Fisher (whose names do show up on this list)? I’ll answer that for you: no!

The overall message here: rings are important, but don’t let them serve as the end-all-be-all for player evaluation.

(Sidebar: No current/former New Orleans Pelicans/Hornets are on this list, which makes sense since the franchise has never won an NBA title.)

Next. 5 Point Guards the Pelicans can target in Free Agency. dark