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The Five NBA Players with the Most Championships

Bill Russell
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If you only want to know which NBA player has the most championships, the NBA player with the most championships is Bill Russell. Throughout his thirteen-year career, Russell has accumulated ELEVEN NBA Championships. The only seasons that Russell didn't win an NBA championship were during the 1957-58 NBA season and the 1966-67 NBA season.

However, if you are interested in the FIVE NBA players with the most championships you should continue reading!

Before starting, I did not include players on the same team together during the same time period because then it would just start getting repetitive. For example, Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Satch Sanders, John Havlicek, Jim Loscutoff, Bob Cousey, and Frank Ramsey all played during the period when the Boston Celtics won basically a decade worth of championships. Therefore, out of the eight Celtics players, I'll only be including Bill Russell.

If you're still interested in how many champions each of the previously mentioned Boston Celtics players won and their career stats, I'll have them below the Table of Contents!

Table of Contents:

The Boston Celtics Era:

Sam Jones: (10 Championships)

17.7 Points, 4.9 Rebounds, 2.5 Assists

45.6 FG%, 80.3 FT%

27.9 Minutes

Tom Heinsohn: (8 Championships)

18.6 Points, 8.8 Rebounds, 2.0 Assists

40.5 FG%, 79 FT%

29.4 Minutes

K.C. Jones: (8 Championships)

7.4 Points, 3.5 Rebounds, 4.3 Assists

38.7 FG%, 64.7 FT%

25.9 Minutes

Satch Sanders: (8 Championships)

9.6 Points, 6.3 Rebounds, 1.1 Assists

42.8 FG%, 76.7 FT%

24.2 Minutes

John Havlicek: (8 Championships)

20.8 Points, 6.3 Rebounds, 4.8 Assists

43.9 FG%, 81.5 FT%

36.6 Minutes

Jim Loscutoff: (7 Championships)

6.2 Points, 5.6 Rebounds, 0.7 Assists

34.5 FG%, 65.3 FT%

18.5 Minutes

Frank Ramsey: (7 Championships)

13.4 Points, 5.5 Rebounds, 1.8 Assists

39.9 FG%, 80.4 FT%

24.6 Minutes

Bob Cousey: (6 Championships)

18.4 Points, 5.2 Rebounds, 7.5 Assists

37.5 FG%, 80.3 FT%

35.3 Minutes

Slater Martin (5 Championships)

There are actually a good number of NBA players that have won five championships. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dennis Rodman, Magic Johnson, George Mikan, etc. However, out of all the players that have won five championships, I settled on Slater Martin because I'm pretty sure no one knows who he is.

Slater Martin was a 5'10" point guard that played for the Minneapolis Lakers, New York Knicks, and the St. Louis Hawks. He would win four championships (1950, 1952, 1953, 1954) with the Lakers and one championship (1958) with the Hawks.

In his first season in the NBA, he would already win a championship. In that championship run, Martin would only average:

4.7 Points, 2.1 Assists

42 FG%, 58.3 FT%

And even though his career stats were just:

10 Points, 3.4 Rebounds, 3.8 Assists

35.1 FG%, 71.5 FT%

39.4 Minutes

For that time period (the 1950s-60s), ten points was considered a hefty contribution by a player. Martin would even have seven All-Star appearances and was selected to the All-NBA team five times! The two players he got to play with that most NBA fans know are Bob Petit and George Mikan.

Michael Jordan (6 Championships)

Do we even need to introduce Michael Jordan? Throughout his fifteen-year career, Michael Jordan has won six championships. He won three champions from 1990-1993 and another three championships from 1995-1998. In each of those championships, Jordan won the Finals MVP.

If Michael Jordan did not play Minor League Baseball for the Birmingham Barons during the 1993-94, he would have most likely won another championship and Finals MVP that season since even with Jordan gone; the Bulls would still go 55-27. Only two games worse compared to the previous season when the Bulls had Jordan. In addition, the Bulls were still able to make it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals even without Jordan.

Besides his season with the MLB, if Jordan didn't retire for three seasons (1998-2001), he might have been able to win more championships, but it wouldn't have been as likely as the other two players that were a part of the Bulls' Big 3 also left.

Scottie Pippen went to the Houston Rockets while Dennis Rodman went to the Los Angeles Lakers. If Jordan continued playing, the next best player would have been Toni Kukoc.

Amongst Jordans' six championships, his best performance was during the 1992-93 NBA season. Jordan averaged:

35.1 Points, 6.7 Rebounds, 6.0 Assists, 2.1 Steals, and 0.9 Blocks

47.5 FG%, 38.9 3P%, 80.5 FT%

41 Minutes

Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (6 Championships):

Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (aka Lewis Alcindor) won one championship with the Milwaukee Bucks and five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, although Jordan and Abdul Jabbar have the same number of championships, Abdul-Jabbar only has two Finals MVPs. He won the Finals MVP in the 1970-71 NBA season and the 1984-85 NBA season.

Amongst Abdul Jabbar's six championships, his best performance was during the 1979-80 NBA season. Abdul Jabbar averaged:

32 Points, 12.1 Rebounds, 3.1 Assists, 1.1 Steals, and 3.9 Blocks

57.2 FG%, 79 FT%

41 Minutes

Interestingly, when Abdul-Jabbar won Finals MVP in the 1970-71 NBA season, he became the youngest NBA player to win a Finals MVP (23). Fast forward ten years, and Abdul-Jabbar's teammate, Magic Johnson, would beat Abdul-Jabbar's record as Johnson would win Finals MVP at just 20 years old.

Out of the 237 playoff games that Abdul-Jabbar has played, his best playoff performance was in his fifth playoff game. On April 3rd, 1970, in Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Abdul-Jabbar put up:

46 Points, 25 Rebounds, 2 Assists

18/36 FG, 10/15 FT

47 Minutes

Robert Horry (7 Championships):

Out of everybody on this list, Robert Horry is the odd one out. Robert Horry is the only player on this list that is not an All-Star. For his whole career, Horry has been a decent role player.

Even though Horry might not be an All-Star, he's definitely the luckiest player not just on this list but in NBA history. Horry is the human embodiment of being at the right place at the right time. Throughout his career, Horry won seven championships. Two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers, and two with the San Antonio Spurs.

Every time the playoffs came, it's like a light bulb switch in Horry's brain. Throughout his career, his regular-season average was:

7.0 Points, 4.8 Rebounds, 2.1 Assists, 1.0 Steal, and 0.9 Blocks

42.5 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 72.6 FT%

24.5 Minutes

In the playoffs, his career average was:

7.9 Points, 5.6 Rebounds, 2.4 Assists, 1.1 Steals, and 0.9 Blocks

42.6 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 72.2 FT%

28 Minutes

In addition, Horry was so clutch during the playoffs that in his Wikipedia write-up, there's even a section that highlights all his notable playoff clutch plays. To name a few:

  • 1995: In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Horry hit a jumper with 6.5 seconds left to give Houston the win over San Antonio.

  • 2001: In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Horry hit a three-pointer with 47.1 seconds left on the clock, securing the lead against the Philadelphia 76ers.

  • 2005: In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Horry hit a three-pointer with 5.9 seconds left on the clock, giving the Spurs a 96-95 victory.

  • Check the rest of his clutch players here.

Bill Russell (11 Championships):

Last but not least, the NBA player with the most championships is Bill Russell. Throughout his time with the Celtics, he won eleven championships. Unfortunatley, Finals MVP was not an award yet. Still, looking back at each of Russell's performances in the Finals, I think that he would have been awarded the Finals MVP for every Finals series except for the 1968 and 1969 Finals.

Fun Facts:

  • Bill Russell won a Championship for eight years straight (1959-1966).

  • In the last three years of his career, Bill Russell wasn't just the Celtics starting Center, but also their coach! That means three out of eleven of his championships are considered player-coach championships.

  • Bill Russell was also the first Black NBA Coach!

  • In the 1960-61 NBA Playoffs, Russell almost averaged THIRTY REBOUNDS a game! He averaged 29.9.

  • Although Russell was in the playoffs for every season in his career, he's only 31st in playoff games played.

  • In Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers (April 18th, 1962), Russell had 30 points and 40 rebounds.

  • If it weren't for Bill Russell, the Boston Celtics players I mentioned earlier would have probably not been there.

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