So LeBron James finally won his first NBA championship. Boy are we impressed. Not just anyone can force his way onto a team with two other perennial All-Stars. Bravo, LeBron; you really earned it.
How hard can it be to win an NBA championship? Look at this list of NBA players with (at least) one ring. Once you do, it'll make you think: what took LeBron so long?
Glenn Robinson 2004-05 San Antonio Spurs
This two-time all-star had some great years in his career, but it wasn’t until he limped towards retirement with the San Antonio Spurs in 2004-05 that he “earned” his championship ring. After signing on with the Spurs for the last nine regular season games of the 2004-05 season, Big Dog only logged 14 total minutes in that season’s finals series, tallying two points, three rebounds and three blocks. Three blocks? We guess defense really does win championships.
Jud Buechler – 1996-98 Bulls
Let’s be honest. Anyone not named Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen was unlikely to have a huge impact on the outcome of any Bulls’ series in the late ‘90s. Buechler managed to log at least one minute in all 18 finals games of the second three-peat, but barely averaged more than one point per game to earn his three rings. (If you're scoring at home, that's two more rings than the Chosen One.)
Travis Knight – 1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers
Pre-ponytail Travis Knight filled in for Shaq when the Lakers’ franchise big man needed some rest. His season-high for points was nine and he managed to get onto the court for 14 post-season games. His finals numbers: nine minutes, five points, five fouls. At least he didn’t mar the Lakers championship parade with horrible dance moves like the other Lakers back-up big man, Mark Madsen.
Chris Jent 1993-94 Rockets
Jent played in only six regular-season games over his entire career, but he managed to make his way into 11 post-season games in 1994. That included three finals games in which he shot a combined 0-for-2 while committing three personal fouls. In an ironic twist, Jent was LeBron’s personal shooting coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2006 to 2010. Clearly that championship experience has rubbed off on the King.
Danny Ferry 2003-04 San Antonio Spurs
Unlike a lot of athletes who have a hard time saying goodbye to their sport until it’s too late, Ferry went out on top, winning a ring with the Spurs in his final season. And he did it with style. The 1989 No. 2 overall draft pick managed to play three minutes in the finals and not register a single statistic. No points, no rebounds, no assists, not even a foul or a turnover. He truly did all the things that don’t show up in the box score.
Mitch Richmond – 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers
Richmond is by far the most accomplished player on this list, but he got his ring under very questionable circumstances. After averaging at least 16 points per game in each of the first 13 seasons of his career, Richmond averaged 4.6 points per game with the Lakers in 2001-02. Then came the playoffs, when the six-time all-star played in only two post-season games -- including one minute in the finals against the Nets -- and tallied one basket.
Jason Kapono - 2005–06 Miami Heat
Kapono is proof that just because you know how to shoot, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can be a valuable NBA player. The nine-year veteran is a career 43-percent three-point shooter, but he plays defense about as effectively as a cardboard cutout. Kapono racked up 21 Did Not Plays in the '06 post-season, his only 1:32 of playing time coming in a stats-less game of that year’s finals.
Darko Milicic – 2003-04 Detroit Pistons
Detroit’s Human Victory Cigar was picked over Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2003 draft, and the Pistons have been mocked ever since. Still, he was the first guy in the class to take home an NBA championship ring, logging five total minutes in the 2004 finals and collecting two rebounds and a steal in the Pistons upset win over the Lakers. He’s bounced around on four different teams since, making his biggest mark as the punch line of that talented ’03 draft class.
Adam Morrison – 2009-10 Los Angeles Lakers
Yeah, that Adam Morrison. Remember him? Michael Jordan took Morrison third over all in the 2006 draft, and that’s about it for positive career achievements. In two games, Morrison logged just over 12 minutes for the entire 2010 post-season, scoring eight points total. None of his minutes came in the finals that year, yet he can still show off that championship bling.
Next: The Best Pics You'll See Today
Brian Scalabrine – 2007-08 Celtics
By all accounts, the White Mamba is a loveable guy, embraced throughout the NBA by fans and players alike. Still, he didn’t do a whole lot more than wave a towel on the bench to earn his championship ring. Scalabrine got into 48 games for the Celtics in their first year of the Big Three era and logged exactly zero playoff minutes for the C’s. That still didn’t stop him from unleashing this condescending lecture to the media after the final game of the season.