When it comes to pro basketball players and gold jewelry, perhaps no other item is as famous as the championship ring NBA gifted to the members of that year’s reigning team. In fact, entire websites and social media accounts have been created to document athletes and their NBA rings through the years. Yet NBA rings aren’t the only game in town for hoop-worthy gold jewelry. Here, we explore some of the famous stylish athletes who have earned championship rings over their careers—as well as giving you insider tips on how you can emulate the same look for less.
Stylish Basketball Players
It’s easy to understand all the hype about NBA Championship rings, even if you may not be an avid basketball follower. After all, with each championship ring custom made for the athlete, coach, or executive, these are not only mementos of on-the-court accomplishments, but they are priceless collector’s items, as well. It also doesn’t hurt that these rings are gorgeous works of art: each one is inlaid with precious gems such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Given basketball’s close ties with hip-hop culture, it’s no surprise that championship rings feature plenty of gold—specifically, 100% yellow gold. They also often draw inspiration from historical jewelry designs and techniques, all the while paying homage to the team’s successes through symbolism.
Warriors team members showing off their 2022 NBA Championship Rings
Most recently, the Golden State Warriors’ 2021-2022 NBA Championship ring featured a secret compartment that includes a miniature replica of the Larry O’Brien Trophy—with each player, coach, or executive receiving a ring with the number of trophies corresponding to those they have won during their Warriors career. This unique ring also came with plenty of symbolism, featuring 16 carats of yellow and gold diamonds to reference the team’s 16 wins, 7 carats of yellow cushion-cut diamonds to reference the Warriors’ 7 championships, and 43 baguettes to reference Stephen Curry’s 43-point performance in Game 4 of Finals.
NBA Championship rings are traditionally given to the year’s winning team right before the next basketball season’s opening game, and each year the buzz around these rings grows, with designs unveiled to plenty of media coverage. When it comes to NBA championship rings LeBron James is one of the first players to spring to mind, as he frequently rocks the 4 he has won so far—2 with Miami Heat, 1 with Cleveland Cavaliers, and 1 with LA Lakers. But there are other famous basketball players who have won even more rings throughout their careers. If LeBron wants to make it atop the list of ringbearers, there are 6 Michael Jordan rings (all with Chicago Bulls), 6 Kareem Abdul Jabbar rings (1 with Milwaukee, 5 with LA Lakers), and 5 Magic Johnson rings (all with LA Lakers) he must contend with, among several other record-breaking athletes. There are also famous NBA players who are just getting started on their ring-collecting journey: of particular note are the 2 Kevin Durant rings (both with the Golden State Warriors) and the 2 Kawhi Leonard rings (1 with San Antonio Spurs, the other with the Toronto Raptors). Thanks to these and other up-and-coming players, we’re guaranteed to see eye-catching NBA Championship ring designs for many years to come.
Reinterpreting the Championship Ring Look
The love between NBA players and gold jewelry isn’t just limited to their hard-earned championship rings. NBA players’ necklace and bracelet picks are also noteworthy, as they help these athletes stand out from the crowd whether they are on or off the court. Gold chains and diamond-encrusted bracelets are two designs most preferred by pro players in their downtime.
So, do you find yourself wanting to borrow your favorite player’s look but don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you have a job or hobby that prevents you from wearing rings, or maybe you’d just rather keep your fingers free. You can still get the same dazzling look of diamond-studded NBA rings by wearing jewels on a necklace or bracelet, instead. Try the Monaco ChainTM EDGE Swarovski necklace and the Monaco ChainTM CLASSIC Pavé Lock bracelet for some bling. If glittering gems are a bit much for you, you can also opt for the sleek elegance of a timeless gold chain like the Monaco ChainTM CLASSIC Plain necklace, available in various lengths and widths in 10k or 14k yellow gold.
If you’re looking to get the same 100% gold look as your favorite NBA players without scouring online auctions or breaking the bank, check out Monaco ChainTM’s high-quality and reasonably priced designs, offered with superb customer service.
Who has the most championship rings?
The record holder for the most NBA Championship rings was the late Bill Russell, who played center for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. Prior to his passing on July 31, 2022, Russell had won 11 rings in 13 seasons.
How much does an NBA Championship ring cost?
Due to their custom-made design, NBA Championship rings are a collector’s item—making them extremely expensive in comparison to other gold jewelry. The price of an NBA Championship ring can range from $15,000 to $20,000, with the most expensive ring to date being the Chicago Bulls 1993 championship ring given to Michael Jordan—which cost a whopping $200,000 and featured more than 50 carats of diamonds.
Are NBA Championship rings real diamonds?
Yes! In addition to their rarity due to their custom-made nature, NBA Championship rings also owe a great deal of their value to the precious gems inlaid in them. For instance, the 2021-2022 NBA Championship ring features 16 carats of yellow and gold diamonds, plus 7 carats of yellow cushion-cut diamonds and 43 baguettes.
What are NBA Championship rings made of?
NBA Championship rings have traditionally been made of yellow or white gold. While early designs were much simpler—mostly engraved gold rings featuring the occasional gemstone—in recent years the designs have grown much more intricate, often featuring gemstones inlaid over the entire top of the ring.