It seems like he’s a frequent winner, but exactly how many rings does LeBron have?
Born in Akron, Ohio, LeBron played high school basketball at Saint Vincent Saint Mary’s. He went directly from high school to the NBA. He was drafted #1 overall in the NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
By the end of his career, LeBron James will have taken a stranglehold of several all-time records. He already has several in the bag, but he will still have work to secure the others.
One of the things James has to do to further cement his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players is to win more championships. Right now, he is tied with four others from the Golden State Warriors as active players with the most NBA rings.
How many championship rings does LeBron have? Can he still add to his current ring count?
This article will explain everything you need to know about LeBron James’ NBA Finals performances and all-time records.
LeBron James Ring Count
How many rings does LeBron James have? LeBron James has won four rings as a result of winning four NBA championships with three different franchises — the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Impressively, King James won the NBA Finals MVP all four times.
“The King” won those rings for three teams– the Miami Heat (2012 and 2013), the Cleveland Cavaliers (2016), and the Los Angeles Lakers (2020). He joined Robert Horry, John Salley, and Danny Green as the only players to win three different titles for as many teams. Green was Bron’s teammate with the Lakers in 2020.
Many people criticize James for having “only” four championships. After all, he participated in 10 NBA Finals to arrive at the total. To be fair, though, playing in an NBA Finals series is hard enough, much less winning.
Someone did the math and found that roughly 11% of NBA players (1 out of 9) have won a championship at some point in their careers. Therefore, if anything, 10 Finals appearances should add and not diminish LeBron’s legacy in any way.
See who has won the most team championships in the NBA.
An Overview of LeBron’s Championship Journey
Every championship run is a story in itself. And if you’re LeBron James, everything you do on the biggest stage gets under the microscope.
Let’s take a deep dive to answer in more detail the question, “How many rings does LeBron have?” Here is a rundown of each of The King’s four NBA titles:
First NBA Championship Ring (Miami Heat, 2012)
After nine years and two previous appearances, LeBron finally got over the hump in 2012. It was by no means an easy path to the Larry O’Brien trophy.
James and Co. had to battle adversity in the conference Semifinals and Finals as they trailed both series at some point. Indiana, their semis foes, went up in the driver’s seat for a 2-1 lead before the Heat responded with three straight wins to close the series out. Then, Miami had to win Games 6 and 7 against the Celtics to advance to the NBA Finals.
For the finals, LeBron and the Heat would face the dynamic trio of Kevin Durant, James, Harden, and Russell Westbrook.
These brutal games proved to be just what LeBron needed to emerge victorious against a rising Western Conference power, the Oklahoma City Thunder team. With their young Big 3 intact, OKC won Game 1, but their inexperience cost them Games 3 and 4. James responded with a triple-double in Game 5– 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists– to secure the Larry O’Brien trophy. The Miami Heat ring was LeBron’s first.
At this point, James is looking to shed the stigma of mentally folding out of big games. And boy, he did it spectacularly!
Back-to-Back Rings (Miami Heat, 2013)
“The Chosen One,” along with his band of All-Star teammates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, is sitting on top of the basketball world. The one question that lingered was, “Can LeBron lead his team to a back-to-back?” After all, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant strung together multiple championships before, and they were in the conversation as all-time bests.
Needless to say, James answered the call. This time, they had to deal with an even more battle-tested group, the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs’ core was around for years. They give teams this feeling that you have to play your best to beat them because they will not commit too many mistakes.
After a close Game 1, where the Spurs won, the two titans exchanged KO punches in the next four games. Tim Duncan led the Spurs. San Antonio had a chance to close the serious out in game six until Ray Allen happened.
Many naysayers will have you believe Allen “saved” LeBron’s legacy. However, James did the heavy lifting all game long and finished with, guess what, another triple-double (32-10-11) to help the Heat stay afloat. Game 7 was controlled mainly by the Heat, and they went on a championship parade in South Beach days later. It was one of the greatest comebacks in a series in NBA history.
To commemorate the second championship, the 2013 NBA Championship ring featured two trophies on it. Made of 14-karat gold and black onyx stones, the Miami Heat ring etching reads, “World Champions.” The ring also features 219 diamonds. The NBA Championship Trophy is featured in the middle, with the Heat logo over the top.
Third Championship — Back Home in Cleveland (Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016)
James left Cleveland for Miami on not-so-good terms. That’s what national TV coverage proclaiming your decision to switch teams does for you. This time around, though, it would be different. Bron has two rings and two Finals MVPs to show for it.
But then again, the odds were stacked against him. This same Warriors team finished the Cavs off a year before, although the latter missed the services of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. (Irving played game one and sustained a fractured left kneecap that caused him to miss the remainder of the series).
The 2016 Finals started out looking like a remix of 2015. The Warriors broke the record for most regular season wins (73-9). They were an offensive juggernaut that could turn on their defense if need be. However, LeBron James wasn’t about to be denied.
After infamously going down a 3-1 hole, James, along with Irving and Love, engineered the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history. It took 41 points apiece from Bron and Kyrie to win Game 5 and another 41-point masterpiece from James to set the stage for a winner-take-all Game 7.
Who would forget what happened in Game 7? “The King” came up with a clutch chase-down block on Andre Iguodala. That play set up a Kyrie three-pointer that the Warriors would not recover from. James felt this NBA Finals moment cemented his GOAT case. After another triple-double performance (27-11-11) to claim the title, LeBron has a legitimate point.
Fourth Championship Ring (Los Angeles Lakers, 2020)
At this point in his career, LeBron James was thought to make decisions based on his business ventures. That is why he chose to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2019.
It wasn’t all butterflies and roses for James’ stint with the Purple and Gold. He suffered a severe groin injury in December 2019, causing the Lakers to miss the playoffs entirely. They then traded for Anthony Davis in the offseason and assembled a veteran crew to help James compete for the title in the interim.
Then COVID happened. It puts a halt to the NBA season, although the league managed to set up a bubble in Orlando, Florida. The Lakers in the Orlando bubble picked up where they left off and secured the 1st seed in the Western Conference on their way to the NBA Finals.
The 2020 NBA Finals was basically a LeBron James show. James’ numbers were otherworldly– nearly 30 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. The Heat offered resistance via a team effort as seven players averaged double digits, led by Jimmy Butler’s 26. In the end, the Lakers’ defense proved to be too much.
Can you guess the emerging pattern here? Yep! James got another triple-double in a Finals closeout game with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 dimes. On October 11, 2020, the Lakers beat the Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers were once gain champs.
LeBron James’ All-Time Records
Barring any career-ending injury, LeBron James will become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer next season. But did you know he already has some impressive records under his name? Here are five of them:
1.) One of a Kind. He is the first player to compile at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists.
2.) Career All-NBA nods. LeBron is a member of 17 All-NBA teams, and 13 of those are first-team selections. Both are all-time records.
3.) Total points in the playoff. Bron is also the all-time leader in playoff points. He has a total of 7,631 points, nearly 2,000 more points than second-place Michael Jordan.
4.) Consecutive seasons averaging at least 25 PPG. Despite not being considered a prolific scorer, James has averaged 25 points in successive seasons, more than anyone. He now averaged at least 25 points for 18 consecutive seasons.
5.) Consecutive games in double-digit scoring. Bron last scored in single digits on January 5, 2007, against the Bucks. He has dropped double-digits in every game after that. That’s 1,096 games in consecutive double-digit scoring. Jordan is a distant second at 866 games, and no other active streak comes close.
See How long is a basketball game (NBA, WNBA, NCAA, High School, and more).
A Record LeBron Might Break — All-time NBA Scoring Leader
Here’s a significant NBA all-time record that LeBron could break. Currently, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the leader in most points for an NBA career, with 38,387. LeBron sits in second place with 37,062 points ahead of Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643). So, LeBron is only 1,325 points away.
Over his 18 seasons in the league, LeBron is averaging 2059 points per season (37,062 points divided by 18 seasons = 2,059). LeBron could secure this all-time record in the 2022-23 season.
Can LeBron James Add Another Ring To His Count?
No one can predict the future, but it’s a bad idea to bet against an all-time great. From a roster perspective, the Los Angeles Lakers still have a lot of wheeling and dealing to do.
The Kyrie Irving-Russell Westbrook trade rumors are still in full force, but nothing seems imminent now. Irving, as the third wheel after James and Anthony Davis, solves most of the Lakers’ problems on offense. Even if a deal of that magnitude pulls through or not, anything is possible in a LeBron James-led team.
When we revisit this article in a couple of years, might the answer to the question, “How many rings does LeBron have?” be different?
Championship Rings FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions related to championship rings in the NBA.
How many rings does Bill Russell have?
The great Bill Russell, who recently passed away, is the leader with the most championship rings with 11.
How many rings does John Havlicek have?
John Havlicek won eight rings — all with the Boston Celtics. His teammate Sam Jones won 10 rings.
How many rings does Michael Jordan have?
Michael Jordan won six championship rings, all with the Chicago Bulls.
How many rings does Scottie Pippen have?
Scottie Pippen won six championship rings playing with Jordan and the Bulls.
How many championship rings does Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have?
Kareem won six rings — one with the Milwaukee Bucks and five with the Lakers.
How many rings does Kobe have?
Kobe Bryant earned five NBA championship rings.
How many rings does Stephen Curry have?
Steph Curry has won four championship rings with the Golden State Warriors.
How many rings does Shaq have?
Shaquille O’Neal, aka Shaq, won four rings. Shaq won one with the Miami Heat and three with the Los Angeles Lakers.
How many rings does Moses Malone have?
Mose Malone won one championship with the Philadelphia 76ers.
How many rings does Julius Erving have?
Julius Erving, aka Dr. J, won one championship with the Philadelphia 76ers.
By Jan Rey with Mike O’Halloran
Jan is a sucker for all things basketball and still yells, “Kobe!” every time he tosses a crumpled piece of paper into a trash can. Mike has written four books on youth basketball.
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