Winning a championship in the NBA is something every player dreams of. We have seen a lot of legends who retired without winning a single ring, while Boston Celtics legends Bill Russell and Sam Jones managed to claim the championship title 11 and 10 times respectively. Winning the NBA Finals twice is not something spectators are not used to, but speaking about a player who has achieved this feat with 3 different teams is indeed a rarity. You may wonder What NBA player has won 3 Championships with 3 teams?
What NBA player has won 3 championships with 3 teams? In the history of the NBA, only 4 players can boast of having such a result: LeBron James, Danny Green, Robert Horry, and John Salley.
We have taken a look at the four players and see how exactly they won three championships with three different teams.
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John Salley was the first player in history to have won NBA championships with 3 different teams. Playing as a power forward Salley first claimed the title in 1989 with the Detroit Pistons and added one more in 1990. He was never considered a leader and driving force of his team but always managed to put all efforts into a team’s success.
Following an unsuccessful period at the Toronto Raptors, in March 1996, Salley joined the Chicago Bulls. Back at that time, the Bulls were full of stars, with Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman simply dominating other teams. Salley was a part of the team that won 72 games in the regular season and later won the championship title as well.
His fourth and final championship with the third different team came with the Lakers in 2000. Alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Salley also reunited with his former coach Phil Jackson. Then he proudly retired from the game and his name was marked in the history of basketball.
Robert Horry is the type of player every team would have wished to have in their roster. Horry was the second player after Salley two achieve this result. Considered as one of the most clutch and effective players of all time, Horry won 7 championships in total.
Unlike Salley, Robert Horry was always a central figure in the playoffs. His first two championships came with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. He built a reputation as a clutch shooter when in 1995 against the San Antonio Spurs in the first game made a game-winning shot.
After 4 years of title-drought, from 2000 to 2002 Robert Horry won 3 NBA championships in a row with the Lakers. During the first championship, he and Salley were teammates. Even though the statistics do not fully denote his impact on the team, Horry was once again demonstrated his clutch ability in the final moments of the game.
With the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich, Horry won sixth and seventh titles respectively. In the 2005 Finals, he scored 21 of Spurs’ points in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Detroit Pistons. The next championship was easier, as they swept the Cleveland Cavaliers without problems.
Danny Green is a perfect perimeter defender and 3-point shooter. He made a real breakthrough with the San Antonio Spurs in 2011. Green was an irreplaceable member of the team, that delivered one of the greatest performances of all-time against the Miami Heat in 2014. It was the epitome of teamwork and Green was a key member of the roster.
After an unsuccessful period with the team, he moved to the Toronto Raptors in 2018, winning his second championship. In the 2019 NBA Finals, the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors who were without injured Kevin Durant and lost Klay Thompson as well. With his former teammate Kawhi Leonard, the franchise won the first title in history.
The third championship was with the Lakers. Danny Green was in the starting lineup in the playoffs, which saw disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic. While criticized for his poor 3-point shooting, Green was impeccable in defense – playing against elite offensive players like James Harden, Jamal Murray, Damian Lillard, and Jimmy Butler. In the Finals, the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 4:2 and Green moved to the Philadelphia 76ers afterward.
Considered by many experts as one of the greatest players of all time, LeBron James has gone a long way to winning his first championship. In 2007 on his first attempt to clinch the title, his Cleveland Cavaliers lost against the San Antonio Spurs 4:0. Then a series of unsuccessful periods began and finally, he made The Decision, uniting with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat in 2010. This move was criticized both by the Cleveland supporters and experts.
In 2011, considered as the heavy favorites against the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals, the Heat lost 4:2. Lebron was lackluster, failing to contribute to his team. This lead to many people saying that he was not destined for becoming the GOAT.
2012 was a decisive year for James. He single-handedly demolished the Boston Celtics in the Game 6 and 7, paving the way for the matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Even though the Thunder had Kevin Durant, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, and Russell Westbrook, they could not find a solution to a title-thirsty LeBron who led his team to a 4:1 victory.
In 2013 was his second championship, defeating the San Antonio Spurs 4:3. Ray Allen made a clutch shot in Game 6, forcing the overtime.
He left the Heat in 2014 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And James delivered a promise of bringing the championship. Alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the Cavaliers made an incredible comeback against the Golden State Warriors, winning 4:3 and the first title of the franchise. This is Lebron’s one of greatest achievements.
In 2020 his fourth championship with the third different team took place. Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis beat the Miami Heat in the Finals – honoring Bryant’s legacy who died in January 2020 in a helicopter crash. James and Green simultaneously became the third and fourth players in the history of the NBA joining Salley and Horry.