Some players are just born to be a superstar. They’re ready to take the league for assault right out of the gate and prove that they already have what it takes to write their names in history books.
Others are just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, playing next to proven veterans that can help them build their resume by adding an NBA Champion, regardless of their true role in the team.
Starter, substitute or even racking DNPs, nobody can ever take an NBA Championship from you, even if you won it during your rookie season and that was it for you. That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 youngest NBA Champions ever.
10. Kobe Bryant: 21 years, 301 days
Kobe Bryant was a bit of a late bloomer, but ever since he established himself as a starter for the Lakers, things were never the same in the Staples Center, especially during his first Championship run.
At just 21 years old, young Kobe, still wearing the 8 in his jersey, put up averages of 21.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 pointers a game on 44% shooting throughout the entire playoffs to win the first of his 5 rings.
9. Tony Parker: 21 years, 290 days
Tony Parker made an immediate impact for the San Antonio Spurs, being considered as one of the biggest steals in NBA Draft history, and the greatest point guard to ever wear the Spurs threads.
In just his second season in the Association, Parker, joined by Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, was able to put averages of 14.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 0.9 steals on 34 minutes a night throughout the playoffs, helping them win the 1st of his 4 trophies.
8. Patrick McCaw: 21 years, 230 days
Patrick McCaw is quite a solid young baller, but truth to be told, he’s only an NBA Champion because he’s been lucky enough to spend most of his career with the almighty Golden State Warriors.
Still, having a modest, yet solid and reliable role off the bench for the Dubs, the 21-year-old won his 1st Championship by averaging just over 4 points in the playoffs, but he even started 3 times due to injuries.
7. Andrew Bynum: 21 years, 230 days
It took a while for Andrew Bynum to establish himself as a steady contributor for the Los Angeles Lakers, although he became one of the most entertaining big men to watch in the league when he finally nailed it.
Even so, the young big man won back-to-back Championships with the Lakers before turning 23 years old, although his playoff averages of 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds during that stint weren’t much to brag about.
6. Johnny Davis: 21 years, 227 days
Early on, it actually looked like Johnny Davis was going to surge as one of the league’s top-notch scorers, making a huge impact in his rookie season en route to his lone NBA Championship.
Davis was money out of the gate for the Portland Trail Blazers and despite his old man appearance, he was actually just 21 years old when he scored over 10 points with 2.1 rebounds, 3.3 dimes and 1.8 steals a game.
5. Vern Mikkelsen: 21 years, 184 days
Young fans may have no clue of who Vern Mikkelsen was, but, back in the day, he created one of the deadliest frontcourts in the league next to George Mikan and Jim Pollard for the Minneapolis Lakers.
The power forward won 4 NBA Championships throughout a 10-year span, and during his rookie season, when he won the 1st of those four, averaged 13 points and who knows how many rebounds a game, as the league didn’t even count boards at the time.
4. Kevon Looney: 21 years, 126 days
Kevon Looney was supposed to make a huge impact off the bench for the Warriors, being a switchable defender that can guard all the way to the perimeter and even defend some wings, while also being able of protecting the rim.
Truth to be told, he’s failed to establish himself as a solid part of their rotation, but even though, he became an NBA Champion at just 21 years old, averaging 4.1 points and 4.2 boards during the playoffs.
3. Magic Johnson: 20 years, 276 days
Ever since entering the league, we all know Magic Johnson was going to be something special, but he convinced everybody when he actually stepped up for an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, started at center for the Lakers in the Finals, and wind up even winning the Finals MVP as a rookie.
Magic was great throughout the entire playoffs and showed his vast versatility, posting averages of 16 points, 9.2 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.3 steals in over 51% shooting en route to the 1st of 5 NBA Championships.
2. Dorell Wright: 20 years, 200 days
Dorell Wright is a prime example of a guy that was in the right place at the right time, and even though most of you may not remember after an 11 season career, he’s still an NBA Champion and will always be.
Wright was a sophomore in the 2005-06 Miami Heat Championship team featuring Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal, even though he didn’t make an appearance in the playoffs that year.
1. Darko Milicic: 18 years, 361 days
The famous Darko Milicic inked his name in basketball history for a couple of things:
First, he is one of the biggest busts in NBA history.
Second, being drafted before Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, and third and the most important: he is the youngest NBA Champion ever.
At the tender age of 18 years old, a young Darko Milicic was supposed to become a superstar in years to come, something that, obviously, never happened. Even so, and despite scoring a grand total of 48 points throughout his rookie season, he was able to get a hold on the Larry O’Brien Trophy.