When an NBA player’s career is over, there are only a few acts of appreciation that can come their way. First, there is the Hall Of Fame which is reserved for the very best that basketball has to offer from the college ranks to the NBA and overseas. Then, if your career warrants it, you can be named in the NBA’s ever-evolving and growing lists of the top players of all time. Perhaps one of the coolest honors a player can receive is to have their jersey retired and hung in the rafters by the team they represented in their career.
Only a few NBA players have had the distinct honor of having their jerseys retired by more than one team. These players have delivered championships to multiple franchises, elevated certain franchises to new heights, and are beloved by the fans in each city. Of course, there are unique instances where a player might not have played for that team specifically but the impact they made on the game warranted a jersey retirement according to the organization. To have your jersey retired at all is an honor in itself but to have it retired by multiple franchises is a whole other level of special.
These are the 14 NBA players that have their jerseys retired by multiple NBA franchises.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers
Wilt Chamberlain is one of only 2 players on this list to have his jersey retired by three different teams. This should come as a surprise to no one considering the cheat code and mythical creature that Wilt became over the years. He was drafted to the Warriors in 1960 and immediately took home Rookie of the Year honors as well as MVP honors with 37.6 PPG and 27.0 RPG his first season. He then became the only player in NBA history to record a 4,000-point season with an average of 50.4 PPG. Overall his stats with the Warriors finished at 41.5 PPG and 25.1 RPG in 4 and a half seasons with the team.
Chamberlain was then traded to the 76ers where he took home MVP awards in each of the three full seasons he played in Philly. He delivered them a championship in 1967 as well and is the all-time PPG and RPG leader in franchise history. He was traded to the Lakers in 1968 where he would spend the rest of his career. In his first 3 seasons with Los Angeles, Wilt was still a 20.0 PPG and 18.0 RPG player. He won a championship and Finals MVP in 1972 with the Lakers before retiring for good after the 1972-73 season. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1979.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks
Oscar Robertson spent the first 10 years of his career with the Cincinnati Royals who are now known as the Sacramento Kings. He is still considered the greatest player in franchise history, ranking 1st in points and assists for the franchise. In his 10 years with the Royals, Robertson averaged 29.3 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 10.3 APG. He led the league 7 times in assists and won one scoring title with the team in 1968. He also took home an MVP award in 1964. The Royals were never deep enough to make a significant run during the postseason however that all changed when he made his way to Milwaukee.
Oscar Robertson would be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1970 offseason for Flynn Robinson and Charlie Paulk. The move combined Robertson’s all-around game with Kareem’s dominance and it didn’t take long for it to mesh. In their first season together, Kareem and Oscar would lead the Bucks to the NBA championship with Oscar being the piece that put them over the top. Robertson would spend 3 more seasons with the Bucks before retiring in 1974.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers
Nate Thurmond began his career in the rather large shadow of Wilt Chamberlain with the Golden State Warriors. After Wilt left the Warriors in 1965, Thurmond became an All-Star as he stepped in for the big man. He would spend 11 seasons with the team and averaged 17.4 PPG to go with 16.9 RPG. He would be named an All-Star 7 times with the Warriors and to 5 All-Defensive Teams. He is the franchise leader in rebounds and currently ranks 6th in points scored.
Thurmond made his way to Cleveland after a one-year stop in Chicago with the Bulls. Thurmond wasn’t the monster he once was with the Warriors but his leadership and tenacity shined through for the team. He spent just 2 seasons with the Cavs but played a small role in leading the team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Cleveland hung Thurmond’s jersey on the ceiling of their home arena as Thurmond became a fan favorite across the city.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: New York Knicks, Washington Wizards
Earl Monroe made his debut for the Baltimore Bullets in 1967 after being selected 2nd overall in that season’s draft. He would make an immediate impact on the Bullets, winning Rookie of the Year with 24.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 4.3 APG. He would be named an All-Star twice for the Bullets in 1969 and 1971. In the 1971 season, Monroe led the Bullets to the NBA Finals leading the team with 22.1 PPG. They would lose in the Finals but Monroe had already cemented himself as a Baltimore great.
In the offseason following the Finals loss, Monroe was traded to the New York Knicks for Mike Riordan, Dave Stallworth, and cash. The move paired him with Walt Frazier forming one of the greatest backcourts in NBA history. The duo went to the Finals in their first year together where they would fall to the Lakers in 5 games. Monroe would help the Knicks get revenge the following season when the Knicks would defeat the Lakers in 5 games in the 1973 NBA Finals. Monroe contributed 16.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 3.2 APG for the entirety of the playoffs, earning him a spot in Knicks history forever.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spent the first 6 seasons of his career as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. During that time, he averaged 30.4 PPG, 15.3 RPG, and 3.4 BPG. In 1971, he led the Bucks to their first NBA title and was given Finals MVP honors. He would lead the NBA in scoring twice and in blocks once. Three of his six career MVP awards came while in a Bucks uniform and he earned All-Star honors in all 6 seasons as well. For his role in the title and the mark he made on history, the Bucks had no choice but to hang his jersey above their home floor.
In 1975, Kareem would be traded to the Lakers as a part of the most lopsided trade in NBA history. With the Lakers, he would capture 5 more championships, 3 more MVP awards, and another Finals MVP award to go with his already extraordinary career. He would lead the league in blocks 2 more times and averaged 22.1 PPG and 9.4 RPG in 14 seasons with the team. He would go down as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and at the time of his retirement, considered by many to be the greatest player to ever live.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks
Bob Lanier was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 1st overall pick in 1970. As a rookie, he averaged 15.6 PPG and 8.1 RPG. Over the following 9 seasons, he would become one of the best centers in basketball. Lanier played 9 and a half seasons with Detroit and earned 7 of his 8 career All-Star selections with the team. He averaged 22.7 PPG and 10.1 RPG over those 9 and a half seasons. Lanier finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1974 when he averaged 22.5 PPG, 13.3 RPG, and 3.0 BPG. He led the Pistons to 4 playoff appearances during his time there.
Lanier would be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1980 for Kent Benson and a 1980 1st-round draft pick. His numbers took a dip with the Bucks but his impact was felt all the same. Every year that he was with Milwaukee, the team won their division and Lanier was great support along the way. He earned his final All-Star appearance with the Bucks in 1982 when he averaged 13.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 1.0 SPG. Lanier would retire after the 1984 season and be inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 1992.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: New Orleans Pelicans, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks
Pete Maravich makes this list with 3 teams instead of 2 on a technicality but nevertheless, he is here. Maravich began his career with the Atlanta Hawks Maravich joined the New Orleans Jazz in 1974 after 4 seasons in Atlanta that saw him net 2 All-Star appearances and averaged 24.3 PPG. The Hawks would make the playoffs 3 times with Maravich on the team. He would spend the next 6 years of his career with the Jazz and averaged 25.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.6 APG, and 1.4 SPG.
In 1977, Maravich took home the NBA’s scoring title when he averaged 31.1PPG on the season. Unfortunately for Maravich, the Jazz were never good enough around him to earn a playoff spot. For his stellar play and innovation of how the game is played, the Jazz honored him with a jersey retirement that they took with them when they moved to Utah. Maravich was one of the greatest players in Louisiana history between college at LSU and in the NBA with the Jazz. For this reason, the Pelicans also decided to retire his number when they reestablished an NBA franchise. The Hawks joined the party and retired his No. 44 in 2017.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers
Julius Erving has been honored by 2 separate NBA franchises for his contributions to both the NBA and his time in the ABA. Erving spent 3 seasons as a member of the then New York Nets from 1974 through 1976. In those 3 seasons, he averaged 28.2 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.3 SPG, and 2.1 BPG. He won 3 straight ABA MVP awards while helping the Nets win 2 ABA championships. In each of those championships, Erving was named the Playoff MVP for his role in delivering the only championships in Nets history.
When Erving finally made the transition to the NBA in the 1976-77 season, Erving adjusted rapidly. He would spend all 11 NBA seasons with the 76ers and average 22.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.8 SPG, and 1.5 BPG. He would play a major role in earning the 1983 NBA championship for the 76ers as well. With the Sixers, he would be named an All-Star 11 times and to an All-NBA Team 7 times. Dr. J is one of the most decorated stars in NBA and ABA history and both franchises have honored him for it.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets
Moses Malone arrived in the NBA in 1977 after 2 years spent in the ABA. Halfway through the 1977 season, Malone was traded from Buffalo to the Houston Rockets. This is where he would begin to emerge as one of the best big men in the NBA. He would be named an All-Star every full season that he played with Houston and took home two MVP awards in 1979 and 1982. In his 5 and a half seasons with the Rockets, Malone averaged 24.0 PPG and 15.0 RPG while leading them to the playoffs 5 times.
In the 1982 offseason, Malone would be traded from the Rockets to the Philadelphia 76ers for Caldwell Jones and a 1983 1st round draft pick. In his first season with Philadelphia, Malone would win the MVP award once again when he averaged 24.5 PPG and led the NBA in rebounding with 15.3 RPG. The Sixers would go on to win the NBA Finals with Malone taking home the Finals MVP award. In his time with both teams, Malone went on to become one of the best big men of all time, earning the honor of his jersey being retired by both franchises.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets
Clyde Drexler was selected 14th overall in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. It is where he would spend the first eleven and a half years of his career and go on to become the greatest player in franchise history. He would become an 8-time All-Star with Portland as well as a 5-time All-NBA Team selection. He finished 2nd in the 1992 MVP voting and led the Trail Blazers to 2 NBA Finals appearances in 1990 and 1992. In his 11-and-a-half seasons with the team, Drexler averaged 20.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.7 APG, and 2.1 SPG.
Midway through the 1995 season, Drexler was traded to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Otis Thorpe, Marcelo Nicola, and a 1995 1st round draft pick. Drexler’s addition to the Rockets was a huge one as he helped the Rockets capture their 2nd NBA championship at the end of the season. As much credit as Hakeem Olajuwon gets for those back-to-back titles, the Rockets do not win in 1995 without Clyde Drexler. On that playoff run, he averaged 20.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 5.0 APG. He would be named an All-Star twice in Houston before retiring after the 1998 season.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat
Probably the most obvious jersey retirement of all time is the retirement of Michael Jordan’s No. 23 by the Chicago Bulls. Jordan spent 13 seasons with the Bulls in the 80s and 90s while establishing himself as the greatest player in the history of the game. The rest is history. He made the Bulls a dynasty in the 90s with 2 separate three-peats for 6 total championships in the 90s. Jordan grabbed all 6 Finals MVP awards along with 10 scoring titles and 5 MVP awards among a long, long list of other accolades.
Jordan never stepped foot on an NBA court for the Miami Heat but in 2003, they decided they would hang his No. 23 from the roof of their home arena. Jordan spent years preventing Miami teams, among many others, from winning championships. In the ultimate sign of respect, Heat president Pat Riley decided no one else in Heat history would wear Jordan’s number ever again.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns
After being drafted 5th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1984 NBA Draft, Charles Barkley went on to become one of the best players in team history. He spent the first 8 seasons of his career with Philadelphia and averaged 23.3 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.0 BPG. He led the league in rebounding in 1987 and was named an All-Star in 6 out of his 8 seasons there. He was also the NBA’s best scorer from within the 3-point line for 5 straight seasons from 1987 through 1991. He would also be named to the All-NBA First Team 4 times with the Sixers.
After a very public demand to be traded, Barkley was dealt to the Phoenix Suns in the 1992 offseason for Jeff Hornacek and Andrew Lang. Barkley put the league on notice in his first season with the Suns, taking home the MVP award that season. He averaged 25.6 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.0 BPG. He then led them to the NBA Finals that season where they fell to the Chicago Bulls in 6 games. He would stay in Phoenix for 3 more seasons, being named an All-Star and to an All-NBA Team every season he was there.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks
Dikembe Mutombo was drafted 4th overall in the 1991 NBA Draft to the Denver Nuggets. He earned an All-Star selection in his rookie season as he averaged 16.6 PPG, 12.3 RPG, and 3.0 BPG. He would also go on to win his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 1995 when he led the league in blocks with 3.9 BPG. He led the league in blocks with the Nuggets 3 years in a row from 1994 through 1996. Until a man named Nikola Jokic emerged as a top center in the NBA, Mutombo was considered the greatest big in team history.
In 1996, Mutombo decided to sign with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent after 5 seasons in Denver. He started off his career with Atlanta in dominant fashion as he took home back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1997 and 1998. He posted 3.0 BPG or better in each of those seasons to claim the award. He also led the league in rebounding with the Hawks in both 2000 and 2001. He added a 2001 Defensive Player of the Year as well when he split the season with the Hawks and 76ers. As one of the greatest shot-blockers and defensive centers in NBA history, it was an easy call for both franchises to retire his jersey.
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat
Shaquille O’Neal’s dominance as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers is something that will be remembered forever throughout NBA history. Shaq joined the Lakers in 1996 and by the year 2000, he had turned them into a full-blown powerhouse. He won his only career MVP in the 1999-00 season when he averaged 29.7 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 3.0 BPG. He was a powerful and agile force that could not be stopped by anyone at this time. He would lead the Lakers to 3 straight NBA championships from 2000 to 2002, claiming all 3 Finals MVPs in the process. By the time his career in L.A. was done, the Lakers had no choice but to hang his jersey high above the Staples Center floor.
In 2004, Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Brian Grant, Lamar Odom, and a 1st round draft pick. Shaq continued to play at an All-Star level even though he wasn’t the face of a franchise anymore. The Heat was Dwyane Wade’s team but Shaq played a pivotal role in their success. In 2006, Shaq helped Miami capture the franchise’s first NBA championship alongside Wade in a 6-game series win over the Dallas Mavericks. For his role in that championship, Shaq’s jersey is now also retired in South Beach
Teams That Retired His Jersey: Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks
Even though he wasn’t drafted by them, Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. His legacy stands among some of the greatest to ever play the game. In his 20 years with the Lakers, Bryant helped deliver 5 championships to the city including a three-peat from 2000 to 2002 and back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. He won 1 MVP award and 2 Finals MVP awards with the Lakers while earning the most All-Defensive Team selections for a guard in NBA history. Kobe embodied what it meant to be a Laker and that is why both his No. 8 and No. 24 hang high in the rafters above their home court.
Since Kobe played his entire career with one franchise, you may be asking yourself how is his jersey retired in Dallas. Well after Bryant’s untimely death in 2020, Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban made a decision. He decided that Kobe’s legacy and impact were too great to not honor in some capacity. He announced that Kobe’s No. 24 will never be worn by a member of the Dallas Mavericks again. Rest In Peace, Kobe. You are sorely missed.