There are mixed feelings about accolades these days and how much they mean to a player’s legacy. While some value accolades and points to them in debates between two players, others feel they hold little to no value when the conversations arise. Make no mistake about it, accolades mean something. They aren’t the end all be all when we have these discussions, but they shouldn’t be brushed off and rendered worthless. Take the MVP award, for example. Are we to brush off the fact that the majority of people who follow the sport believe one player is the best in the world? No.
Accolades are important. They do hold weight in basketball conversations, whether you like it or not. Among the consensus best active players in the world are your champions and MVPs. Again, accolades are not the only way to conclude a player’s legacy, but they mean something to the conversation. That is why today we will be discussing the active NBA players who have accumulated the most accolades during their careers. Get ready to scour the trophy cases of the best players in the world.
Rule: The accolades we will be focusing on today are Championships, Finals MVP, MVP, Rookie Of The Year, Defensive Player Of The Year, Most Improved Player, Sixth Man Of The Year, and Scoring Titles.
These are the 15 active players with the most cumulative accolades.
Udonis Haslem - 3 Achievements
Achievements: 3x NBA Champion
These days, Udonis Haslem is known most for his veteran leadership on the bench for the Miami Heat. It is more common to see Haslem as a meme than as having much impact on the court in 2022, but that wasn’t always the case. Haslem has been a part of 3 championship teams with Miami in 2006, 2012, and 2013. On the court, he has made a significant impact in just one of those Finals runs, but off the court, he had a lot to do with all 3.
In the 2006 playoffs, Haslem started all 22 games for the Heat as they eventually took down the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. He averaged 8.6 PPG and 7.4 RPG in the playoffs. He wasn’t out there for his numbers, though. He was out there for his leadership and willingness to get physical with the opposition. It was a microcosm for the rest of his career afterward. Haslem has been the vocal and physical leader for the Heat ever since. Even though he wasn’t seeing the floor as often, his impact was extraordinary in the huddle and locker room. Haslem is synonymous with the Heat culture and it earned him 3 rings in the process.
JaVale McGee - 3 Achievements
Achievements: 3x NBA Champion
JaVale McGee was never an elite scorer or top defender in the NBA. What he brought to a team was a knack for getting to the hoop and throwing down ridiculously athletics lobs and dunks. That’s not all, he also brought leadership and a locker room presence that every championship team hopes to have. He leads by example with his never-ending hustle and active motor that has made him one of the top role-playing big men in the league.
McGee won 2 championships with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018. He added another with the Lakers in the bubble in 2020. McGee appeared in over 65 games in each of those championship seasons, averaging around 6.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG. On each of those runs, he averaged 1.0 BPG or better as well. He proved to be valuable in the playoffs, helping pick up the slack off the bench whenever the starters were either in foul trouble or needed a break. He even stepped in as a starter and held his own as well. McGee brings a championship pedigree to every contender he plays for, something the Mavericks are hoping for in 2022-23.
Danny Green - 3 Achievements
Achievements: 3x NBA Champion
Danny Green has made a name for himself over the years as a three-point sharpshooter with a career percentage of 39.9%. What goes underrated about him is his defense. He’s disruptive in passing lanes and always shows a knack for knowing where the ball is going. He never stops moving on either end of the basketball court. As the quintessential 3 and D man, Green has had his hand in 3 different title runs with 3 different franchises.
In the 2013-14 season with the San Antonio Spurs, Green started all 23 playoff games en route to a championship. He shot 47.5% from three and averaged 9.3 PPG and 3.0 RPG. In 2019, with the Raptors, Green started all 24 games in the playoffs and shot 32.8% from deep. He averaged 6.9 PPG on that run as well. The very next season with the Lakers in the bubble, he again started all 21 games in the postseason. He averaged 8.0 PPG and shot 33.9% from deep. Chances are if you have Danny Green as a complimentary piece on your roster, you just might find yourself competing for a title.
Kevon Looney - 3 Achievements
Achievements: 3x NBA Champion
Kevon Looney is a 7-year veteran who has played all 7 seasons with the Golden State Warriors. For most of his career, he has played somewhat of a significant role off of the bench for Golden State. What Looney brings to the table is an excellent defensive upside. He shows quickness on his feet that had made him a great rebounder, shot-blocker, and a disruptive body in the paint with a knack for steals. He started coming into his own on the 2021-22 championship run.
For the first championship in 2017, Looney only appeared in 53 regular season games and zero in the playoffs. When the Warriors went back to the Finals in 2018, Looney appeared in 21 playoff games where he made his presence felt on the glass and defense. He averaged 4.1 PPG and 4.2 RPG. In 2022, Looney found himself in a much larger role appearing in all 22 playoff games. He averaged 5.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG. Looney had moments where he looked unstoppable, especially in the Western Conference Finals against the Mavericks. Looney’s role is expanding as his career goes on speaking volumes about the impact he has on the Warriors. Expect his role to be even bigger in 2022-23 after re-signing with Golden State this offseason.
Lou Williams - 3 Achievements
Achievements: 3x Sixth Man Of The Year
Lou Williams is one of the greatest bench players of all time and it is that role that lands him on our list. Williams’ game is an exciting one. He has great ball-handling skills that help him create and hit tough shots. He has an exceptional mid-range game along with an ability to pass the ball well when defenders overplay him. He has been able to carry teams when asked to off of the bench, showing his ability to be a starter if ever called upon.
The first time that Williams took home Sixth Man of the Year hardware was in the 2014-15 season with the Toronto Raptors. He appeared in 80 games and averaged 15.5 PPG while shooting 34.0% from beyond the arc. He then went back-to-back with the award in 2018 and 2019 with the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged over 20.0 PPG both seasons with a career-high 22.6 PPG in 2018. In both seasons, he also averaged over 5.0 APG and shot over 35.0% from three. Williams’ impact as a Sixth Man is undeniable, making him one of the best in NBA history in that role.
Russell Westbrook - 3 Achievements
Achievements: 1x MVP, 2x Scoring Champion
Russell Westbrook is catching a lot of heat lately after an admittedly down first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. His down year has suddenly made everyone forget what kind of player he was in his prime. Let us refresh your memory. At his peak, he was a Top 3 point guard in basketball. He was an elite scorer, passer, and rebounder. He raised the floor of every team he was a part of, including the post-Durant Thunder and the Wizards of 2021. Not to mention that he started the trend of triple-doubles that eventually made him the all-time leader in the category.
Two years before he became the first player to average a triple-double for a season since Oscar Robertson, Westbrook took home his first scoring title. In the 2014-15 season, he averaged 28.1 PPG on 42.6% shooting from the field. Then began the history in 2016-17. Russ took home the MVP award after averaging an unbelievable 31.6 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 10.4 APG. He would average a triple-double again in 3 out of the next 5 seasons while leading the league in assists 3 times. If the past is any indicator, he should return to form in 2022-23, or at least we hope he does.
Dwight Howard - 4 Achievements
Achievements: 1x NBA Champion, 3x Defensive Player Of The Year
Dwight Howard has been around so long that his days in Orlando have become a distant memory. The truth is, he was one of the best two-way players in the league at the time. Howard dominated and controlled the paint that gave flashbacks of 2000 Shaq. He was an elite shot-blocker who averaged over 2.0 BPG from 2008 through 2013, leading the league twice. He led the league in rebounding 5 times as well while leading the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals.
For 3 straight years from 2009 to 2011, Howard was named the best defensive player in basketball. In 2009 and 2010, Dwight led the league in both blocks and rebounds. In 2011, he didn’t lead in either of those categories but still averaged an incredible 2.4 BPG and 14.1 RPG. Howard was unable to win a title with Orlando but finally did with the Lakers in 2020. Howard came on and off the bench for the Lakers in those playoffs, usually being used as a big interior presence to disrupt shots and grab errant rebounds. Howard may be headed toward the end of his career, but what a ride it has been.
Klay Thompson - 4 Achievements
Achievements: 4x NBA Champion
Just calling Klay an NBA champion and stopping there feels like a disservice to his career. He has established himself as one of the greatest shooters to ever touch the floor and has one hell of a clutch gene to go with it. He has established himself as one of the best 2nd/3rd options ever en route to being an integral part of 4 championship teams in 8 years. This is all before mentioning the defense that has taken enormous amounts of pressure off of the perimeter for Golden State on these runs.
Every time that Klay has been to the playoffs with Golden State and they won championships, he started every game. When they won their first title in 2015, they do not get there without Klay’s 18.6 PPG and 39.0% 3-point shooting. When they went back-to-back in 2017 and 2018, Steph and Durant got all of the credit, but Klay was still a near 40.05 three-point shooter averaging 15.0 PPG in 2017 and 19.6 PPG in 2018. In 2022, after 2 years off due to injury, he averaged 19.0 PPG for the playoffs, even though it did look like he took a step backward a little bit. Klay doesn’t get the credit he ultimately deserves for his efforts and ability to step up in the clutch.
Andre Iguodala - 5 Achievements
Achievements: 4x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP
There was a time when Andre Iguodala was one of the most athletic players in the game. It seems like every night he was throwing down a dunk that was worthy of Top 10 status on SportsCenter. He brought a blend of selfless skills that were pertinent to winning basketball. That is the part of his game that led to his Finals MVP selection in 2015. Well, those things and the elite defensive skills he displayed matched up with LeBron James.
Iguodala took home the Finals MVP in 2015 with averages of 16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.3 SPG. His job on LeBron is the stuff of legend. Iguodala made LeBron have fits on offense and even when he was able to score, he had to work for it tremendously. In 2017 when he took home his 2nd title, he didn’t produce as much on offense until Game 5’s 20-point performance. In the final two title runs, Iguodala barely saw the court, especially in 2022 when he only played 19 minutes in 6 games. Don’t let this distract you from his earlier career and Finals games, though.
Draymond Green - 5 Achievements
Achievements: 4x NBA Champion, 1x Defensive Player Of The Year
There aren’t enough words to properly encapsulate Draymond Green’s impact on the Golden State Warriors and their success. He has become possibly the team’s most important player since joining the team in 2012. Green is the engine that makes the Warriors go. He is their best and most versatile defender, having no problem taking on a team’s best big or switching onto a team’s best perimeter player. He also happens to be their best playmaker, controlling the tempo of the offense and having the patience to let plays develop rather than forcing a shot on any possession.
Green has played an instrumental role in all 4 of the Warriors championships in the past 8 years. Without Green, they don’t finish 73-9 in 2016. If Green doesn’t get suspended in the 2016 Finals, history may be different. With Green on the floor, the Warriors are a noticeably better defensive team with an offense that flows so much smoother. It is not crazy to say that he has been the catalyst for their success. As a power forward, Green took home the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017, leading the league in steals and averaging 1.4 BPG. He was a man possessed, directing his teammates to their spots and controlling whatever matchup was in front of him. As one of the most impactful players ever, Green deserves more recognition for his contributions.
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 6 Achievements
Achievements: 1x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 2x MVP, 1x Defensive Player Of The Year, 1x Most Improved Player
As it stands in 2022, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the world. His speed, size, and athleticism are something as fans we marvel at on a nightly basis. He provides versatility on defense with his rim protection and interior presence while also being able to stay in front of wings while disrupting the flow of offenses across the league. His offensive game from the perimeter is dangerous, as is his transition offense for the same reason. If Giannis gets momentum behind him, get out of the way because there is no stopping him with a head of steam.
I think many have forgotten that Giannis won the Most Improved Player award in 2017, 2 years before his first MVP. He went back-to-back with MVP awards in 2019 and 2020 while also taking home a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020. None of these accomplishments can measure up to his performance in the 2021 Finals to bring Milwaukee a championship for the first time since the days of Kareem. In 6 games against the Phoenix Suns and after falling 2-0 in the series, Giannis willed the Bucks to 4 straight wins to take it home. He averaged 35.2 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.8 BPG for the series. This included a 50-point game to close it out in Game 6, further cementing his status as the best in the world.
Kawhi Leonard - 6 Achievements
Achievements: 2x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 2x Defensive Player Of The Year
It is no secret that Kawhi Leonard is one of the best two-way players, maybe ever. He is a complete menace on the defensive end, completely thwarting offensive game plans for years with 3 different franchises. On top of that, he is a sneaky, athletic, offensive weapon with a mid-range shot that seems to be automatic most nights. The things Kawhi has done since entering the league are borderline mythical so let’s talk about them a little bit.
The 2014 NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Miami Heat was his coming out party. His offensive numbers in the series were nothing spectacular, but his defensive efforts on the best player in the world at the time earned him Finals MVP. He then went on to win Defensive Player of the Year the following 2 seasons. Then came the miraculous run with the Raptors in 2019. He averaged 30.5 PPG and 9.1 RPG for the entire playoffs, including one of the most iconic game-winners in NBA history in the 2nd round against the 76ers. In the Finals, he took home the MVP award with 28.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 2.0 SPG. I know I speak for many NBA fans when I say that we can’t wait to see him back on the floor in 2022-23.
Stephen Curry - 9 Achievements
Achievements: 4x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 2x MVP, 2x Scoring Champion
The man that changed the game forever with his prolific three-point shooting comes in at No. 3 on this list. Perhaps no one in the game’s history has had an impact on the way the game is played than Curry. The number of threes taken by teams, the distance in which they are taken, and the sheer way shooting are looked at today are all thanks to Stephen Curry. He has willed teams to titles with his ability to catch fire and take over at the flip of a switch. All of this has accumulated into one of the greatest careers in NBA history.
Out of all of Curry’s amazing accolades in his career, it is hard to pinpoint just one to talk about here today. He became the NBA’s first and only unanimous MVP in 2016 while leading his team to a record 73 wins. It was the 2nd MVP of his career. He has taken a team that hadn’t won much in over 2 decades to be one of the greatest franchises ever. Perhaps none were more special than the title run and subsequent Finals MVP in 2022, though. The critics had written off Curry and the Warriors and Steph responded by putting them all to sleep. He averaged 31.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 5.0 APG on 43.7% shooting from three. He let the entire world know that nothing was certain when it comes to predicting what is next. The scary thing is, I don’t think he’s done yet.
Kevin Durant - 10 Achievements
Achievements: 2x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 1x MVP, 1x Rookie Of The Year, 4x Scoring Champion
Durant’s placement on this list is a shock to absolutely no one. Durant is a 7-foot unstoppable offensive weapon with unlimited range on his jumper and an unlimited skill set to put the ball in the basket. They didn’t give him the nickname Easy Money Sniper for nothing. He is a career 46.7% shooter from 10-16 feet, the highest of any area that isn’t at the rim, and 38.4% from three. He can take you off the dribble, he can run a transition offense, and he is as efficient as anyone in the game.
Kevin Durant instantly became a champion the minute he signed with the Golden State Warriors. That team was unbeatable. The only things that stopped them from running the table for years were injuries and petty drama. In 2017, his first season with the Warriors, Durant won Finals MVP averaging 35.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 5.4 APG in the 5-game series. He won another the next year as well. Add in an MVP and 4 scoring titles and you have one of the most accomplished players of the modern era. As he continues to navigate his career without Golden State, Durant should be on a mission this year to prove the doubters wrong.
LeBron James - 14 Achievements
Achievements: 4x NBA Champion, 4x Finals MVP, 4x MVP, 1x Rookie Of The Year, 1x Scoring Champion
LeBron James might just be the most complete player to ever play the game. His natural position is small forward, but that is where he hardly stays. He routinely runs the offense like a point guard, making plays consistently for his team to reach maximum success. He can guard an opponent's best player, whether it be on the wing or down in the paint. He raises the expectations for every team he has ever played for while meeting and exceeding them by far. There is only one man who challenges Michael Jordan for the title of greatest ever and that is LeBron James.
I could write 40 pages on all the phenomenal things LeBron has done in his career to earn these achievements listed above. As a young man, he set the league ablaze, falling victim to a Spurs dynasty that didn’t do much losing in the Finals. He won back-to-back championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. He willed the Lakers to a 2020 title in some of the most unusual circumstances ever known in NBA history. Nothing has been more impressive than the 3-1 comeback against the 73-9 Warriors in 2016. After falling down 3-1, LeBron willed the Cavs back to an improbable title and their first one in history behind 29.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG, and 8.9 APG. In 2022-23, he is set to become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, which is just another notch on his already remarkable NBA resume.