Making it to the NBA Finals is one of the ultimate goals every single player has to have grown up and even when he enters the league, as they’re just a few steps away from achieving the biggest of accomplishments: becoming a World Champion.
Most players never get the chance to actually dispute an NBA Final, and just to let you know how difficult it may be, guys like Chris Paul haven’t even played on a Conference Finals, being such a difficult team effort that just a handful of ballers get the chance to suit up for the big games.
Over the course of history, though, some players have actually made a living out of constantly reaching the Finals, and today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 players with most consecutive trips to the ultimate stage in basketball.
10. Bill Sharman - 5
Bill Sharman made it to 5 consecutive NBA Finals from 1957 to 61, winning 4 of them with the Boston Celtics over that span. He would go on to win another Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers as a coach, but can actually be held accountable for 10 Championships, as he stepped up as part of the Lakers’ executive staff in 5 title runs as well.
9. Tom Sanders - 6
Most people don’t remember him as a part of those good old dominant Boston Celtics, but Tom “Satch” Sanders actually went undefeated with a perfect 8 and 0 record in the NBA Finals, winning 6 consecutive rings from 1961 to 1966 with the green and white, being inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2011.
8. James Jones - 7
You wouldn’t expect James Jones to be on this list, but actually, he piggybacks rode his way to 7 straight trips to the NBA Finals thanks to just being in the same team as LeBron James. Well, he has 3 rings to thank LeBron for, and the King has often referred to him as his favorite teammate ever. On a side note, he didn’t see a single minute of playing time in the Finals against Dallas.
7. Bob Cousy - 7
Bob Cousy was the perfect complement for Bill Sharman back in the day, forming one of the most dominant and explosive backcourts in NBA history. The Hall of Famer combo guard would go on to make 7 straight trips to the Finals with the Celtics, winning 6 of those and being a heavy offensive contributor in all of them.
6. LeBron James - 7
LeBron James currently owns the longest active streak, but this one’s in huge jeopardy considering how inconsistent the Cleveland Cavaliers have been all season long. Making it 7 straight times to the Finals, LeBron truly is the King of the East, but his 3 and 4 record in basketball’s ultimate stage is definitely going to hurt his historic legacy.
5. Frank Ramsey - 8
Frank Ramsey is one of the NBA’s greatest sixth man ever, being yet another member of those extremely dominant Boston Celtics of basketball early stages, coming off the bench to help the team win 6 straight Championships between 1959 and 64, and he would tally as much as 7 rings after making 8 consecutive trips to the Finals.
4. KC Jones - 8
Just like Tom Sanders, KC Jones went a perfect 8 and 0 in the NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics, but unlike Satch, the hustling center one of the main reasons why the team was so able to succeed. The hard-nosed defender would go on to win 4 more rings as a member of Boston’s coaching staff as well as one with the Lakers next to Bill Sharman.
3. Tom Heinsohn - 9
Another key member of the C’s makes our list, and Tom Heinsohn surely deserves a lot of praise after making it to the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. He would go on to make 9 straight trips to the Finals, winning 7 consecutive rings for a grand total of 8. Moreover, he won 2 more titles as their coach and then joined their broadcasting staff, being a member of the Boston organization in all of their 21 Finals trips and 17 Championships.
2. Sam Jones - 9
Sam Jones is considered to be among the top 50 basketball players ever, and most of them because of how impactful he was with the Celtics en route to 9 straight trips to the ultimate stage, winning 8 titles from 1959 to 66 and then a couple more, and only Bill Russell can brag about having more jewelry than him.
1. Bill Russell - 10
Bill Russell, obviously, sits at the top of this list after the most dominant player in early basketball led the Celtics to 10 straight trips to the NBA Finals, and he’s the main reason why Boston can brag about having 17 Larry O’Brien trophies. Besides winning 11 Championships (one as a player-coach) he’s a part of a very exclusive club that won the Olympic Gold, the NCAA Tourney and an NBA Championship.