Who gets NBA championship rings? It’s a question that a lot of NBA fans have been asking for years, and the answer is not as clear-cut as you might think. While the players on the winning team certainly get to take home these coveted pieces of jewelry, there are actually a few people who can lay claim to these rings as well. So, who gets NBA championship rings? Let’s take a closer look.
What is an NBA Championship Ring?
Despite having enough money to buy fancy cars, luxury watches, and expensive shoes, the most coveted piece of item for every NBA player, coach, or staff member has got to be the championship ring. It’s the ultimate symbol of success in the NBA.
NBA championship rings are one of the most coveted trophies in all of professional sports. Each year, 16 teams enter the NBA playoffs with the goal of winning the NBA Finals and earning the right to receive a championship ring. NBA championship rings are typically made of gold and feature diamonds, and the design is often unique to each team.
Once the champions of the NBA are decided at the end of a grueling 7-game Finals series, the champs are awarded the Larry O’Brien Trophy. In a way, it represents the supremacy of the winning team over the rest of the league. However, the trophy goes to the winning organization, not the players whose blood, sweat, and tears were shed on the basketball court. So to celebrate the efforts of each critical personnel that worked to help the team win the championship, the league gives something more personal in the form of an ornate championship ring.
What Does an NBA Championship Ring Cost?
Many factors affect how much a ring costs. First, the materials used in crafting the ring are probably the best place to assess the baseline value for this highly coveted jewelry.
NBA championship rings are typically made out of precious metals – typically silver and gold. It’s made even more expensive by adding luxurious stones such as diamonds and emeralds. Furthermore, they are crafted by master designers, which can drive the price even higher. So, just by these elements alone, a single NBA championship ring costs around $15,000 to $20,000, which is shouldered by the organization.
Teams may also opt to have a particular championship ring customized which can further raise the cost of the ring. For example, in the 2019-2020 season, the championship rings awarded to the Lakers players reportedly cost $150,000 for customizations made in tribute to the Laker legend who passed on earlier that year.
However, each ring’s value can increase significantly depending on a few factors beyond its material and quality. Two of the most impactful factors are the history of the team and the specific player that the ring was awarded.
Whether it was Dallas’ lone championship in 2011 or the first championship of the ’90s for the Chicago Bulls, some NBA Finals series or championship runs are just so historic and memorable that people are willing to pay a lot just to get a piece of it. Of course, one of the most accessible ways to do it is by purchasing a championship ring. Therefore, the history and context of the ring are one of the primary drivers of a championship ring’s value.
Each individual ring is engraved specifically for each player, so no two players’ championship ring is the same. So naturally, the championship rings awarded to star players would fetch a higher market value than ordinary role players.
Do NBA Mascots Get Championship Rings?
While the players on the court get to enjoy the glory of winning an NBA championship, what about the team’s mascots? Do they get to share in the celebration? Do NBA mascots get championship rings?
The answer may surprise you. While there is no official rule or tradition, it is not uncommon for NBA mascots to receive championship rings. According to one report, the Orlando Magic’s mascot, Stuff the Dragon, was given a diamond-encrusted championship ring after winning the NBA Eastern Conference title in 1995. Similarly, the Los Angeles Lakers’ mascot, Spike, was also presented with a ring following the team’s 2010 championship win.
Who Gets NBA Championship Rings?
Becoming NBA champions is not an easy task. Players and coaches may be the ones on the floor; still, it’s essential to acknowledge that those working behind the scenes are also crucial to the team’s success. In these instances, championship rings represent the organization’s gratitude.
In addition to the players, coaches, and mascots, NBA championship rings are typically awarded to team staff members, front office personnel, and owners. Some teams have even been known to give rings to celebrity fans who supported them during their playoff run. So, if you’re ever lucky enough to receive an NBA championship ring, know that you’re part of a select group of people who have helped a team achieve greatness.
1. Players and Coaches
Typically, there are several tiers of NBA championship rings made. Players and coaches, of course, get the top-tier rings that are generally worth around $5,000 – $20,000. They’re typically the only ones adorned with the most luxurious materials and are therefore the most expensive tier of rings.
2. Front Office Staff
Front office staffers such as the general manager, team doctors, scouts, and other peripheral members of the organization. These individuals are directly involved in keeping the team healthy and functioning efficiently all season long, especially during the Playoffs.
Some teams may also opt to have rings made, albeit of much lower value, for other workers that have worked to make the journey to the finals entertaining. In some cases, cheerleaders, water boys, and even vendors at the concession stands are also given rings for their invaluable service to the organization.
The organizations can also show gratitude to their fans by handing out special replica champion rings. The Milwaukee Bucks, for example, has given 10,000 fans $40 replica rings – a sweet reward for being such loyal fans!
Wrapping Things Up: Do NBA Mascots Get Championship Rings?
Winning an NBA championship isn’t an easy task. From player injuries, coaching strategies, and player management to the arduous task of keeping fans happy with the team, the organization has to take on a ton of responsibilities. So, once an organization finally realizes its championship dreams, it’s essential to show its gratitude to everyone involved in the process.
Championship rings are not only a reward for the players and coaches on the court but also for those who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Without all of the members of an organization working together, it would be impossible to achieve such success. Thanks to everyone who makes being NBA champions possible! Who else do you think deserves a championship ring?