Lords of the Rings; The Most Unlikely Multi-Champions
Tonight, one of the greatest will once again approach of the summit of the NBA....playing for a chance to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy. But now, this legend of the game will get to do for the 6th consecutive season, no doubt cementing his status as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all time.
Yes, of course I'm talking about James Jones.
For the 6th consecutive season, Jones's summer vacation will get off to late start as he is joining some fellow named LeBron James in chasing the trophy in the NBA Finals for yet another year. A 13-year veteran, the 35-year old Jones helped capture two titles for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and now will look to avenge three other losses in the Finals, including last year's loss to the very same foe, the Golden State Warriors. Jones has done this despite playing under 16 minutes per game over the past six years, where his highest point average has been 5.9, backing during his first trip in 2011.
When we talk about "who's better", we constantly bring up the question "how many rings does he have?", no matter the sport. While some, like Bill Russell and his 11 rings, are more than renowned for their success, some players, like Jones, are going to be forever brought in these arguments to prove that that particular question doesn't exactly mean the same for everyone. Here are some of the most obscure names in recent memory to wear rings...
A tenth round pick in 1990 NFL Draft, Lodish, while a very under the radar name, managed to have a very serviceable career in the league, despite starting just 31 games over an 11 year career. To boot, over half of those years ended with a trip to the Super Bowl. Playing on a defensive line better known for Bruce Smith, Lodish was part of the Buffalo Bills dynasty that was not, taking part in each of the four famous Bills Super Bowl losses of the 90's. Lodish later went to Denver, where he would secure not one, but two rings, assisting in the Broncos' quest to back-to-back Super Bowl titles. Not bad for a guy who started one career playoff game. Lodish's 6 big games tie him with Tom Brady for most Super Bowls played in.
Shortly after he fizzled out in Charlotte, noted college basketball tear producer Adam Morrison was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Vladimir Radmonovic. Morrison's timing could not have been better, as the Lakers took home the last couple of five titles they won in the first 11 years of the 2000's. Morrison played two years in Los Angeles, a couple of years that saw him appear in 41 games, counting just two in the playoffs. Those couple of postseason games played, however, matched the number of rings Morrison now wears on his finger, awarded after LA's back-t0-back titles in 2009 and 2010. Consider this folks...the storied Lakers haven't been back to the Finals since they released Morrison after the 2010 title run...hmmmmmmmm????
With nicknames like "Car Bomb" and "Gorilla Salad", Dan Carcillo isn't exactly one you'd peg to be your leading scorer. Prior to his retirement in 2015, Carcillo was part of a dying breed in the National Hockey League, the designated brawler. Even when he did score goals, he was still viewed as antagonist, evidenced by the stare-down with Flyers fans after scoring a goal against his former team during the 2014 playoffs. Carcillo enjoyed four trips to hockey's biggest stage however, with three of those coming in the final years of his career. Carcillo first made the Finals in 2010, as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, who were ironically defeated by the team he would win his rings with, the Chicago Blackhawks, in 2013 and 2015. The Blackhawks ring years were sandwiched with a trip to the Finals as a member of the New York Rangers, a loss that featured the cruel irony that the victors of those Finals, the Los Angeles Kings, had cast Carcillo off during the season. Riding off into the sunset after his second ring, Carcillo has started a non-profit organization that helps former players suffering from concussion-related issues and mental health issues.
Championships were the definition of Clay Bellinger's career...mainly because it lasted just three full seasons and he was a part of the late 90's/early 00's New York Yankees. Called up to the majors at age 30, Bellinger had a career .193 average, and was out of baseball by 2002 after playing two games with the Angels...ironically a team that would win the World Series that year! Bellinger's brief career ended in the Fall Classic each time, capturing rings with the Yankees in 1999 and 2000, while participating in the Yankees' classic defeat to Arizona in 2001. Despite his obscurity, Bellinger gained some renown for a great catch during Game 2 of the 2000 edition, reaching over the wall to rob Mets 1B Todd Zeile of a home run, which would become key in a 6-5 Yankee victory.
Who are other obscure multi-champions do you recall? Sound off in the comments!
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490
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