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  • Many NBA superstars have won championship not only as a player but also as a coach. It is a remarkable feat considering the fact that league is highly competitive and it is very difficult to prove yourself over and over again. Let’s take a look at each of those title winners.

    K.C. Jones

    K.C. Jones won a total of 10 NBA championships – eight as a player and two as head coach. He spent his entire 9-year playing career with Boston Celtics and led them to two championships as a coach.

    Bill Russell

    Bill Russell won 11 championships in his thirteen-year playing career, all with Boston Celtics. No other NBA player has been able to surpass that record. Russell become a player-coach in 1966 and helped Celtics win two consecutive titles in 1968 and 1969. He is the only player-coach other than Buddy Jeannette to win at least one NBA championship in the league history.

    Tom Heinsohn

    Tom Heinsohn was a huge part of Boston Celtics team that won so many championships under the leadership of Bill Russell. He won eight titles as a player for Celtics and coached the same team for nine years. Boston Celtics went on to win two NBA titles during his stint as coach. Tom Heinsohn also holds the unique distinction of being involved in all 17 championships of Celtics one way or another.

    Bill Sharman

    Bill Sharman was originally drafted by Washington Capitals. Prior to 1951-52 season, he joined Boston Celtics and helped establish their 1950s dynasty. Sharman teamed with guard Bob Cousy to create one of the most formidable backcourt duos of NBA. He won four championships as a member of Boston Celtics and then as a coach led Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA title in 1972.

    Phil Jackson

    Phil Jackson played 13 seasons in NBA, mainly for New York Knicks. He won two championships with them. He turned out to be an even better coach than he was a player. During his 20 year long coaching year, Jackson reached 19 playoffs, 13 NBA finals and won 11 championships. He holds the record for the most combined championships in the league as a player and a head coach.

    Billy Cunningham

    Billy Cunningham was part of two NBA championships as a player and then as coach for Philadelphia 76ers. During his playing days, Cunningham alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Hal Greer led the Sixers to an NBA title in 1967.  He later had a successful coaching career with the franchise. Sixers went to playoffs s in each of Cunningham’s year as coach, winning a title in 1983.

    Pat Riley

    Pat Riley led Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship in 1972. He was the head coach of the team from 1981 until 1990, during which Lakers won four NBA championships. Riley won his fifth championship as a coach in 2006 with Boston Celtics.

    Red Holzman

    Red Holzman was a coach who led the New York Knicks to their only two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. He also played for Rochester Royals that won their lone championship in 1951.

    Larry Costello

    Larry Costello played for the Philadelphia 76ers’ 1967 championship team. He later coached the Milwaukee Bucks to their 1971 NBA title.

    George Senesky

    George Senesky spent a total of 12 years with Philadelphia Warriors/Golden State Warriors and helped them win two championships, one as a coach and one as player.

    Buddy Jeannette

    Buddy Jeannette was the first player-coach to win a basketball league championship. He led the Baltimore Bullets to the 1948 title of BAA, which later became the National Basketball Association. He also served as a head coach for NBA’s Baltimore Bullets after ending his playing career.

    Rick Carlisle

    Rick Carlisle played for three different teams in his eight-year NBA career and won a championship in 1986 with Boston Celtics. He coached multiple teams but had a lot of success with Dallas Mavericks. Carlisle guided the Mavericks to their first and so far only NBA Championship in 2011.

    Steve Kerr

    Steve Kerr played for six teams during his NBA career and won 5 championships. Kerr took up coaching in 2014. During his rookie season as a coach, Golden State Warriors won fourth NBA Championship of their franchise history and the first in 40 years. Kerr helped Warriors reach NBA final in each of his first three years as a coach, winning two championships.

    Tyronn Lue

    Tyronn Lue played 10 seasons in NBA and won two championships in his first three seasons. In 2006, Lue became the head coach of Cleveland Cavaliers and led them to their first NBA title, making him one of the few coaches in the NBA to win a championship in their first year as a coach.




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