One-Time Stars Who Rode the Bench to an NBA Title

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One-Time Stars Who Rode the Bench to an NBA Title
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Gary Payton won his first (and only) championship at the age of 37.

Call them front-runners, ring-chasers, whatever you want, but there is a decent amount of one-time NBA stars who have won championships by coming off—or riding—the bench late in their careers.

Some of them had already won titles earlier in their playing days, and they played pivotal roles during those runs. Of course, father time is undefeated, and at some point, stars are going to fade.

While there is really nothing wrong with an older player joining a championship-contending team, generally, their legacies are decided long beforehand. For example, recent Hall of Fame inductee Gary Payton is not recognized as an all-time great because of his lone title with the Miami Heat in 2006. It is because of all of those outstanding years of work he had put in previously, mainly with the Seattle Supersonics.

So, even those these guys captured titles in the twilight of their careers, chances are that final moment of glory is not what you will remember them for.

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