Athletes With More Rings Than LeBron James

Jessica Marie@ItsMsJisnerCorrespondent IIDecember 19, 2013

Athletes With More Rings Than LeBron James

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    It is not hard to believe that LeBron James has set our present-day athletic superstar threshold.

    He's the best player in the NBA, sure. He may even be the best of all time, but I'm not going to start that debate right now. The truth is, even those who despise LeBron with the fire of a million suns have to admit that he's the best. He can take a game into his own hands and manufacture a win when the stakes are highest. Nothing says superstar quite like that.

    But it's weird to think that he only has two championship rings. Two. Think about all of the professional athletes out there who have more than that. Some of them, you can't even think of because that would require that they be everyday, household names.

    Who knew the life of a benchwarmer or a backup could be so LeBron-esque?

Dickey Simpkins

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Team(s): Chicago Bulls

    Stats: Three Rings

    Man, it must be nice to be an average player on a team that's in the midst of building itself into a dynasty.

    Simpkins was a first-round draft pick who, because of the Bulls' dominant frontcourt, didn't get a lot of playing time early in his career. He scored 513 points in 167 games and got his first two rings with Chicago in 1996 and in 1997, before the team traded him away to Golden State.

    But he was back in time to get his third championship in 1998.

Lonie Paxton

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Team(s): New England Patriots

    Stats: Three Rings

    In fairness to good old Lonie, there are plenty of important players on every NFL team who get zero glory. He was one of those guys.

    Where would any team be without a solid long snapper? It seems like such a trivial job, yet its importance cannot be understated. Paxton, after all, helped make Adam Vinatieri into the legend he became in New England, snapping on nine of his legendary, game-winning FGs over four seasons.

    There probably aren't too many people outside of New England who know his name, but that's OK. Lonie has his three rings to make up for it.

Shane Spencer

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    Team(s): New York Yankees

    Stats: Three Rings

    It's not that Shane Spencer was bad. It's just that he wasn't all that good. Consider how many games someone like Jonny Gomes had to appear in before winning the World Series this year; Shane Spencer played in 538. And he won three rings.

    Throughout the course of his career with the Yankees, the Rangers, the Indians and the Mets, Spencer racked up 438 hits, 59 homers and 242 RBI. And, to top it all off, he served as a replacement player during the 1994 strike.

    Apparently, even that didn't cause the baseball gods to frown down upon him.

Will Perdue

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    Team(s): Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs

    Stats: Four Rings

    To be a part of not one, but two, of the most successful franchises in NBA history! Oh, the joy. Must be nice.

    Will Perdue was the Bulls' first-round draft pick in 1988 and was around just in time to be a part of their championship teams from 1991 to 1993. No, the 7'1" center didn't lead the surge—he was simply Bill Cartwright's backup—but still, a ring is a ring.

    Shortly thereafter, Chicago traded him to San Antonio. Tough luck, right?

    No. Wrong. He got his fourth ring with the Spurs in 1999.

Scott Brosius

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    Team(s): New York Yankees

    Stats: Three Rings

    Any Major League Baseball player was lucky to be a part of the New York Yankees during the late '90s. The Yankees had built themselves into a seemingly unbeatable empire. Nowadays, free agents try to sign with any team they think are on the verge of winning a World Series, and often, they're wrong; back then, though, signing with the Yankees was a no-brainer for anyone who wanted a taste of glory.

    And Scott Brosius was one of the lucky ones who capitalized, winning three rings in pinstripes from 1998-2000. The third baseman was legitimate—he did, after all, play in the All-Star Game in 1998, and he was the World Series MVP that same year.

    LeBron can only hope to catch up with him someday.

Derrick Loville

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Team(s): San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos

    Stats: Three Rings

    Oh, to be able to do so much with so little.

    Derek Loville played in the NFL for eight years. He played for three different teams and pretty much just happened to be there when two of those teams won Super Bowls.

    Loville was a career backup in the NFL except for a short time during the 1995 season. (Incidentally, he did not win a ring that year.) The year prior, he got one with his hometown 49ers, and then got two more with the Broncos, despite doing very little to earn them.

    But hey, a ring is a ring.

Dwight Gooden

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    Team(s): New York Mets, New York Yankees

    Stats: Three Rings

    Here, we come to someone who actually did something to earn his championships. For many, many years.

    Dwight Gooden was one of the best pitchers in baseball during his prime, and he spent 10 years proving it to Mets fans. Just a couple of years after making his debut in New York at the age of 19, he was part of the team that capitalized on one of the most horrific errors in baseball history (thanks, Bill Buckner) to win it all.

    It would be more than 10 years, however, before he reached the mountaintop again—this time, with the Yankees in 1996. But that time, it wasn't as much fun because he wasn't even on the postseason roster.

    Still, Dr. K would get one more before he retired, as a reliever with the Yankees in 2000.

Clay Bellinger

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    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    Team(s): New York Yankees, Anaheim Angels

    Stats: Three Rings

    Clay Bellinger's Major League Baseball career was short-lived, but he really knew how to make the most of it.

    There aren't a lot of people who can say they only played for parts of four seasons and still managed to be a part of three World Series-winning teams.

    Two of those rings came with the Yankees, of course, from 1999-2000—which also happened to be Bellinger's two most productive seasons. (Disclaimer: That's not saying much—he batted .205 with seven homers and 23 RBI.)

    Bellinger's second championship "run" came with the Angels in 2002. He only played two games for them that season, but hey. Who knows whether they would have won it all if he hadn't kept them on track for those two precious games?

Javier Lopez

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    Team(s): Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants

    Stats: Three Rings

    Basically, Javier Lopez knows exactly the right place to be at exactly the right time.

    Lopez has played for five different teams during his career, and he happened to be on a couple of teams that had plenty of playoff success in the last decade or so.

    The first, of course, were the Red Sox. They won it all in 2007; thanks in large part to a strong bullpen, of which Lopez was a part.

    Then, in 2010, Lopez was traded from the Pirates to San Francisco, the same year the Giants defeated Texas to win the World Series. And he said, "Thanks, Pittsburgh!" San Francisco is where he remains to this day, given his immense success as a lefty specialist, and in 2012, he won his third title.

Patrick Pass

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    Team(s): New England Patriots

    Stats: Three Rings

    Man, New England was a good place to be from 2001-2005.

    Patrick Pass was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2000 draft, and New England is where he remained until the Patriots' invincibility came to an end.

    Coach Bill used Pass as a running back, fullback, wide receiver and special teams member, and in 2004, he got a chance to start at fullback. In '05, Pass filled in for Corey Dillon at running back until he hurt his hamstring, which landed him on the PUP list.

    But still. He did anything and everything for as long as he could to get those three rings.

John Salley

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    Team(s): Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers

    Stats: Four Rings

    Here's another guy who always had a handle on which teams were hot and capitalized on it.

    John Salley was lucky enough to be the Pistons' first-round draft pick in 1986, right around the time Detroit was establishing itself as one of the strongest teams in the Eastern Conference. Salley—along with the likes of Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas—won two titles from 1989-90, when the Pistons went a combined 8-1 in finals appearances.

    From there, Salley skipped around—to Miami, to Toronto and eventually to Chicago, where he joined the legendary 72-win team and won another championship in 1996.

    Though his impact was minimal, his fourth and final title came with the Lakers in 2000.

Mike Timlin

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    Team(s): Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox

    Stats: Four Rings

    Good things come to those who wait. Just ask Mike Timlin.

    Timlin, a relief pitcher with 1,058 games on his record as well as a 3.63 ERA, began and ended his career in style. He won his first two titles back in 1992 and 1993, when the Toronto Blue Jays were actually good, and in the first of those, he even assisted on the final out of Game 6.

    Then, he moved on to Toronto's AL East rival. He was a part of Boston's championship teams in both 2004 and 2007. Interestingly, the day he appeared in Game 1 of the 2007 World Series was exactly 15 years to the date that he closed out the 1992 World Series.

Adam Vinatieri

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    Team(s): New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts

    Stats: Four Rings

    There aren't a ton of kickers who have established themselves as the kind of folk heroes that Adam Vinatieri has become. But that's what a few long kicks in a postseason blizzard will get you.

    During his tenure with the New England Patriots, Vinatieri was renowned as a kicker with nerves of steel. He could make any kick, no matter the elements, no matter the stakes. His golden foot was one of the biggest contributors to the Patriots' victories in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX. His field goals served as the game-winners in his first two Super Bowls, and he also kicked the game-tying and game-winning field goals in the legendary "Tuck Rule" game.

    When he hit free agency, Vinatieri decided he was done with Tom Brady and decided to give that other top quarterback's team a try, moving on to Indianapolis. It paid off: He won his fourth ring in Super Bowl XLI.

Frankie Crosetti

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    Team(s): New York Yankees

    Stats: 17 Rings

    Yeah. Anytime you can close out your career with a whopping 17 championships, it's pretty exciting.

    Crosetti played for the Yankees for 17 years, and he coached them for another couple of decades, and when all was said and done, he had double-digit championships and far more rings than fingers on which to wear them.

    Starting in 1932, Crosetti won title after title with the feared Yankees, taking home eight in total as a player. He didn't leave New York until 1969, after racking up another nine rings in pinstripes.

    It's probably safe to say that LeBron isn't going to catch him.

Horace Grant

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    Team(s): Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic

    Stats: Four Rings

    Horace Grant picked the perfect time to emerge into the NBA. He was Chicago's first-round pick in 1987, and though it took him a few years to achieve ultimate glory, it seems like he once he got there, he never came back down.

    The General won three consecutive world titles with the Bulls from 1991-1993 as part of one of the most legendary trios in the history of basketball, along with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. (Sound familiar? LeBron really might be following in Grant's footsteps.) His last-second block was the key to Chicago's championship run in '93.

    Grant would earn his final ring when he was the beneficiary of a trade that sent him to LA, Glen Rice to New York and Patrick Ewing to Seattle.