2010 NBA Finals: Will Michael Finley or Adam Morrison Be the Latest Bench Champ?

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2010 NBA Finals: Will Michael Finley or Adam Morrison Be the Latest Bench Champ?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If the Celtics win it all this year, Michael Finley will be the latest former NBA superstar who never won it all at his peak, but got a ring in a backup role. In fact, he won a ring as a Spur in 2007, where he also had limited impact.

If the Lakers win, former NCAA scoring champion Adam Morrison will be a two-time champ. Last year the scoring machine averaged a little over one point per game, but he's got a ring.

Over the last 20 years, several other players that were once the main man were crowned champions.

In 1992, Rory Sparrow played 33 games for the Chicago Bulls, but the former starting point guard when Michael Jordan was a rookie barely played.

In 1994, Otis Thorpe helped the Houston Rockets win a title; he was an unsung hero who had averaged over 20 points per game before. In 1995, Thorpe was back and Tracy Murray joined in the Rockets title win. The former high-scoring forward sacrificed points to win a title.

In 1997, Robert Parish won a ring with the Chicago Bulls. The old man played a few minutes each night but was a big help in the locker room and practice. Prior to playing for the Bulls, Parish won three titles with Boston as part of the big three; in Chicago, he was the 12th man.

In 1999, Steve Kerr won his fourth straight title while playing for the Spurs. This came on the heels of three straight championships with the Bulls.

Jerome Kersey finally won a title in 1999 after being a star in Portland for so long, losing in the finals in 1990 and 1992.

In 2000, former scoring machine for Miami, Glen Rice, toned it way down and won a title with the Lakers.

Former Detroit Piston John Salley won it all with L.A. that year, too.

In 2001, Brian Shaw was back with the Lakers, and so was Isaiah Rider. Rider averaged almost eight points per game for the title team.

In 2002, Shaw joined Lindsey Hunter and former big-time star Mitch Richmond and won a title. These three players learned to play backup roles in order for the team to win. Richmond put up four points per game, whereas he once averaged 26 during his best season.

In 2003, former college star Danny Ferry won a title with the Spurs. Kevin Willis was a constant 20 and 10 big man for many years, and he still played gritty defense at age 40 for the Spurs that year. Also, former scoring machine Steve Smith was a sparsely used player for the champs, but he has a ring.

In 2004, former standout Bob Sura played a complimentary role on the Detroit Pistons championship team. Dunking sensation Darvin Ham won a title, too, as did Lindsey Hunter. Corliss Williamson played a team game when he could have been a star. Elden Campbell and Hubert Davis were both veterans by the time they got theirs.

"Big Dog" Glenn Robinson was once everything for Milwaukee but he played a backup role to win it all with the Spurs in 2005.

In 2006, Gary Payton averaged six points and two assists per game for the championship Miami Heat team. He used to be the whole show in Seattle, where he lost in the 1996 Finals, and as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, he lost in the 2004 Finals.

In 2008, Sam Cassell won a title with the Celtics. The former Houston and Milwaukee star was older but wiser, but he rarely played in the Finals.

Back to 2010, who will be the latest former star to add a second ring? 

 

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