Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time, and for a good reason. Jordan won six NBA titles in six Finals appearances, capping off one of the most impressive postseason resumes in league history. However, it’s not the best Finals record ever. Many basketball fans probably don’t know about the lesser-known player who went an unprecedented 8-for-8 in the NBA Finals. He played nine seasons in the NBA and only averaged 7.4 points per game, but his Finals record is even better than the GOAT’s.
Michael Jordan went 6-for-6 in the NBA Finals
Every basketball fan knows about Michael Jordan‘s impeccable NBA Finals record. Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six appearances during the 1990s, and he went undefeated in all six trips.
Jordan and the Bulls completed two separate three-peats during the decade. If not for his brief baseball hiatus, Jordan could have led Chicago to another championship or two in the ’90s. Either way, it’s hard to be disappointed with six titles in eight seasons.
MJ’s six rings rank ninth in NBA history. Bill Russell leads the way with 11 NBA titles, and Bob Cousey is not far behind with 10. Four players are tied in third with eight championships. That’s where our mystery man resides.
K.C. Jones won eight NBA titles in nine seasons with the Boston Celtics
As impressive as Jordan’s six championships in eight years were, it doesn’t come close to what K.C. Jones accomplished in his NBA career. Jones played nine seasons with the Boston Celtics and won a championship in eight of them.
In his rookie season in 1958-59, Jones averaged just 3.5 points per game. He attempted just 3.9 shots per game, but he rode Bill Russell and Bob Cousey to his first title. He didn’t know it at the time, but Jones would become quite accustomed to winning throughout his career.
Jones and the Celtics went on to win the next seven NBA titles. Forget a lame three-peat. Jones completed the infamous eight-peat from 1959-1966. It was the most dominant run by any franchise in NBA history, and Jones was lucky to be right in the thick of it.
K.C. Jones has more rings than Michael Jordan despite averaging 7.4 points per game
Michael Jordan may be the greatest player of all time, but K.C. Jones has him beat in the most important category — rings. Forget the stats. Jones can barely fit all his championship rings as a player on both his hands at one time. Jordan barely reaches his second hand.
Despite winning eight titles in nine years, the most Jones averaged in a single season was 9.2 points per game. He averaged a pedestrian 7.4 points per game over his entire career.
Jones wasn’t much of a scoring threat for the Celtics, but he was a tenacious defender and an integral part of those eight championships. He might not have lit up the scoreboard, but Jones was just as important to those eight titles as anyone else on the 1960s Celtics.
Jones was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference