Curious about the history of the NBA championship ring? Along with the Larry O'Brien Trophy, named for NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien, who served as commissioner from 1975 until 1983, NBA championship winners also receive an NBA championship ring, which to many is more prized than the trophy. Unlike the NFL's Superbowl rings, or other sports championship rings, the NBA championship ring is also rarely worn, partly perhaps due to the size, but also due to its value.
In 1985, Pat Riley made the suggestion that each year the NBA championship ring be unique. Since that year, the rings have been designed based on input from the general managers, coaches and players as an ultimate symbol of their accomplishments, and this has added uniqueness to the prize.
The Boston Celtics have won the NBA championship a total of seventeen times since 1957, taking the lead among all NBA teams. The LA Lakers have won a total of sixteen times, counting their previous status as the Minneapolis Lakers, since 1949 and including their recent NBA championship victory over the Boston Celtics, giving the Lakers their 2010 NBA championship rings.
The 2009 NBA championship rings were designed by Jason of Beverly Hills. The ring was designed with input from the team, and featured a special 15-karat Laker gold, in contrast to the traditional 14-karat gold, to commemorate the fifteenth NBA championship by the LA team. Additionally, fifteen diamonds were placed around the center, also honoring this feat. Each ring received a special laser engraving of each player's face on the side as well, making the rings not only unique in design for the team, but unique for the individual.
The 2010 playoffs resulted in the LA Lakers' sixteenth NBA championship victory. It was also Phil Jackson's eleventh NBA championship victory, and key player Kobe Bryant's fifth NBA championship victory.