This article discusses the NBA’s history of only 2 players to win championships across 3 decades. The discussion is centered around Tim Duncan and John Salley, both of whom were teammates on the San Antonio Spurs during their championship years.
The Only 2 Players To Win NBA Championships Across 3 Decades is a blog post about the only players to win NBA championships across three decades. Read more in detail here: has any nba player won a championship with 4 different teams.
Duncan, Tim and Salley, John are the only two players in NBA history to win three titles in three decades. As a 5-time champion and recipient of many individual accolades, including two MVP Awards and 15 All-Star selections, the Spurs’ power forward is one of the game’s most successful players.
John Salley was never an All-Star and has built a career as a role player who puts in a lot of effort every time he steps on the floor. Salley’s influence came in the locker room as a glue man, and he won four NBA championships throughout his tenure. Of course, he joins Tim Duncan as the only players in NBA history to win rings in three decades.
Detroit Pistons (1989, 1990)
John Salley was just in his third NBA season when he averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game in 1989. The role player teamed up with some of the NBA’s best players, including Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, and helped the Pistons add depth.
Salley would undoubtedly remember his first ring as the most significant honor of his career, as the Detroit Pistons would go on to win their first of two championships. Salley was a vital member of the locker room.
John Salley was a key role player for the Detroit Pistons the next season, in 1990. The role player appeared in all 82 regular-season games for the Pistons, averaging 7.2 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game, and was quickly establishing himself as a key chemistry builder on the team as the Pistons won their second title.
Chicago Bulls (1990, 1996)
Salley was acquired by the Chicago Bulls in 1996, however he was moved 25 games into the season. Salley would go on to be a member of another championship squad after just 17 games with the Bulls. Salley would become a three-time champion, whether by chance or by his ability to enhance team harmony.
Los Angeles Lakers, year 2000
The role player would once again make his way into a championship squad. Only a select few players have had the opportunity to play with Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant, much alone win titles with them.
John Salley earned his fourth ring with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2000 season. During the regular season, the role player would only feature in 45 games for the Lakers, but as a 35-year-old, playing big minutes was not his objective. Salley, on the other hand, aided team camaraderie as the Lakers dominated the year and won the championship.
San Antonio Spurs, 1999
Tim Duncan came in San Antonio in 1999 as probably the greatest power forward in the NBA, even dethroning David Robinson as the best player in the city. The Spurs swept the Knicks in five games, with Tim Duncan earning his first NBA Finals MVP award.
Duncan averaged 27.4 points per game and 14.0 rebounds per game, and his 33-point effort early in the series set the tone. The big guy was out to make a point, and he was only getting started on a legacy that would span three decades of basketball.
San Antonio Spurs, 2003, 2005, and 2007
Three players dominated the period of the 2000s: Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal. The main distinction is that Tim Duncan was the only player in previous decades to win more titles.
Duncan led the Spurs to three championships in the 2000s, beating the New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Under Gregg Popovich, San Antonio had Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, but Tim Duncan was the uncontested greatest player on the championship teams.
San Antonio Spurs, 2014
When the Spurs defeated LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in 2014, Tim Duncan earned his fifth and final title. The Spurs would not be denied a third title in their third decade, led by Kawhi Leonard’s superb defense and Tim Duncan’s leadership.
Tim Duncan was once again the constant for the Spurs, despite the fact that they had a rising superstar in Kawhi Leonard and the coaching brilliance of Gregg Popovich. The Spurs have been irrelevant since the big man’s retirement, which is why Duncan’s five titles over three decades are significant.
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John Salley is a retired professional basketball player who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic. He was also an NBA champion with the Heat in 2006. Reference: john salley net worth.
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