NBA championship teams are built around franchise players, Hall Of Fame coaches and close-knit team chemistry. While superstars are necessary for getting buckets and making plays, a championship team would not be complete without the guys who ride the pine all year long.
Many of us (especially those in China) had hoped that Tracy McGrady would be the one to receive a ring this year after never making it out of the first round on his own. However, it was well-traveled veteran Juwan Howard who was gifted his second ring, courtesy of Miami’s Big Three.
While T-Mac at least saw the floor during some garbage time in these playoffs, Howard didn’t play at all, assuming his role of vocal bench captain, and leading us into our topic for discussion. Here are the 12 most unlikely NBA champions…
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12. WILL PERDUE (1991, 1992, 1993 Chicago Bulls, 1999 San Antonio Spurs)
Perdue was fortunate enough to three-peat as part of Mike and Phil‘s first trio of titles together. As if his first three rings weren’t surprising enough, Perdue took his championship pedigree to San Antonio, where he helped the Spurs win their first title in 1999. Over his four championship seasons, Perdue averaged 4.1, 2.5, 1.9 and 1.1 points per game in the playoffs, respectively.
11. DICKEY SIMPKINS (1996, 1997, 1998 Chicago Bulls)
Simpkins was one of the lucky role players that had the opportunity to three-peat with MJ and co. Though Simpkins was only active during the 1998 Bulls playoff run, his role was still miniscule as he averaged 5.7 minutes per game. After MJ parted ways from the Bulls, Simpkins had his best statistical year ever during the ’98-99 season, however, the Bulls went an abysmal 13-37 during the lockout season.