Michael Jordan: The G.O.A.T’s legacy has been well documented so I won’t spend too much time rehashing it. Jordan won his first title during his 7th year in the league against Magic Johnson’s Lakers in 91’ and never looked back. Jordan went on to win six NBA title, and six finals MVP Awards. Jordan is also one of the only players in league history to win every finals MVP award they were eligible for, the only other play to come close is Hakeem Olajuwon who went two for two.
Larry Bird: Bird won his first title in 81’ during his second year in the league. He made it to the finals 5 times during his 12 year career and only lost twice, both to Magic Johnson’s Lakers.
Magic Johnson: Magic is the only player in league history to lead a team to a championship during his rookie season. There have been a few players to win a title during their rookie season, but most were role players. Magic made it to the finals 9 times during his 13 year career and won it 5 times.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar: Kareem won his first title in 71’ with the Bucks. Kareem went on to win five more titles and six MVP awards, and was one of the most dominant players in NBA history. Kareem made it to the NBA finals eight times during his 20 year career.
Bill Russell: If we count championship rings as our criteria for greatness then no one was better than Russell, who won 11 titles in 13 years with the Boston Celtics. Russell won his first title 57’ against the St. Louis Hawks, and went on to create perhaps the greatest dynasty in all of sports. Russell only lost in the NBA finals once, and ended up with an 11-1 finals record.