NBA Players With the Most NBA Finals Appearance

min read
Former Boston Celtics player, Bill Russell dribbling the ball, during his first years with the franchise.
(Wikimedia Commons/Unknown author)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Nov 20, 2023, 10:44 PM
  • Here’s a list of NBA players with the most NBA Finals appearances
  • Bill Russell leads the list with 12.
  • LeBron James is the only active player on the list.

The NBA Finals is the biggest stage where players can showcase their talent and prove that they are ready to play under the brightest lights. Also, this is where superstars display incredible performances to help their teams further increase their basketball odds in winning the title.

But who in the history of the NBA has the most NBA Finals appearances of all time?

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell has the most NBA Finals appearance by a player with 12. In those 12 stints in the finals, Russell won the title 11 times, also a league-leading number. In 70 games, the 6-foot-10 center averaged 16.4 points and 24.5 rebounds per contest.

Following Russell on the list is his teammate Sam Jones who appeared in 11 NBA Finals and played in 64 games. Jones was also a key contributor to the Celtics dynasty in the 1960s by averaging 17.9 points and 4.9 rebounds to become a 10-time NBA champion.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James are tied in the third spot, who both made the NBA Finals 10 times and played 56 and 55 games, respectively. Abdul-Jabbar played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers and captured six NBA titles by averaging 23.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.

On the other hand, James suited up for the Cavaliers, Heat, and Lakers in 20 NBA seasons, where he delivered a title to all of these teams and four titles to his name. His incredible stats of 28.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 7.8 assists were vital in achieving this success in the league.

Sitting on the No.4 spot of the list is a three-way tie of Jerry West (55 games), Tom Heinsohn (52 games), and Magic Johnson (50 games) with nine NBA Finals appearances. Wrapping up the list is a six-way tie of John Havlicek (47 games), Frank Ramsey (47 games), Michael Cooper (46 games), K.C. Jones (44 games), Tom Sanders (43 games), and Derek Fisher (43 games) all reached the NBA Finals eight times.

NBA Players With Most NBA Finals Appearance

RankPlayerNBA Finals AppearancesGames Played
1Bill Russell 12 70
2Sam Jones1164
T3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 10 56
T3LeBron James10 55
T4Jerry West955
T4Tom Heinsohn952
T4Magic Johnson950
T5John Havlicek847
T5Frank Ramsey8 47
T5Michael Cooper846
T5K.C. Jones8 44
T5Tom Sanders843
T5Derek Fisher843

NBA Playoffs Odds

When the stakes increase on the court, they can increase at the online sportsbook with NBA playoff odds. From the play-in tournament through the NBA Finals, BetMGM is the premier destination for NBA betting.

If you’re new to the sportsbook, register today with BetMGM’s welcome promo. And check out updated sportsbook promos each day of the year.

BetMGM First Bet Offer $1,500
About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.