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Image for Christian Jope Christian Jope - Published July 6, 2023

How Many Championship Rings Does Larry Bird Have?

One of the most respected figures in basketball history, Larry Bird, is known as one of the greatest ever to grace an NBA court. Known for his incredible offensive and defensive ability, Larry Bird's singular talents helped define the Lakers-Celtics rivalry and his rivalry with Magic Johnson.

As one of the NBA's best-ever talents, Larry Bird is always in the conversation when discussing the best forwards of all time. Even with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Scottie Pippen sharing a position with Bird, the breadth of his accomplishment still separates him from them in certain basketball areas. Considering his maintained brilliance and loyalty to the Boston Celtics, Bird's ability to win three NBA Championship rings is well respected.

Larry Bird Championship Rings

Larry Bird Career Profile, Awards, & Accomplishments

Name: Larry Joe Bird

Position: Small Forward, Power Forward

Height: 6-9 (206 cm) 

Weight: 220 lbs (99 kg)

School: Indiana State

Draft: Boston Celtics (6th Pick, 6th Overall, 1978)

  • NBA Champion (1981, 1984, 1986)
  • NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)
  • NBA Most Valuable Player (1984-86)
  • NBA All-Star (1980-88, 1990-92)
  • All-NBA First Team (1980-88)
  • All-NBA Second Team (1990)
  • All-Defensive Second Team (1982-84)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
  • NBA All-Rookie Team (1980)
  • NBA Three-Point Contest Champion (1986-88)

1981: Boston Celtics

1980-8162-20 108.4102.6109.943.626.
League Rank1st (East)5th4th8th13th10th17th2nd3rd/7th7th/3rd

The 1980-81 NBA season was pivotal for the Boston Celtics, with Larry Bird leading the charge. Larry Bird had a standout season, averaging 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. Bird's stellar play earned him his second of nine consecutive All-NBA First Team admissions.

The Celtics finished the regular season with an impressive 62-20 record, the best in the Eastern Conference. The team's chemistry and competitiveness were evident as they made a deep playoff run, ultimately reaching the NBA Finals. In a gritty six-game series against the Houston Rockets, Bird and the Celtics won their first of three championships in the 1980s.

1984: Boston Celtics

League Rank1st (East)6th3rd7th3rd14th15th10th6th/10th13th/8th

The 1983-84 NBA season marked a triumph for the Boston Celtics, led by their superstar Larry Bird. Individually, Larry Bird had a stellar season, averaging 24.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. His versatility, basketball IQ, and clutch performances were vital to the Celtics' success, and his remarkable production was recognized as he earned his first NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, solidifying his status as one of the league's elite players.

The team's cohesive play and commitment to defense were evident throughout the season. The Celtics continued their dominance in the playoffs, advancing to the NBA Finals, where they faced off against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in the first of three Finals meetings of the 80s. The Celtics emerged triumphant, defeating the Lakers in a hard-fought seven-game series and securing their second NBA championship of the decade - with Bird earning Finals MVP honors.

1986: Boston Celtics

League Rank1st (East)3rd1st8th1st2nd18th4th2nd/4th1st/2nd

The 1985-86 NBA season will forever be etched in the annals of Boston Celtics history as one of their most memorable campaigns. Larry Bird, the heart and soul of the team, had an outstanding season, showcasing his incredible skills and leadership. He averaged 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game, leading the team in multiple statistical categories. Bird secured his third consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, solidifying his place among the greatest players.

The Celtics finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 record. Their strong regular-season performance translated into a remarkable playoff run. Boston cleared the Eastern Conference Playoffs with an 11-1 record, knocking out the Bulls, Hawks, and Bucks. In the NBA Finals, the Celtics faced off against the Houston Rockets. The Celtics emerged victorious, clinching the championship in six games. Larry Bird's exceptional season and contributions resulted in him being crowned the NBA Finals MVP. The 1985-86 season remains a cherished memory for Celtics fans, symbolizing the unwavering excellence of Larry Bird, the team's collective dominance, and their last NBA title for over 20 years.

Comparing Larry Bird's Rings to the winningest players in NBA history

Among the NBA greats, Larry Bird is one of the most accomplished players to grace the court. With three NBA championship rings, Bird's championship count places him in esteemed company. However, compared with the winningest players in NBA history, a select few have reached greater heights in championship triumphs.

PlayerNo. of RingsYears WonTeam(s)
Bill Russell111957, 1959-69Boston Celtics
Sam Jones101959-66, 1968-69Boston Celtics
Robert Horry71994-95, 2000-2002, 2005, 2007Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar61971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers
Michael Jordan61991-93, 1996-98Chicago Bulls
Scottie Pippen61991-93, 1996-98Chicago Bulls
Magic Johnson51980, 1982, 1985, 1987-88Los Angeles Lakers
Tim Duncan51999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014San Antonio Spurs
Kobe Bryant52000-02, 2009-10Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James42012-13, 2016, 2020Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers

Larry Bird's NBA Finals appearances compared to NBA legends

Larry Bird graced the NBA Finals stage multiple times throughout his illustrious career. As one of the top players of his era, Bird's presence in the Finals often resulted in thrilling matchups and unforgettable moments. While Bird's three NBA titles may not match the lofty championship counts of some of his fellow NBA legends, his impact on the game and his role in the storied Celtics-Lakers rivalry solidify his place among the all-time greats.

PlayerFinals AppearancesYearTeam(s)
Bill Russell121957, 1959-66, 1968-69Boston Celtics
Sam Jones111958-1966, 1968-1969Boston Celtics
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar101971, 1974, 1980, 1982-1989Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James102007, 2011-2014, 2015-2018, 2020Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

Tom Heinsohn



Boston Celtics

Magic Johnson


1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991

Los Angeles Lakers
Jerry West9

1962-1966, 1968-1970

Los Angeles Lakers

Frank Ramsey



Boston Celtics
K. C. Jones81959-1966Boston Celtics
John Havlicek81963-1966, 1968-1969, 1974, 1976Boston Celtics
Bob Cousy71957-1963Boston Celtics
Robert Horry71994-1995, 2000-2002, 2005-2007Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs
Kobe Bryant72000-2002 2004, 2008-2010Los Angeles Lakers
James Worthy61984-1985, 1987-1989, 1991Los Angeles Lakers 
Michael Jordan61991-1993, 1996-1998Chicago Bulls
Scottie Pippen61991-1993, 1996-1998Chicago Bulls
Shaquille O'Neal61995, 2000-2002, 2004, 2006Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat
Tim Duncan61999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker52003, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014San Antonio Spurs
Larry Bird51981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987Boston Celtics

Larry Bird's Championship Rings FAQs

How many NBA Championship Rings does Larry Bird have compared to Magic Johnson?

Larry Bird won a total of three championships with the Boston Celtics. He won his titles in the years 1981, 1984, and 1986. On the other hand, Magic Johnson won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won his championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988.

Should Larry Bird have won more NBA Championships?

Larry Bird reached the NBA Finals five times, winning the Larry O'Brien trophy three times. Both times he lost the NBA Finals, it was to friend and rival Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. Establishing his Boston Celtics as one of the greatest teams of all time, Bird's two losses were fairly earned against a Lakers team who maintained their rivalry through the 1980s.

How does Larry Bird's championship count compare to other NBA stars of his era?

During Larry Bird's era, several other NBA stars achieved championship success. Let's compare Bird's championship count of three titles to some prominent players of his time:Magic Johnson: Bird's longtime rival, won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers during the same era. His titles were achieved in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988.Isiah Thomas: a standout point guard for the Detroit Pistons, won two NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: one of the greatest centers in NBA history, won five championships. He won titles in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988 with the Lakers.Julius Erving: Julius Erving, known as "Dr. J," won two championships in the ABA (American Basketball Association) before the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 and one in the NBA in 1983.When comparing championship counts, Magic Johnson stands out with five championships, while Larry Bird's three titles put him in a tier below. However, it is essential to consider that championships alone do not define a player's impact or greatness. Larry Bird's rivalry with Magic Johnson, accolades, influence on the game, and overall contributions to the Celtics and the sport make him one of the most iconic figures in basketball history.

Image for Christian Jope


Christian Jope

1130 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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