Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
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It’s not just Steph Curry and Kevin Durant who will have jewelry at stake when the Warriors face either the Bucks or the Raptors in the NBA finals. Everyone from Warriors equipment personnel to the players’ families will, too.
No one used to much care about who got NBA championship rings beyond the players and coaches. But rings are a lot blingier than they used to be – whereas the Warriors’ 1975 rings had one diamond, their 2018 Frodo fuel boasted 74(!) with a reversible top. The maker of the rings is a celebrity in his own right.
There are no rules on who gets a ring and who doesn’t – those decisions are left up to the team. But NBA champions have for years made a practice of spreading the wealth – with the quality of the ice varying by job title, of course.
The 2005-06 champion Miami Heat awarded 415 rings to team employees after their victory over the Dallas Mavericks. The Cleveland Cavaliers upped the ante after their 2016 finals victory over the Warriors – owner Dan Gilbert gave out over 1,000 rings worth a combined $1 million to everyone from LeBron James to part-time employees to the arena janitors.
Jason Arasheben, the Beverly Hills jeweler to the rich and famous who creates the Warriors’ title rings, told The Undefeated that the Warriors ordered about 500 rings for team employees after their 2018 finals victory over the Cavaliers. Warriors owner Joe Lacob told NBA.com that those recipients included coaches, team administration, the sales office and others.
“Every full-time employee gets one,” Lacob told the site. “We do something for part-timers. We do something for major partners. We have a lot of different options, with earrings and pendants. We want something for everyone who was involved. We want everyone who was a part of that journey to feel like it. Obviously that’s a lot but it’s something we feel strongly about.”
Team staffers typically don’t get the pomp and circumstance of a ring ceremony, but Stephen Curry went against the grain last year when he honored the team’s director of team operations, Eric Housen, with his ring at mid-court.
As for players who were on a championship team’s roster during the season but not when the confetti was dropped, that’s left to the team’s and the player’s discretion.
A notable recent example is Anderson Varejao, who played half of the 2015-16 season with the Cavaliers before being traded to Portland and ending up with the Warriors for their finals loss to Cleveland. Before the Cavaliers could vote on giving Varejao a ring, he declared he wouldn’t accept one.
His career ended on a happy note, however. Although he played only 14 games with the 2016-17 Warriors, they voted to give him a ring after their finals victory. This time, he accepted.
Players who aren’t with a championship team the following season will often be feted with a brief on-court ceremony the next time they return with their new team, as the Warriors did with JaVale McGee this year. Of course, this being JaVale, the Warriors had to prank him first.
You don’t have to be on a championship team to get a ring, though it helps to be related to one. Durant told The Undefeated that he bought eight extra 2017 championship rings for friends and family members.
The team’s city can get a title ring, too. After the Warriors’ first of three finals victories over the Cavaliers, they gave the city of Oakland a 14-karat ring appraised at $13,500. It’s the closest we’ll get to finding out what players’ rings are worth, because the teams won’t tell.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-NBA-finals-who-gets-championship-ring-13882910.php.