Michael Jordan Rings | Jordan’s Six Championship Rings
Jordan needed seven seasons until finally capturing the first of six championships. In the guide below, we’ll take a look at each of those six championships, talk about who they beat, and how they managed to arrive at the mountaintop each time.
Though LeBron James won four NBA championship rings and entered the conversation, for two decades, millions of people had one GOAT when it came to basketball, and his name was Michael Jeffrey Jordan. The Chicago Bulls legend was dominant even before the historic run of the 1990s.
Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. His championship victories occurred in two distinct three-peats:
First Three-Peat (1991-1993):
- 1991 NBA Championship
- 1992 NBA Championship
- 1993 NBA Championship
Second Three-Peat (1996-1998):
- 1996 NBA Championship
- 1997 NBA Championship
- 1998 NBA Championship
These six championships, along with his five regular-season MVP awards, six NBA Finals MVP awards, and numerous other accolades, contribute to Jordan’s legacy as an iconic figure in the world of sports.
The Chicago Bulls of the latter half of the 1990s get talked about most among Michael Jordan championship rings. One of the most important ones has been the first, which came in 1991 against the historic Lakers.
That team, led by Magic Johnson, had won five titles between 1980 and 1988, presenting an imposing force to a Bulls team that hadn’t been able to get over the hump previously. In Jordan’s first NBA Finals, there could not have been a bigger challenge.
Jordan and the Bulls came through, however. Jordan hit a crucial shot late in the series, a shot in the lane that helped propel the Bulls to their first NBA championship. Little did the rest of the NBA know, it would unlock the floodgates to Michael Jordan and 6 rings.
Michael Jordan’s Outstanding Season Highlights
The Bulls finished with 61 wins, easily topping the Central Division. The Bulls also finished with the top seed in the East, cruising through the first three rounds with a record of 13-1. Even in the Finals, they managed to top the vaunted Lakers in five games.
It was a banner year for Jordan in every way. He made the NBA All-Defensive First Team, made the All-NBA First Team, won the regular season MVP, and capped it off with the NBA Finals MVP. Scottie Pippen joined him in the post-season honours, earning NBA All-Defensive Second Team honours.
As good as the 1990-91 season was for the Bulls, the following season was even better. The Bulls improved to a whopping 67 wins in 1991-92, winning the division by 10 games and easily capturing the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the regular season dominance, there were troubles in the playoffs. They swept the first round but ultimately had a seven-game war with the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals. The Bulls defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals to return to the NBA Finals.
Portland’s Clyde Drexler had been compared to Jordan. To say that Jordan took it personally would be putting it lightly. Jordan started the series with the famous “shrug game,” hitting six three-pointers in the first half, finishing with 35 points and 11 assists in the 33-point win. A decisive win in Game 5 all but sealed the series and the second title for the Bulls.
Jordan and Pippen’s Standout Season Achievements
Jordan, yet again, had a dominant year across the board. In addition to his second NBA Finals MVP, he earned another NBA MVP, All-NBA First Team nod, and NBA All-Defensive First Team nod. Oh, and he was the Associated Press Athlete of the Year to boot.
Pippen also took his game to a new level that year. In addition to earning an All-NBA Second Team nod, he was added to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Both would represent the Bulls in the All-Star Game that year as well.
Going into the 1992-93 NBA season, there were a few narratives. The first centred on whether the Bulls could become just the third team in NBA history to three-peat (the Lakers and Boston Celtics were the only two). Secondly, the New York Knicks were gaining hype as the ones to topple the Bulls.
The Bulls took a step back in the regular season, winning 57 games en route to another division title. The Knicks, with 60 wins, took the top seed. After sweeping the Hawks and Cavaliers in the first two rounds, the showdown was set. After losing the first two games in New York, the Bulls stormed back to win the next four, heading back to the finals for the third straight year.
Taking on Sir Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns, things went well on the road, seeing the Bulls jump out to a two-game series lead. A triple overtime win in Game 3 was the best punch from the Suns, who would ultimately succumb at home to Jordan and the Bulls in six games.
Jordan’s Triumphs and Team Honours in a Challenging Season
Barkley managed to unseat Jordan as MVP, preventing his “Royal Airness” from getting his fourth award. That said, Jordan did earn his third consecutive NBA Finals MVP, something he no doubt wanted more than the regular season honour.
Jordan and Pippen both made the NBA All-Defensive First Team (joined by Horace Grant on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team). Pippen made the All-NBA Third Team, while Jordan made yet another All-NBA First Team.
After a year and a half away following his third title, Jordan made his return to the NBA late in the 1994-95 season. They would eventually lose to the back-to-back champion Houston Rockets. Still, it was more of a tune-up than anything else.
Jordan returned, and the team made history. That 1995-96 team won an incredible 72 games, which stood until the Golden State Warriors won 73 a few years ago. They won the Central Division by a whopping 20 games, bulldozing through the first three rounds of the playoffs with an 11-1 record.
In the Finals, the Bulls dominated the first three games, looking at a close-out Game 4 in Seattle. The Supersonics held on for two more games before Jordan and the Bulls pulled out their fourth championship win of the 1990s in Game 6.
Jordan’s Career Peak: Dominating the 1995-96 Season
Jordan may have had his best-ever season in 1995-96. He won his
- fourth NBA MVP,
- fourth NBA Finals MVP,
- All-Star Game MVP, and
- earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honours.
Pippen and Rodman joined him on the All-Defensive First Team, and Toni Kukoc earned NBA Sixth Man of the Year as well.
The record-setting season is, without a doubt, one of the greatest in the history of basketball. That 1995-96 team will live on in history as arguably the most dominant and popular NBA team there has ever been and the triumphant return to the mountaintop of Jordan.
Imagine winning 69 games and being a step down from the previous year. But that is the precedent the Bulls had set, winning the Central Division by 13 games and the top seed in the Eastern Conference by eight games.
In the wake of that record-setting season, there were questions about the Bulls and their motivations. But this is Michael Jordan we are talking about, and he really cemented his status as a killer, especially in big moments.
Not satisfied with their prior championships, the Bulls were unstoppable, going 11-2 en route to the Finals. The teams traded wins on the road before Jordan put up 38 points in Game 5 and 39 points in Game 6 to capture the fifth championship of his storied career.
Jordan’s Triumph: Overcoming Challenges in the 1997 Finals
Jordan lost the MVP award to Karl Malone, no doubt fueling another championship run. Ahead of Game 6, Jordan suffered from food poisoning before that decisive game. In what ultimately became known as “the Flu Game,” Jordan went off for 39 points in the historic win.
Jordan and Pippen were back on the NBA All-Defensive First Team once again. Jordan won his fifth NBA Finals MVP, an incredible feat. The Bulls, now with five titles in seven seasons in the 1990s, had officially managed to land in “dynasty” talks.
1998 NBA Title: Bulls Over Jazz 4-2
When asking about Michael Jordan championship rings, fans need only think back to the 1998 NBA Finals. The drama was there from the beginning with this team. It was dubbed “the last dance” later covered in great depth. The 35-year-old Jordan was contemplating retirement. Scottie Pippen had been dealing with contract issues. All that said, the band got back together for one more run.
Yet again, they won more than 60 games (62), winning the Central Division and capturing the top seed in the Eastern Conference. After a pair of easy rounds, the first true challenger for the Knicks emerged. The Indiana Pacers pushed the Bulls to the limit, ultimately falling in seven games to the five-time NBA champions.
All of that set the stage for the rematch with Malone and the Jazz. Utah took Game 1 in the Delta Center, but the Bulls came roaring back with three straight wins.
In the closing Game 6, in a tight defensive battle, Jordan hit what would be the final shot of his career: this shot was taken after Jordan stole the ball from Karl Malone, dribbled down the court, and performed a crossover move on Bryon Russell before making the iconic game-winning jump shot, the dagger that would win the series and the sixth (and final) championship for the Bulls.
Jordan’s Legacy: A Record Sixth Finals MVP and Fifth NBA MVP
Jordan would win his sixth NBA Finals MVP (a record) and his fifth NBA MVP that season. He and Pippen once again made the NBA All-Defensive First Team, with Jordan making the All-NBA First Team as well. Though the wins were down for a second straight year, the Bulls’ run was really only in doubt in the Indiana series.
The Bulls and Jordan would cement their status as one of the greatest teams in the history of all sports. With six titles in eight seasons, including a pair of three-peats, Jordan and the Bulls became a staple of the decade as a whole. It also solidified the claims of Jordan being the greatest of all time, dominating in a way like few others have before him. The Bulls became icons in a way that few teams have managed to achieve either before or after that.
No, Michael Jordan does not have 7 rings. He won 6 championships with the Chicago Bulls.
Michael Jordan secured his six NBA championship rings by defeating the following teams: the Los Angeles Lakers in 1991, the Portland Trailblazers in 1992, the Phoenix Suns in 1993, the Seattle Supersonics in 1996, and the Utah Jazz in both 1997 and 1998.
What’s with all the Michael Jordan championship rings? Well, it helps when you are the unquestioned greatest player of your time. Additionally, Jordan had a top-50 player (Scottie Pippen) as his wingman, plus one of the most dominant defenders in the game (Dennis Rodman). The supporting cast was crucial in earning all of those Michael Jordan rings.
Of all the Michael Jordan rings, he did not win them all in a row. That said, Michael Jordan championship rings came in the form of a pair of 3-peats: 1991, 1992, and 1993, as well as 1996, 1997, and 1998. Michael Jordan rings were the topic of the 1990s.
Bill Russell holds the record for the most NBA Championships ever with a whopping 11. Even more impressive, he won those 11 titles in just 13 years as a professional. While Michael Jordan and 6 rings are impressive, nothing will touch Russell and the Celtics’ domination.
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Rowan is a sports betting journalist with an established presence in the sports media industry through his thought-invoking coverage and commentary surrounding major leagues like the NBA, NFL, and NCAA. While Rowan specializes in NBA, NFL, and NCAA college sports coverage, he consistently follows and reports on every major sport in North America.
Facts checked by Anthony Odiase