With the Los Angeles Lakers winning their 17th NBA championship on Sunday, almost half of the 73 NBA champions have been either the Lakers or the Boston Celtics. The league's two most accomplished franchises monopolize titles and often battle each other in the Finals for the trophy, but there isn't much intermingling between the two of them. On Sunday, Rajon Rondo became just the second player ever to win a championship with both the Lakers and the Celtics.
Who was first? That would be Clyde Lovellette. He won his first championship with George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954, and then won two more alongside Bill Russell on the Celtics in 1963 and 1964. Lovellette was a four-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.
Rondo is the first player ever to win a championship with the Los Angeles version of the Lakers and the Celtics. That Boston championship came, ironically, against the Lakers. His Celtics defeated Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals. In winning the 2020 title for the Lakers, Rondo helped his new team tie his old one in terms of all-time titles. The Lakers and Celtics both have 17 championships to their names now.
Rondo was already an interesting Hall of Fame candidate before this season. His peak was short, but explosive. He made four All-Star, like Lovellette, but all of them came in Boston. He has been something of a nomad since then, playing for Dallas, Sacramento, Chicago and New Orleans before landing in Los Angeles. Now, he's made NBA history, and it could be the final piece of his Hall of Fame resume.