LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry rings, explained: Breaking down NBA championship debate for Lakers-Warriors stars
LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry rings, explained: Breaking down NBA championship debate for Lakers-Warriors stars
More impressive rings: LeBron or Steph?

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry.

Sure, it's only a second-round matchup but this is as big as it gets. The NBA's two biggest stars of this generation collide for a fifth time ever in the playoffs when the Lakers and Warriors tip off their Western Conference clash of NBA royalty.

Incredibly, this is the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs since 1991. How long ago was that? James was six years old, Curry was three years old and Michael Jordan had zero championships.

Rare do series at this stage generate so much interest and drum up so many big-picture talking points. Buckle up because James vs. Curry promises to usher in waves of endless ring talk with legacies on the line. Here's a primer for the ring chatter ahead of our two heliocentric stars.

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How many rings does LeBron James have?

  • NBA championships: 4
  • Finals MVPs: 4
  • Finals W-L: 4-6
  • Years won: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2020

James has a 4-6 record in the NBA Finals with championships coming with the Heat, Cavaliers and Lakers.

After reaching the Finals once but not winning a championship during his first seven seasons with the Cavaliers, James joined the Heat as a free agent in the summer of 2010 alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, James won two titles in four seasons. They beat the Thunder and Spurs in 2012 and 2013, respectively with Finals losses to the Mavericks in 2011 and Spurs in 2014.

James then returned to the Cavaliers and led them to the Finals for four straight years, winning the franchise's first and only championship in 2016. In doing so, the Cavs became the first team in NBA Finals history to win after trailing 3-1 in a series.

James then joined the Lakers in the summer of 2018 and after missing the playoffs his first season, won the NBA title in the bubble in 2020. It was the 17th championship in Lakers' history.

MORE: Lakers vs. Warriors series predictions

LeBron James record vs. Stephen Curry in playoffs

LeBron James has a 1-3 record against Stephen Curry in the playoffs. James won in the 2016 Finals while Curry won in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

This is the first time they've met prior to the NBA Finals.

How many rings does Stephen Curry have?

  • NBA championships: 4
  • Finals MVPs: 1
  • Finals W-L: 4-2
  • Years won: 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022

Like James, Curry also has four championships.

The first came in 2015 after the then-upstart Warriors went 67-15 and Curry won the first of his back-to-back MVPs. After losing to James and the Cavaliers in 2016, the Warriors then won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 before then losing to the Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals.

After missing the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, Curry and the Warriors returned with a vengeance in 2022, rolling through the West and taking down the Celtics in six games to claim their fourth championship in eight years. 

MORE: Breaking down Curry vs. Magic in GOAT PG debate

How many rings does Stephen Curry have without Kevin Durant?

Curry won two titles without Durant — 2015 and 2022.

After infamously blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Warriors signed Durant as a free agent — after beating Durant's Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. It's a move that not only tipped the scales heavily in the Warriors' favor, but also forever altered the legacies of both Curry and Durant. The Warriors won back-to-back championships and very likely would have three-peated had Durant and Klay Thompson not suffered serious injuries during the 2019 loss to the Raptors. After winning the first title, the Warriors entered 2018 as better than even odds to win again, making them the largest preseason favorite in NBA history.

Yes, Durant won both Finals MVPs and outplayed both Curry and James. And yet many are still waiting for him to win one without the comforts of a ready-made and stacked super team.

For Curry, who had three championships and no Finals MVP awards —  Andre Iguodala controversially won it in 2015 — the second title without Durant in many ways validated his greatness in the eyes of those who discredited the two he won with Durant.

MORE: Durant, Magic, Dame react to Curry's 50-point explosion in Game 7

What current players have won the most NBA titles?

Curry and James are tied with a large group for the most rings among active players. In all, there are 26 players who have at least five NBA titles. Bill Russell has the most with 11 championships.

Here is a breakdown of the most rings among active players.

Player Titles Teams
LeBron James 4 Lakers, Cavs, Heat
Stephen Curry 4 Warriors
Klay Thompson 4 Warriors
Draymond Green 4 Warriors
Andre Iguodala 4 Warriors
Kevon Looney 3 Warriors
Patrick McCaw 3 Warriors, Raptors
JaVale McGee 3 Warriors, Lakers
Udonis Haslem 3 Heat
Danny Green 3 Lakers, Raptors, Spurs


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