NBA Champions/Medalists and the Olympics

With the San Antonio Spurs winning the NBA Title last night, here is a similar list to our Stanley Cup / Olympic Gold list. This is the list of basketball Triple Crown Winners – all those winning an NCAA Title, Olympic Gold, and NBA Championship. All 7 of the players are from the USA, as one would expect. And no, nobody on the Spurs was added to this list last night. American Tim Duncan (although he was born in the Virgin Islands and his sister, Tricia, swam for the Virgin Islands at the 1988 Olympics) on the team has an Olympic medal, playing on the bronze-medal winning 2004 team, and has won 5 NBA titles with the Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014), but Argentine Manu Ginóbili won a gold medal in 2004 and a bronze medal in 2008. He has played on NBA Champions with the Spurs in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014 and is one of the few non-Americans to have won an Olympic medal and an NBA Championship. The lists below show the 7 players to have won the Triple Crown and all non-Americans to have won an Olympic medal and an NBA title:

Name Olympics NCAA NBA Titles
Quinn Buckner 1976 1976 Indiana Univ 1984 Boston Celtics
Magic Johnson 1992 1979 Michigan State Univ 1980/82/85/87-88 Los Angeles Lakers
K. C. Jones 1956 1955-56 Univ San Francisco 1959-66 Boston Celtics
Michael Jordan 1984/92 1982 Univ North Carolina 1991-93; 1996-98 Chicago Bulls
Clyde Lovelette 1952 1952 Univ Kansas 1954 Minneapolis Lakers; 1963-64 Boston Celtics
Jerry Lucas 1960 1960 Ohio State Univ 1973 New York Knicks
Bill Russell 1956 1955-56 Univ San Francisco 1957; 1959-66; 1968-69 Boston Celtics

For the record, unlike ice hockey, no player has ever won Olympic Gold, NBA/NHL Championship, and a World Championship (31 hockey players thru 2010).

Name Olympics NBA Titles
Toni Kukoc 1988/1992 silver (YUG/CRO) 1996/97/98 Chicago Bulls
Zelly Rebrača 1996 silver (SCG) 2004 Detroit Pistons
Manu Ginóbili 2004 gold/2008 bronze (ARG) 2003/05/07/14 San Antonio Spurs
Fabricio Oberto 2004 gold/2008 bronze (ARG) 2007 San Antonio Spurs
Pau Gasol 2008/12 silver (ESP) 2009/10 Los Angeles Lakers

In addition, Hakeem Olajuwon won NBA Titles with the 1994/95 Houston Rockets and won an Olympic gold in 1996, but by then he had taken US citizenship and played for the USA. Two other foreign players who came close to this list were Luc Longley (AUS-1988/2000), Bill Wennington (CAN-1984), who both finished 4th at the Olympics (Longley twice), and played on NBA Champions – both with the Bulls from 1996-98.

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