“Do WNBA players get rings?” is a question that comes up at least once a year, as championship season inevitably rolls around. And the short answer is: yes!
All season long, every WNBA player strives for a ring – which is synonymous with winning the league championship. The prestige of the league title, combined with the stunning ring customized for the winning team, is a great way to cap off each year.
So today, we’ll take a look at WNBA championship rings that really rock (sorry not sorry), who pays for them, and the value of a WNBA championship ring. Plus, we’ll reveal who has the most rings! Let’s get after it.
Yes, they get rings! The WNBA Championship ring is an annual award given by the Women’s National Basketball Association to the team that wins the WNBA Finals. Rings are presented to the team’s players, coaches, and members of the executive front office, typically at the start of the following season. And many times select players get to be involved in the design process of the ring.
By the way, in 2020, another type of ring was offered to every player during the season: Oura Health “smart rings.” This ring monitored body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and other metrics to provide players insight into their overall health. It was one of the league’s responses to the pandemic – and not quite as exciting as a Championship ring, but a ring nonetheless.
So who covers the cost of these beauties?
No, players don’t pay for championship rings. The league (read: the owners) cover the cost. But, sometimes players do have the option to buy additional rings for family and friends. And the player does pay for those.
Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful WNBA championship rings throughout the years. Discover the Seattle Storm rings, the Washington Mystics ring, and even one earned by the Houston Comets.
You’ll notice each ring is huge, and elegantly customized for the winning team. And features components including the team logo, their season record, their city, and the player’s name and number. We’ll start with the most recent rings and travel back in time.
While the 2020 ring is yet to be released, Baron Rings produced the Seattle Storm’s 2018 WNBA Championship rings. And they were given out to players and staff before their home opener in 2019.
The ring features the Seattle skyline on the left side, with the Storm team name and WNBA on the right side. The top has the Storm logo made from diamonds and set atop a sea of diamonds. It is quite a beauty to behold!
Meanwhile, the previous Seattle Storm Championship ring in 2010, features 1.3-carat diamonds and a total price of $5,000. Titled “The Arena” to symbolize the bond between the team and its fans, it was designed by Blue Nile, with the input of Sue Bird and her teammates.
It had a sunken face to represent the KeyArena lower bowl. With the team’s logo on top, adorned with three diamonds, flanked by two more and surrounded by even more and “Seattle Storm 2010 Champions.” On the left side is the player’s name above the WNBA logo. On the right is the WNBA trophy with Seattle’s record-setting “28-6” season inscribed below.
“It’s gorgeous. It’s everything we talked about as players.”Storm All-Star Sue Bird said.
For the team’s first WNBA title in 2004, their ring featured emeralds and rubies. And Sue had also helped design that ring, along with teammate Lauren Jackson.
Jostens crafted the 2019 Washington Mystics WNBA Championship, complete with more than 113 diamonds, and 29 taper-cut rubies (standing for the 26 regular season wins and the 3 games won in the Finals).
The Mystics’ DC logo is on top, made up of rubies and sapphires, symbolic of the 12 players on the team’s roster. There’s also the WNBA Championship Trophy with 6 diamonds in its base – a symbol for the 6 total games won by the Mystics in the 2019 playoffs.
The player’s name and jersey number is on the left side of the ring. Along with the WNBA logo, and iconic Washington, DC landmarks. While the right side says “Run it back” which was the 2019 Mystics mantra. It also has the Mystics logo created in the team’s signature blue, and their best regular season record of 26-8.
After a historic 2016 Championship run, The Los Angeles Sparks got their Championship rings at a ceremony at Staples Center. Baron Rings created the stunner and of course packed it full of symbolism.
The team’s slogan’s “We are” and “We rise” are on the inside of the ring. And on the right side the 20th season logo sits on top of the LA skyline and season record.
It has 20 diamonds for 20 years of Sparks basketball, and 4 purple stones representing 4 Western Conference Championships. Plus, it has 3 black diamonds for 3 WNBA Championships.
In total the ring has 80 grams of gold and 2 carats of diamonds. Fit for a queen baller if you ask us!
While playing at Target Center for the first time since 2016, the Lynx unveiled their 2017 WNBA Championship banner and had their ring ceremony. The 2017 ring features the Lynx logo on top, surrounded by over 50 dazzling diamonds.
They also had a ring ceremony back in 2015. That year’s ring was created by NRP and featured 3 trophies that symbolize the 2011, 2013 and 2015 WNBA Championship victories surrounded by over 60 accent stones. On the inside, the record breaking attendance for the 2015 Championship Game of 18,933 fans is engraved.
The top has 29 emerald stones, representing the 29 games the Lynx won during the 2015 season. The left side of the ring showcases the player’s name and number along with a 3D view of the Minneapolis skyline. And the right side has “2015”, a 3D view of the Lynx home court at Target Center, and the WNBA and Lynx logos.
The Phoenix Mercury, led by Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, Candice Dupree, and Brittney Griner, won the championship title in 2007, 2009, and 2014. The 2014 ring is a stunner. The ring’s theme is orange, while previous rings were yellow (old logo; 2007) and purple (2009).
It has sapphires and diamonds on top with the Phoenix Mercury planet logo. The side of the trophy base includes three diamonds to represent the team’s three WNBA titles. And the center of the ring is surrounded by 18 orange stones, representing the team’s 18 seasons.
On the right side it says “Glory is ours”, plus the team’s season record. And a background “V” which is from the “V is for Victory” locker room shirts made by Adidas for the 2014 champs. While the left side showcases the player’s name and number, along with an “X” which is a tribute to the best fans in the WNBA, the “X-Factor”.
The 1998 Houston Comets defeated the Phoenix Mercury in the Finals, for the team’s second straight WNBA championship. Their 1998 ring showcases diamonds and rubies on the top along with the team’s logo. And it says “Back to back 97-98” on the right side.
As you can see, the design of these coveted rings is extraordinary. Probably not something a player would wear every day, but certainly one of their most valuable possessions – at least from an achievement stand point. But what is the actual value of a ring?
As you can tell from the progression above, the earliest championship rings for major professional sports were pretty but fairly plain. Initially they featured only a few diamonds or other precious stones on top.
Though over the years, there’s been more pressure to make each ring one of a kind. As a result, the rings have become more intricate with elaborate designs and larger and more expensive gems. For example, in 2010 the Storms ring had a $5,000 value.
Fast forward a decade, and today, a typical championship ring now contains over fifty diamonds. Beyond the top, diamonds are placed on the bezel, shoulders, and even the hoop of the ring. Meaning the latest rings have a value of more than $10,000 each.
Genuine championship rings are coveted by sports enthusiasts and collectors due to their limited supply, and can go for tens of thousands of dollars at auctions.
So who’s sitting on a stash of ring cash?
The WNBA players that have the most Championship rings are Sue Bird and Maya Moore. They’ve each won four rings. Sue Bird has four WNBA championships: 2004, 2010, 2018, 2020. (By the way, she also got another kind of ring this year!)
And Maya Moore has four WNBA championships: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017. (By the way, she also got another kind. of ring this year!) Which means these two queens remain neck and neck for the ring leader spot.
Interestingly, the most WNBA Championship titles won by a team is four as well. As WNBA history reveals, this feat was first achieved by the Houston Comets in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Led by Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, and Tina Thompson, the Comets had a combined record of 114-26.
Then, the Minnesota Lynx followed suit in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, and Rebekkah Brunson led the team. And with the addition of Sylvia Fowles in 2015 their success skyrocketed. The Lynx avenged their 2016 Finals loss to the Sparks by defeating them in five games to win their fourth championship in seven seasons. Tying the already defunct Houston Comets for most WNBA championship titles.
Finally, the W title record was caught by the Seattle Storm, with wins in 2004, 2010, 2018 and 2020. Seattle won their first two titles due to the dynamic duo of Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson. And the latter two by adding in another UConn player in the WNBA, Breanna Stewart, and Jewell Loyd. Breanna by the way, has a nice 10+ rings of her own, including some from college championships.
Now you know! WNBA players do get incredibly crafted rings, created to reflect specifics about their team, season, and player profiles. Earning a WNBA ring remains one of the most coveted league accomplishments (and not just because of its crazy high monetary value).
We can’t wait to see the design of rings in years to follow, as each year seems to one up the last. Up next, see what else the future might hold for the league with the top 10 WNBA predictions.
Written by Megan Mitzel, youth basketball coach, and Founder of Queen Ballers Club.
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