The days of the NBA's biggest stars trying to win a championship only with the team that drafted them are long gone, and have been for quite some time. Players wised up and realized that their individual legacies are what matter most, and adding an NBA title to a Hall of Fame résumé will only make a career more satisfying, no matter how that championship is ultimately won.
Here's a look at 11 of the most accomplished ring chasers in NBA history.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Kevin Durant, Warriors
The latest poster boy for leaving one franchise to chase a ring with a better one is KD, who joined the Warriors last summer even though his Thunder had just taken them to seven games in the Western Conference finals.
But instead of being angry at Durant for making a historically great Golden State squad even more stacked, we should be thanking him. Because had he stayed in OKC, we would never have gotten to see the unleashed version of Russell Westbrook we were able to enjoy this season.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Charles Barkley, Rockets
You might remember Barkley being traded from the Sixers to the Suns, and then immediately reaching the NBA Finals in his first season in Phoenix. But that was an organizational decision more than it was Barkley forcing his way out.
Barkley's true ring chasing moment came in 1996, when he teamed with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in Houston in an attempt to win a title with the Rockets. But it never came to fruition. Houston made it to the conference finals that year, but never got past the first round in any of Barkley's final three seasons in the league.
Clyde Drexler, Rockets
Unlike Barkley's trade to the Suns, Drexler had been asking to be dealt to a contender. And he got his wish in the middle of the 1995 season.
After 11-plus years with the Blazers, Drexler joined his former University of Houston college teammate Hakeem Olajuwon in a quest to win a title. He won one in his very first season in Houston, but not even the addition of Barkley the following year could get him a second ring.
Focus on SportGetty Images
Karl Malone, Lakers
Malone played 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz, but at age 40, decided to join Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles for one last crack at a ring in 2004. Injuries limited him to just 42 games in the regular season, however, and he was able to play in only one of the games against the Pistons in the Finals. Detroit pulled the upset, and won the championship by beating the Lakers in five.
Gary Payton, Lakers, Celtics, Heat
Just like Malone, Payton joined the Lakers in 2004 to try to chase that elusive first ring. After 12-plus seasons in Seattle and part of one in Milwaukee, L.A. was Payton's destination of choice. But after things didn't work out there, he tried again in Boston the next season, before finally winning a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006 -- the final season of his Hall of Fame career.
But the 2012-13 season ended in complete disaster. Kobe Bryant suffered a late-season Achilles injury that killed the team's chances of playoff success, and Howard was gone in free agency to Houston the very next season.
Steve Nash, Lakers
We probably should have included a trigger warning for Suns fans in advance of running this picture, because seeing Nash in a Lakers uniform makes the fans in Phoenix sick to this day.
After eight seasons with the Suns and two MVP awards to his name, Nash decided it was time to pursue a title in L.A., and orchestrated a sign-and-trade in the summer of 2012. But injuries hit hard almost from the very start, and he was never able to perform anywhere near the level he had in Phoenix. The Lakers were swept in the first round of the playoffs that year, and Nash appeared in only 15 games the following season before being forced to retire due to injury.
LeBron James, Heat
After playing the first seven seasons of his career with his hometown Cavaliers, LeBron James became the league's primary villain the moment he announced he was taking his talents to South Beach. By joining Dwyane Wade in Miami and having Chris Bosh sign on to play there too, the Heat immediately became title contenders, and a team with a bull's-eye on its back.
Success in the form of a championship didn't come instantly, but the Heat did make it to the Finals in all four of LeBron's Miami seasons. And he won the first two titles of his career with the Heat, going back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.
Chris Bosh, Heat
After seven seasons in Toronto as a five-time All-Star and the primary option for the Raptors, Bosh decided that joining LeBron and Wade in Miami as a free agent was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up.
It was an extremely wise decision.
Not only was Bosh a key component of two championship teams, but he was paid as a franchise cornerstone in 2014 when he signed a max contract worth $118 million over the next five seasons.
Ray Allen, Heat
Allen already had one title under his belt as a member of the 2008 Celtics, but once it became clear that Boston could no longer compete with LeBron's Heat, Allen bolted the Celtics in free agency to play in Miami, and his former Celtics teammates are still salty about his decision, even to this day.
Allen was far from just a cheerleader during Miami's 2013 championship season, however. He played almost 25 minutes per game in the postseason, and hit possibly the biggest shot in NBA Finals history when he saved the Heat from a loss in the title round in Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Shaquille O'Neal, Cavaliers, Celtics
Shaq already had four titles to his name by the time he joined LeBron James and the Cavaliers for the 2010 season, but he was probably doing everything in his power to get to number five before he retired, because that's how many Kobe Bryant won over the course of his own Hall of Fame career.
But a late-season injury kept O'Neal out of action for the second half of the regular season, and though he was back for the playoffs, the team couldn't regain its rhythm in time to prevent a second-round loss to a Celtics team that Shaq ended up joining the very next season.