LeBron James is preparing to play in the NBA Finals for the seventh straight year, a feat that has helped ignite all the Michael Jordan comparisons of the past week.
But Jordan isn't the only player James is trying to catch in NBA history. When it comes to consecutive Finals, the Boston Celtics of the '50s and '60s set the standard. Fans who complain about Cavs-Warriors dominance would've hated it.
LeBron still has a ways to go to break the record for most consecutive Finals, but if he does, he might be in the hunt for most NBA championships, too. And he'd be chasing the same guy.
Take a look at where LeBron stands among the players with the most consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
Bill Sharman, 5
Sharman reached five straight Finals with the Celtics and won four titles (1957, '59, '60, '61) in 11 seasons. However, he's a 10-time NBA champion, winning six mores titles as a coach and exec — with the Lakers, of all teams. He retired just before Boston began its dominance of L.A. in the '60s, but delivered L.A.'s first title as coach in '72 and built the Lakers dynasty of the '80s that finally beat Boston in the Finals.
He's one of four people to make the Hall of Fame as a player and coach.
NBAE/Getty ImagesNBA Photos
Tom Sanders, 6
"Satch" went 6 for 6 in the Finals from 1961-66 and is one of only three players to go 8-0 in Finals, with two more titles in '68 and '69. He averaged 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in his career and founded the Rookie Transition Program; he was elected to the Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2011.
James Jones, 7
Jones might have the most modest résumé (5.2 ppg) of all the players on this list, but he's here for one key reason: Jones has been LeBron James' teammate for the past seven seasons, and the King calls him his "favorite" teammate of all-time — and "Champ" for winning three titles with him.
However, Jones has played in only the past six Finals, recording DNPs in Miami's loss to Dallas in 2011.
Brace HemmelgarnBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
K.C. Jones, 7
Jones (center, playing defense) also went 8-0 in the Finals as a Celtic and is a 12-time NBA champion, winning three more titles with Boston as an assistant and coach (plus one as Bill Sharman's assistant on the 1972 Lakers).
Jones is one of seven players to win NCAA and NBA championships plus an Olympic gold medal. Though he averaged just 7.4 points in the NBA, he was a strong defender and was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Bob Cousy, 7
Cousy, Boston's Hall of Fame point guard, reached the Finals for the last seven years of his career and won all but one. He retired in 1963 and became head coach of the Boston College men's basketball team for six seasons — while the Celtics went on to win five more titles.
Cousy didn't coach for the Celtics but did serve as a TV analyst for them.
LeBron James, 7
We all know the King's credentials: seven consecutive trips and eight Finals appearances overall, but just three championships to show for it. He'll have to step it up if he wants to match Michael Jordan with six rings, much less the leader in that category (more on him coming up).
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Ramsey, 8
Ramsey, the NBA's first sixth man, made eight straight Finals and went 6 for 6 from 1959-64 to give him seven titles with the Celtics. His best statistical season, 1957-58, actually was one of only two seasons in his Hall of Fame career in which he didn't win a title.
Tom Heinsohn, 9
Heinsohn made nine straight Finals and went 7 for 7 from 1959-65 to give him eight titles with the Celtics as a player, then he won two more as their coach. He's also one of four people to make the Hall of Fame as a player and coach.
A longtime Celtics broadcaster, Heinsohn is the only person who's been a member of the organization for each of its 17 championships and 21 Finals appearances.
Focus on Sport
Sam Jones, 9
Jones, voted one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, made nine straight Finals and went 8 for 8 from 1959-66 — one of only three Celtics to do so — then won two more from 1968-69 to give him 10 titles with Boston as a player.
That's second to only one guy, who's No. 1 on this list.
Focus on Sport
Bill Russell, 10
There's a reason why Russell is revered the way he is.
Russell made 10 straight Finals and went 8 for 8 from 1959-66 — joining only Sam Jones and K.C. Jones in doing so — then won two more as a player-coach from 1968-69 to give him 11 titles with Boston.
Russell is one of seven players to win NCAA and NBA championships plus an Olympic gold medal.
He also was a five-time MVP. So LeBron has some catching up to do.