For the fifth-straight season and seventh time since 2006, at least one former Florida Gators basketball player has ended the NBA season as a champion.
The Golden State Warriors knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-2 in the 2015 NBA Finals on Tuesday night, earning championship rings for former Gators forwards/centers David Lee and Marreese Speights.
Falling short of his third ring was guard/forward Mike Miller, who won back-to-back titles as a contributor with Miami in 2012 and 2013 but saw limited action in this year’s series.
Also a member of the 2007 Florida basketball team, Speights is the 41st player in history to win a basketball championship on both the college and professional level. He is the second former Gators player to do it, joining Corey Brewer, who won two NCAA titles with Florida (2006, 2007) and the 2011 NBA title with Dallas.
A grand total of 11 rings have now been won by Gators since 2006. Lee and Speights are the seventh and either Florida players to win NBA titles, joining Miller, Matt Bonner (2007, 2014); Corey Brewer (2011); Udonis Haslem (2006, 2012-13); Jason Williams (2006); Vernon Maxwell (1994-95).
OnlyGators.com breaks down how each player fared during the NBA Finals.
C DAVID LEE, (1) Golden State Warriors: GP/GS (4/0), MIN (9.5), PPG (5.5), RPG (2.5), APG (1.5), SPG (0.3), BPG (0.0), FG% (.533), 3P% (.000), FT% (.545)
» Highlights: 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists on 7-of-11 shooting over Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals
» Notes: Lee did not play in Games 1 or 2 of the NBA Finals but made a major impact when he was inserted late in Game 3, nearly helping the Warriors come back from a 17-point deficit late in the third quarter. He saw action as a reserve in the next three games, all Golden State victories.
C MARREESE SPEIGHTS, (1) Golden State Warriors: GP/GS (3/0), MIN (5.3), PPG (3.0), RPG (1.7), APG (0.3), SPG (0.3), BPG (0.0), FG% (.308), 3P% (.000), FT% (.500)
» Highlight: Eight points, three rebounds, assist on 4-of-8 shooting in Game 1
» Notes: Speights was instant offense off the bench for the Warriors in Game 1 but went 0-for-3 from the field and missed a dunk in Game 2. He did not truly play again in the series, only seeing garbage time action in Game 4.
F MIKE MILLER, (2) Cleveland Cavaliers: GP/GS (4/0), MIN (5.6), PPG (0.6), RPG (0.2), APG (0.0), SPG (0.2), BPG (0.0), FG% (.500), 3P% (.500), FT% (.000)
» Notes: Miller hardly saw the court for the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals but did take the court for 14 minutes during Game 5, hitting the only three he attempted in the contest.
» Playoffs: The Cavs were defeated in the NBA Finals by the Warriors 4-2 in six games.
C AL HORFORD, (1) Atlanta Hawks: Lost in Conference Finals
F COREY BREWER, (2) Houston Rockets: Lost in Conference Finals
C JOAKIM NOAH, (3) Chicago Bulls: Lost in Conference Semifinals
G BRADLEY BEAL, (5) Washington Wizards: Lost in Conference Semifinals
PG NICK CALATHES, (5) Memphis Grizzlies: Lost in Conference Semifinals
F CHANDLER PARSONS, Dallas Mavericks: Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
F MATT BONNER, San Antonio Spurs: Lost in Conference Quarterfinals