Congrats to the Denver Nuggets as they are the 2023 NBA World Champions! This means congratulations not only go to the team leaders; Finals MVP Nikola Jokic but also to ex Washington Wizards players; Jeff Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Thomas Bryant and Ish Smith.
All 4 of these NBA champs now join the list of NBA players who played for the Wizards while the team was struggling then leave to almost immediately win the championship in a new city and different jersey. It has become a trend for the Wizards to see players find more success somewhere else after their time in DC. NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughesnotes that “In fact, [the 2020 Lakers Championship] was the fourth straight year the NBA champion had at least one former Wizards player in the fold. And during that four-year span, no other NBA team has had more former players win rings than the Wizards”.
After Monday night’s win against the Miami Heat, the 2022-2023 Nuggets brought the 1st championship to Denver, Colorado since the team started 47 years ago. Jeff Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Thomas Bryant and Ish Smith are now Wiz kids continuing this streak. Take a look at the list of ex-Wizards and their Larry O’Brien Championship Trophies below…
1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope played for the Wizards from 2021-2022 and is now a is now a 2022-2023 NBA champion with the Denver Nuggets.
2. Jeff GreenSource:Getty
Jeff Green played with the Wizards from 2018-2019 and is now a is now a 2022-2023 NBA champion with the Denver Nuggets.
4. Thomas BryantSource:Getty
Thomas Bryant played for the Wizards from 2018-2022 and is now a is now a 2022-2023 NBA champion with the Denver Nuggets.
5. Ish Smith
Ish Smith played for the Wizards from 2019-2021 then left for the Charlotte Hornets for 1 season (2021-2022) but returned to the Wizards for the end of the 2022 season. He began in the fall of 2022 with the Denver and is now a 2022-2023 NBA champion.
6. Otto Porter Jr.Source:Getty
Otto Porter Jr. played for the Wizards since he entered the league in 2013 until 2018 and won his championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2022.
7. Gary Payton ll
Gary Payton ll played for the Wizards in 2019 and won his championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2022.
8. Chris Chiozza
Chris Chiozza played with the Wizards/Capital City Go-Go G League Team in 2019 and won his championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2022.
9. Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis played with the Wizards from 2018-2019 and then played with the New York Knicks during the 2019-2020 season. Now he is an NBA champion with the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks.
10. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard played with the Washington Wizards during the 2018-2019 season. He only played 9 games when a required back surgery removed him from the line-up. He then moved on to play for the LA Lakers and winning the 2020 NBA Championship.
11. Markieff Morris
Markieff Morris played with the Wizards from 2016-2019 then moved around a bit until landing his place with the LA Lakers and winning the championship in 2020.
12. JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee played with the Wizards from 2008-2011. McGee now has three rings, winning two with the Warriors and one in 2020 with the LA Lakers.
13. Jared Dudley
Jared Dudley played with the Wizards from 2015-2016 and won his 1st championship with the 2020 LA Lakers.
14. Nick Young
Nick Young played with the Wizards from 2007-2011. He also hopped around to a few teams but then won his 1st championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2018.
15. Jodie Meeks
Jodie Meeks played with the Wizards during the 2017-2018 season and won his championship the next season with the Toronto Raptors.
16. Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston played with the Wizards during the 2009-2010 and the 2012-2013 seasons. He won his 3 NBA Championships with the Warriors.