The Denver Nuggets’ recent NBA Finals victory has drawn attention to one of their budding players, Christian Braun. Christian Braun has entered an elite group of players that includes luminaries such as Magic Johnson and Bill Russell. Following the Nuggets’ victory in the Finals, Braun became only the fifth player in history to win both the NCAA and NBA championships in the same year.
Braun’s talent and the impact he has had on his teams at both the collegiate and professional levels are highlighted by this amazing accomplishment. We go into Braun’s journey in this article, evaluating his contributions to the Nuggets’ championship run and the exclusive company he now joins with basketball legends.
Following Nuggets’ NBA Finals glory CB becomes fifth ever player to win NCAA, NBA titles in succession
Christian Braun, the Denver Nuggets’ rookie guard, accomplished a remarkable achievement following the team’s NBA Finals victory. Braun joined an elite club by being only the fifth player in NBA history to win both an NCAA championship and an NBA Championship in the same year. Braun was an important part of the University of Kansas’ championship-winning team in 2022 as a starter.
If the Nuggets win, Christian Braun would join this exclusive list of players to win a National Championship and NBA Finals in back to back years:
Magic Johnson: Michigan State 1979, Lakers 1980
Bill Russell: USF 1956, Celtics 1957
Henry Bibby: UCLA 1972, Knicks 1973
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Following his selection by the Nuggets in the draught, Braun made important contributions throughout his rookie season, giving him a place on a prestigious group of players who have accomplished success at both the college and professional levels in consecutive years.
While Braun’s effect may not have been as significant as that of superstars such as Bill Russell and Magic Johnson during their rookie seasons, he had a breakout performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Braun’s 15-point performance was vital in breaking down the Miami Heat’s defence, and he was lauded for his contributions by Finals MVP Jokic.
Furthermore, throughout the playoffs Braun showed his defensive acumen, earning the faith of HC Malone and establishing himself as a breakthrough star during Denver’s championship run.Braun’s NBA career appears bright after winning a championship. While he has already achieved great success, there is still opportunity for him to grow and develop as he seeks to secure a spot in the Nuggets’ rotation for the following seasons.
Who are the players with this remarkable feat?
Christian Braun’s achievement of winning both an NCAA championship and an NBA Championship in successive years placed him in an elite group of players who have done so. There were four players that held this honour before Braun.
Bill Russell, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, won an NCAA championship with the University of San Francisco in 1956 and 1957 before going on to win many NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.
Henry Bibby, a UCLA standout, helped the Bruins win the NCAA championship in 1972 and then went on to play in the NBA for the New York Knicks. Similarly, Magic Johnson, a basketball great, led Michigan State to an NCAA title in 1979 before embarking on a historic NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won several championships.
Not only them, Billy Thompson also won an NCAA championship with the University of Louisville in 1986 before joining the Lakers and winning an NBA championship.
Christian Braun now enters this elite group after winning the NCAA title with the University of Kansas in 2022, followed by the NBA championship with the Denver Nuggets in 2023. As Braun’s career advances, he will strive to make his imprint and cement his place among these basketball legends.