Anadolu Efes Istanbul swingman Elijah Bryant has become the second player to win the NBA and the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague titles in consecutive seasons.
Bryant joined an exclusive list of champs
Anadolu Efes Istanbul won its second consecutive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague title at the 2022 Final Four in Belgrade, Serbia. When it won its first crown in Cologne, Germany, a year ago, Bryant had just joined the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Bryant played one regular-season game with Milwaukee in which he scored 16 points. He then took part in 11 playoff games and averaged 1.3 points in helping the team win its first NBA title since 1971.
By following that NBA ring with a EuroLeague crown, Bryant became just the 11th player to win both the NBA and EuroLeague titles. His teammate Rodrigue Beaubois, an NBA champion with Dallas in 2011 and now a back-to-back EuroLeague winner with Efes, is on that list, too.
Only two players, however, have won the NBA and EuroLeague titles in consecutive seasons. Jim Brewer was the only player to achieve that until Bryant came along. Brewer helped the Los Angeles Lakers lift the NBA trophy in 1982 and went on to claim the EuroLeague crown with Ford Cantu in 1983. He scored 14 points and had the game-sealing block to lead Cantu to a 69-68 victory in the championship game against Billy Olimpia Milan.
Bill Bradley was the first player to win both titles. He led Milan to its first EuroLeague crown in 1966 and helped the New York Knicks win NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. Manu Ginobili won the EuroLeague with Virtus Bologna in 2001 and four EuroLeague titles with the San Antonio Spurs (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014). Bradley and Ginobili each have won an Olympic Gold Medal, too. Toni Kukoc is the only player to win both titles three times; First, he three-peated with Split in 1989, 1990 and 1991 and then with the Chicago Bulls in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The other player with multiple wins in both competitions is Bob McAdoo with the Lakers (1982, 1985) and Milan (1987, 1988).
Larry Wright (Washington Bullets 1978, Virtus Roma 1984), Zan Tabak (Split 1989, 1990, 1991; Houston Rockets 1995), Rasho Nesterovic (Virtus Bologna 1998; San Antonio Spurs 2005) and most recently, Josh Powell (Los Angeles Lakers 2009, 2010; Olympiacos Piraeus 2013) complete the list.