When Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks teammates stepped out onto the court for their season opener against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, they were greeted by something spectacular. It wasn’t the roar of capacity crowds or the thrill of a first home game as reigning champs, it was a blinged-out Championship Ring, complete with 360 diamonds and over 4 carats of emeralds. Say what you will about NBA players, but they know how to celebrate.
Unveiled in a presentation ceremony, the Milwaukee Bucks Championship Ring was designed by celebrity jeweller Jason of Beverly Hills. The go-to operator for big name hip-hop artists like Drake and A$AP Rocky, Jason of Beverly Hills, real name Jason Arasheben, is known for his creative takes on championship jewellery but this may be his most ambitious. Not only does the celebratory bauble feature precious gemstones, the piece can be transformed into a necklace. Oh, and it comes with a QR code that plays highlights when scanned.
“We wanted to once again rewrite the rules of what a championship ring should be,” Arasheben said. “We sought to create something that had a bit more versatility than rings of the past.”
According to the producer, the Milwaukee Bucks Championship Ring has 360 diamonds on the top to represent the total wins since ownership purchased the team. In addition, there are 16 emerald shaped diamonds on the left side to represent the 16 playoff wins during the 2021 NBA Playoffs, with another 16 emerald shaped diamonds on the right side for the 16 division titles in team history.
All in all, it’s a ridiculously glitzy piece of gear, but the celebrity jeweller didn’t leave the references there. Here’s where things get a bit over-the-top. There are approximately 4.14cts of emeralds representing the 414 Milwaukee area code, with 50 round stones on the inner bezel stand for the 50 years since the team’s last championship win. On the inside shank, you’ll find two trophies to represent the two franchise championships with Fiserv Forum’s architecture also featured on the side of the ring.
“The NBA Larry O’Brien Trophy on the face of the ring is made up of a signature batch of 65.3% purity yellow gold to represent the season winning percentage,” Jason of Beverly Hills wrote. “Even the carat weight of the stones has meaning. Approximately 3cts of stones on the shank represent the three conference championships in Bucks history. The approximately 0.53cts on the World Champions wording on the ring represents the total years the Bucks have been in existence.”
But while gemstones and jewels are part of the game, it’s innovation that sets the Bucks Championship Ring apart. The piece has a push button system that allows the top of the ring can be worn as a necklace. Once you take the top off, you’ll also find a QR code underneath the top. When scanned, it plays a video highlighting memorable moments from the season.
“As championship rings have gotten bigger, they have become less and less practical to wear,” Arasheben said. “We addressed this by developing a push-button system that allows the players to wear the top of the ring as a pendant, making it a piece of jewellery they can wear every day around their finger or on their neck to celebrate their tremendous season.”
While neither the Bucks nor Arasheben have been willing to share just how much the 2021 Championship Rings are worth, you have to imagine it’s pushing seven-figures. Considering star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is on a five-year contract worth an estimated USD$228 million, it’s peanuts.