The Lakers were presented with the 16-carat rings on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, the NBA returned to action, just 72 days after the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th championship in franchise history. In honor of the title, the defending champs received their rings, which include tributes to Kobe Bryant and the ongoing social justice movements embraced by the team.
Jeweler Jason Arasheben spoke with ESPN about the process behind the 16.45-carat rings. Arasheben was joined by designer Don C in the planning process, which took just four weeks as opposed to the usual three to four months.
“That was actually the fun part about this particular ring, is that there was so much story to tell,” Arasheben said. “This was a season unlike any other in history.”
The rings feature 17 purple amethyst stones, representing each of the franchise’s championships. Each stone weighs .95 carats, in honor of the 95 days the team spent in the Orlando bubble. Each ring holds .52 carats of yellow diamonds, representing the team’s 52 regular-season wins.
Each ring has the phrases “unity” and “Leave A Legacy” inscribed in LeBron James’ handwriting. Every player’s jersey number is encircled with a Black Mamba snake in honor of Bryant. Additionally, the rings come with detachable tops, revealing retired jerseys of Laker greats. The tribute emphasizes Bryant’s number 8 and 24 jerseys and is set on a snakeskin-texture background.
“This ring eclipses last year’s NBA championship ring as the most valuable NBA championship ring in history with the most amount of diamond carat weight than any other ring in history,” Arasheben said. “I mean, this ring, we really wanted to make a statement. It’s been 10 years since the Lakers have won. We wanted to come out and really make a statement and really reward these players for a job well done.”