It was a banner night for former Kansas Jayhawk Christian Braun on Monday, becoming the 10th former KU player to win an NBA title since 2000.
Braun, who averaged 4.7 points per game in 76 contests as a rookie for the Denver Nuggets, joins a laundry list of NCAA and NBA elite athletes such as Paul Pierce, Mario Chalmers and Andrew Wiggins that won an NBA title after completing their collegiate careers in Lawrence.
And there were likely plenty of Jayhawks fans backing Braun through Kansas sports betting sites.
Braun became the 16th Jayhawk overall to win an NBA title. KU alums have gone on to win 21 championships at the sport’s highest level since Clyde Lovellette did it first in 1954.
BetKansas.com stacked up the 10 Jayhawks that have won an NBA title since 2000 to see how Braun stacks up against a loaded cast of NCAA and NBA heavyweights.
Using College Basketball Reference and Basketball Reference’s win share tracker, we determined a top 10 of recent KU NBA champs.
KU Jayhawks to Win NBA Title
Paul Pierce (2008)
- College: 1,768 points/17.6 win shares
- Pro: 26,397 points/150.0 win shares
- Total: 28,165 points/167.6 win shares
Mario Chalmers (2012/2013)
- College: 1,341 points/18.5 win shares
- Pro: 5,743 points/32.3 win shares
- Total: 7,084 points/50.8 win shares
Markieff Morris (2020)
- College: 923 points/10.9 win shares
- Pro: 7,954 points/27.5 win shares
- Total: 8,877 points/38.4 win shares
Scot Pollard (2008)
- College: 1,209 points/11.7 win shares
- Pro: 2,222 points/26.6 win shares
- Total: 3,431 points/38.3 win shares
Andrew Wiggins (2022)
- College: 597 points/4.9 win shares
- Pro: 12,152 points/26.3 win shares
- Total: 12,749 points/31.2 win shares
Brandon Rush (2015)
- College: 1,477 points/14.9 win shares
- Pro: 3,250 points/11.2 win shares
- Total: 4,727 points/26.1 win shares
Jacque Vaughn (2007)
- College: 1,207 points (9.6 PPG)/7.9 win shares
- Pro: 3,463 points/15.4 win shares
- Total: 4,670 points/23.3 win shares
Wayne Simien (2006)
- College: 1,593 points (15.0 PPG)/17.6 win shares
- Pro: 169 points (3.3 PPG)/0.9 win shares
- Total: 1,762 points/18.5 win shares
Christian Braun (2023)
- College: 1,018 points/11.6 win shares
- Pro: 360 points/1.9 win shares
- Total: 1,378 points/13.5 win shares
Sasha Kaun (2016)
- College: 830 points/11.8 win shares
- Pro: 23 points/0.2 win share
- Total: 853 points/12.0 win shares
Where Braun Ranks Among KU Alums
Through one NBA season, Braun is already ninth on the list of the 10 most recent Kansas NBA champs, passing former Jayhawk Sasha Kaun’s career total of 12.0 win shares.
And Braun and the Nuggets have the chance to add more hardware next year, with Kansas sports betting apps already making Denver the odds leader for the 2024 NBA title.
But Braun still has a way to go to catch KU leaders Pierce (167.6 win shares combined), Mario Chalmers (50.8 win shares), Markieff Morris (38.4 win shares), Scot Pollard (38.3 win shares) and Andrew Wiggins (31.2 win shares).
Braun played 24 minutes and scored 7 points as Denver – favored by 8 at Caesars Sportsbook Kansas – won the title-clinching Game 5 against Miami. Braun played in 19 of the team’s 20 playoff games, averaging 3 points per game. For the season, Braun played in 76 games, including six starts, averaging 4.7 ppg.
With a 2023-24 campaign that roughly triples the production he put forth as a rookie, Braun could catch No. 8 Jayhawk Wayne Simien, who finished his college and pro career with a total of 18.5 win shares.
If Braun averages roughly 2.0 win shares per season over the next five years, he’d catch up with Vaughn and assume the No. 7 spot among KU alums that have won at least one NBA title.
Regardless of where Braun’s NBA career takes him, there’s no denying the 22-year-old out of Burlington has hit the ground running since joining the Nuggets — already joining an elite KU fraternity just over a year after winning it all with the Jayhawks in 2022.