Jason of Beverly Hills gives Boardroom the inside story on the diamonds, emeralds, and QR codes that went into the reigning NBA champs’ title trinkets.
As a lifelong fan of hoops, Jason Arasheben has been able to live out his childhood NBA dreams in a far different way than he once imagined.
After an introduction nearly 15 years ago to Jesse Buss, the youngest son of late Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, the jeweler more popularly known as Jason of Beverly Hills turned a chance to “throw his hat in the race” and design the Lakers’ 2009 NBA championship rings into much more. Today, they’re an annual centerpiece of his custom, high-end jewelry business.
After getting his start in making the back-to-back rings for the 2009 and 2010 champion Laker teams, Jason of Beverly Hills has now created seven championship rings in total for some of the NBA’s most historic franchises, tailoring the title-touting hardware for the 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020 NBA champs, as well as the most recent of all — the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks.
“When you’re creating a ring, it’s a little bit different than creating an individual piece,” he told Boardroom in an exclusive sitdown. “Because the ring has to tell a story of something even deeper.”
Once Milwaukee clinched its first championship in 50 years this summer – a prophetic “Bucks in 6” win and rise to the top of the league made possible by two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s supermax re-signing the summer prior – Arasheben got to work researching the history of the team, the city, the franchise, and their season.
In recent years, namely for both the Golden State Warriors and Lakers, JBH had created his rings with a removable top that reveals inner details and creates a portal for even more storytelling. He uses this feature to honor past players and included design elements from the team’s venues and iconography.
This time around, an assist from the reigning Finals MVP helped to inspire even more nuances found along the inner design.
“Giannis was in Greece and he FaceTimed me at a moment’s notice,” recalls Jason.
Enjoying a summer visit to his homeland, the Greek Freak was at a restaurant with his family, placing an order through an all-too-familiar pandemic-driven QR code menu, which helped to fuel the insight.
“Let’s do a QR code!” beamed Giannis. “That would be so cool.”
To pull it off, the JBH team developed a multi-purpose push-button system, that both reveals a series of team logo graphics inside and the requested QR code along the inner half of the ring, which leads to a video highlighting “all the events leading up to the championship” when scanned, Jason said.
Not only does the removable ring top allow for more storytelling and details to be uncovered, but the JBH team also looked to add another layer of versatility to the ring through the execution.
“As championship rings have gotten bigger, they have become less and less practical to wear,” adds Arasheben.
For the very first time, the top of the ring can be removed and modified with an adjustable diamond-laden hook, allowing the top to also be worn as a statement pendant on a chain.
“[The pendant option makes] it a piece of jewelry they can wear every day around their finger or on their neck to celebrate their tremendous season,” said Jason.
“You definitely don’t see something like that every day,” Khris Middleton said of the pendant option.
According to JBH, the features and details found throughout the ring include:
• 50 round diamonds on the inner bezel representing the 50 years since the team’s last championship
• 360 diamonds on the top representing the Bucks’ win total since Marc Lasry’s ownership group purchased the team in 2014
• 16 emerald-shaped diamonds on the left side representing Milwaukee’s 16 playoff wins during the 2021 NBA Playoffs
• 16 emerald-shaped diamonds on the right side for the 16 division titles in team history
• Approximately 4.14 carats of emeralds representing Milwaukee’s 414 area code
• Approximately three carats of stones on the shank symbolizing the three conference championships in Bucks history
• Approximately 0.53 carats on the “World Champions” lettering around the ring representing the 53 total years the Bucks have been in existence
• Two trophies on the inside shank to represent the two franchise championships
• A 65.3% purity yellow gold Larry O’Brien Trophy to represent the season’s winning percentage
While the design process often spans the summer months heading into the team’s eventual “Ring Night” in October, the collection of Bucks team ownership, front office execs, coaching staff, and returning players from the Finals roster finally got to soak up the final chapter of their championship achievement earlier this week.
Each of their personal rings included their last name just under the “Fear The Deer” mantra, while the opposite “Bucks In 6” side incorporated each of the series outcomes leading up to the Finals-clinching 105-98 final score of Game 6.
“Ohhhhh my god!!” Brook Lopez blurted out as he received his ring.
“It exceeded my expectations,” Lopez would later say after collecting himself. “It blew me away. I’m still trying to figure it out.”
During a ceremony lasting 20 minutes, one by one, the players took in the career-making occasion.
For Giannis, his favorite part of the night was seeing the joy his brother, Thanasis, was overcome with.
“He hasn’t taken his ring off,” Giannis joked. “He went to the cold tub with his ring. He got treatment with his ring. He put it on his pinkie, then he switched and put it on his thumb. He kept opening it and closing it and taking pictures. That’s the awesome part of this.”
After most recently making the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl rings, adding to a growing roster of championship clients across multiple professional sports, the feeling of seeing his work at yet another Ring Night in Milwaukee on Tuesday never gets old for Arasheben.
“The greatest gift that I receive, is when I see the players’ faces when they open up that ring box,” smiles Jason of Beverly Hills.