Nobody wants to be remembered as the greatest to never win a ring. In fact, most people would probably prefer to be the worst to win the ring. There are guys who racked up the stats, broke a ton of records and won a lot of games, just not the last of the season.
There were some great NBA players to never win who with just a little more luck would’ve found themselves in a different position.
Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler probably ought to be thanking Michael Jordan to this day for retiring because if he hadn’t, they’d likely be ringless (yeah, it’s a word now).
Instead of having my own list of Top 10 players to never win it all, I decided to come up with my starting five, and then some. It’s would make a pretty darn good team.
John Stockton, Point Guard: As one of the best point guards ever, Stockton was part of the greatest team ever: the 1992 Dream Team. That was one of his two-gold medal winning teams. On top of that, he played in 10 All-Star games he was name All-NBA Defensive Second Team twice. Stockton is most famous for his 15,806 assists and being the last player to wear the extremely short shorts. I don’t understand how he managed either one of those things. If it weren’t for those pesky Bulls, he’d have at least two rings.
LeBron James, Shooting Guard: I went back and forth on this one but decided I have no problem calling him one of the best to never win. Again, he did just win his third MVP award. Going straight from High School to the NBA allowed him to become the youngest player to earn a triple-double in a game, be named to the All-NBA team, average 30 points per game and be named to All-Star MVP. The crazy thing is he’s still in his prime and will be so for a while.
He’s the only member of the starting five to still be playing so he could very easily find his way off this list.
Elgin Baylor, Small Forward: This Hall of Famer is considered by many to be best to of all time to never win that ring. His versatility allowed him to play both the guard and forward positions. In 1959 he earned Rookie of the Year honors and throughout his career, he was an 11-time NBA-All Star and played in eight NBA Finals but had opponents like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. He finished his career with 23,149 points.
Karl Malone, Power Forward: He made one last shot at the ring by joining forces with the Lakers along with Gary Payton, but the Detroit Pistons had something to say about that. Malone, nicknamed The Mail Man and his teammate Stockton became a human highlight reel as Stockton would deliver the pass down the lane as Malone would deliver the dunk and give his point guard the assist. He finished his career with 1145 blocks and 36,928 points. He was also a member of the ’92 Dream Team.
Patrick Ewing, Center: Man, he knew how to get away with traveling, but that’s not the only thing that made him so good. He was named 1986 Rookie of the year and later went on to be named to the All-NBA team seven times and also won two Olympic gold medals, including one with the ’92 Dream team. He finished his pro career with 11607 rebounds, 2894 blocks and 24,815 points. He also had his hopes of winning a title dashed by No.23 from Chicago, but one thing is for sure, they just don’t make big men like they used to anymore.
Just falling short of the starting lineup : “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Gary Payton, Steve Nash, Reggie Miller, George Gerbin and Charles Barkley.