7 Best Basketball Players to Never Win An NBA Championship
In basketball, winning a championship is the single most important goal for any superstar. It's the X factor that every player's legacy rides on. When the best players in the league fail to win on the NBA's biggest stage, it haunts their career and legacy. No matter what they do for the game of basketball, they will forever be remembered as one of those who "couldn't get it done." Here are the 7 best basketball players who have never won a championship.
7. Reggie Miller
Miller is universally considered to be one of the best shooters of all time, he's also known for his trash talking and infamous 8 points in 9 seconds that lifted his Indiana Pacers over the New York Knicks. Miller broke the record for most career regular seasons AND postseason 3-pointers (both were then broken by Ray Allen). Reggie only had one championship appearance, but nonetheless is a hall-of-famer who left his mark on the game with his shot and persona.
6. Patrick Ewing
He was the prized first overall pick by the New York Knicks in the 1985 NBA Draft. Coming in at 7 feet tall and 255 lbs, Ewing had won an NCAA championship for the Georgetown Hoyas. In his professional career, he earned 11 All-Star appearances, Rookie of the Year, 2 Gold Medals, and 2 NBA Finals appearances in his professional career. Ewing's persistent knee problems made every journey down the floor harder and harder, but his retirement left the Knicks with a void they are still trying to fill.
5. Charles Barkley
Unlike his golf swing, "Sir Charles'" basketball game was beautiful. Despite being only 6'6", the "Round Mound of Rebound" was one of the best rebounders the game has ever seen. He has the 18th most career rebounds in the NBA and averaged 22 points and almost 12 rebounds over his career. A walking double-double, Barkley was the only person who could take the MVP title away from Michael Jordan in the 1993 season. Unfortunately for Barkley, Jordan's Bulls were able to beat his Suns that year in the NBA finals.
4. Allen Iverson
Pound for pound, Allen Iverson is one of the best basketball players the NBA has ever seen. He stood at barely 6 feet tall but was able to single handedly turn the Philadelphia 76ers into a championship contender. Despite usually being the smallest player on the court and one of the smallest shooting guards in NBA history, Iverson struck fear in the eyes of every defender. He peaked in his 2001 season. Without a single complementary scoring threat, he was the league's MVP and carried the Sixers to the finals. Unfortunately, Iverson fell to the dynamic Shaq-Kobe duo. His controversial press conferences, quick crossover, amazing shot, and ability to drive and score against players a foot taller than him made Allen Iverson a NBA legend.
3. John Stockton
After Magic, Stockton is quietly the 2nd best pure point guard the game of basketball has ever seen. Offensively and defensively, Stockton was one of the most prolific point guards ever. Stockton has the most career assists with 15,806 AND the most career steals: 3,256. Along with scoring, these are the two most important metrics for the point guard position. The fact that Stockton holds the all-time record for both shows how dominant he was. If he hadn't played at the same time as Jordan, who knows how many rings Stockton would have had.
2. Karl Malone
"The Mailman" is the definition of a stat-stuffer. Malone and Stockton are by far the best NBA duo to have never won a title. Malone is top 10 in all-time points, rebounds, and steals. He was the second most prolific scorer in NBA history with 36,928 career points, only behind legend Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar). Malone was also 6th in career rebounds with 14,986 and 10th in steals with 2,085. Malone won 2 MVP awards with the Jazz and had 3 NBA Finals appearances (2 with the Jazz and 1 with the Lakers).
1. Elgin Baylor
Many young players may be confused to see this name on the list because they haven't heard of Elgin Baylor. Baylor was former rookie of the year, and averaged 27 points and 13.5 rebounds in his 14 years in the NBA. While he never won a championship, Baylor was no stranger to the finals. In his brief 14 years, Baylor lead his Lakers to a staggering 8 NBA finals. He still holds the finals game scoring record with 61 points in the 1962 series versus the Celtics (which was the first of what became the biggest rivalry in the NBA).