Throughout history, most of the greatest players of all time have won at least one ring. Here, with the help of expert Luiza Correia, we will inform you about the best players who have never won an NBA championship.
When you play in a competitive environment like the NBA, there are a lot of things you just can't control. Having some kind of Hall of Fame career or breaking a record is up to you, but winning a ring depends on many factors.
Some of the things needed to get a ring are:
- be lucky
- stay healthy all season
- be on a competitive team
The lack of one, or all of them, prevented some of the greatest players of all time from winning a ring.
That's why today we're going to honor their legacies and talk about the 8 greatest NBA players who have never won a championship, perhaps the only blemish on their perfect resumes.
We take Russell Westbrook for granted and normalize him with a triple-double average, but there's nothing normal about that. He is one of the most athletic players in NBA history, a fearless competitor and a guy who could take on every player in the league one on one.
His decision-making is erratic at times, but he has never shied away from taking risks or solving the problem into his own hands. He decided to take Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs even when Kevin Durant is out, and with luck, he will have a chance to win a ring.
Patrick Ewing is one of countless victims of the most difficult Eastern Conference in NBA history. The Detroit Pistons, the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics and – of course – the Chicago Bulls kept him from going far.
The only time he made it to the NBA Finals, the New York Knicks could do nothing to beat Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. Still, Ewing will be considered the greatest player in the franchise's history.
Steve Nash receives a lot of criticism for the MVP awards he won. Some people claim that their numbers were disappointing and that the awards should have been won by Shaquille O'Neal. Well, either these people don't know about basketball or they haven't seen him play.
Steve Nash was by far the best player on the Association's most exciting team at that time. He was efficient and changed the way the attack was orchestrated back then. He was incredibly talented and impactful.
Karl Malone is yet another victim of Michael Jordan. He's one of the top scorers in NBA history, a dominant two-way force that would get what he wanted out of the bottle and who could make grown men look like schoolboys.
The postman always delivered. Except when he had to cross the Jordan Bulls in the NBA Finals. The Utah Jazz lost at this stage in consecutive seasons and Malone tried – unsuccessfully – to win a ring with the Lakers before retiring.
James Harden went from Sixth Man of the Year to MVP and Scoring Champion in little or no time. He became the league's most unstoppable top scorer with the Houston Rockets and now wants to win his first ring.
Harden has had a bit of luck in the postseason, either with below-average performances or with injuries. He made it to the NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but his lack of experience cost them the ring.
John Stockton is considered by some to be the greatest pure guard of all time. He holds the records for the most assists and steals in NBA history and that will last a long time.
Stockton was as smart and cunning as he was durable. He rarely lost a game and was the true definition of efficiency. As you may know by now, Michael Jordan has prevented him from winning a ring in consecutive seasons.
Allen Iverson is perhaps the most talented player who has ever won a ring. People called him for his work ethic, but you could never tell he didn't work every night out there.
Iverson was an offensive juggernaut who single-handedly led his Philadelphia 76ers to the playoffs. But the one time he took them to the NBA Finals, he had to face Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Chris Paul had never made it to the Conference Finals until he joined the Phoenix Suns. He always got hurt, his team lost the lead, or he was just unlucky. Additionally, David Stern vetoed his deal to join the Kobe Lakers.
Still, Paul is a sure candidate to be the first Hall of Fame voter. He's been the best point guard in the NBA since joining the league, and his basketball IQ is one of the highest ever. He's the last true shipowner.
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