An athlete's greatness and legacy is often defined by the amount of championships they've won. There is no better measure for success than winning. Here are the 10 greatest NBA players who wore unable to ever win that prestigious and elusive Larry O'Brien Trophy.
10. Kevin Durant
MVP Award. 6x NBA All-Star. 5x All-NBA Team. Rookie of the Year. I know Kevin Durant is still in the prime of his career and has plenty of time to win a Championship but with all of the numbers he's put up and the awards he's won, it's a bit odd that we don't ridicule Durant more for having never won a title. LeBron James has been criticized for his success in the postseason since his rookie season. At the very least, Kevin Durant needs another appearance in the finals.
9. Pete Maravich
5x NBA All-Star. 2x All-NBA First Team. Pete Maravich may be the best shooter and the best ball handler in NBA history. He was shooting from way behind the 3-point line long before there even was a 3-point line. He had complete control over the basketball. It's truly a shame that Maravich was unable to secure a title.
8. Reggie Miller
5x NBA All-Star. No photograph in NBA history is more ironic than the Reggie Miller choke photo. The original move was aimed at Spike Lee and the New York Knicks as Reggie Miller just drowned the Knicks in 3's and hammered so many nails in their coffin. Turns out Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers would choke in the playoffs every single year.
7. Carmelo Anthony
8x NBA All-Star. What separates Carmelo Anthony from the other players on this list is that Melo is the only player who has been harshly critized for never winning a championship while he's STILL playing in the NBA. Sure, we can look back at the rest of these players careers and think how great it would have been if they won a ring but every time Carmelo misses a shot, you get a reminder that he's never won a title.
6. Elgin Baylor
11x NBA All-Star. 10x NBA First-Team. Rookie of the Year. Elgin Baylor is possibly one of the greatest players in NBA history and you have know idea who is and that's because he never won a title. In the 1960-1961 NBA season, Baylor averaged 35 points per game and 20 rebounds. in 73 games. Those are absolutely insane numbers. You will never again see a player be that dominate.
5. Steve Nash
2x NBA MVP. 8x NBA All-Star. 3x All-NBA First Team. Perhaps the greatest point guard in NBA history, Steve Nash was never able to get the Phoenix Suns over the hump. Seems like every time Nash and the Suns looked to step up, Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan would come up clutch and send Nash home packing.
4. Patrick Ewing
11x NBA All-Star. All-NBA First Team. The greatest New York Knick of all time, Patrick Ewing was never able to give his team enough to win a championship. The Knicks have yet to ever even come close to the success they had when Patrick Ewing was on the squad and with James Dolan in the front office making awful decisions, they may never be there again.
3. Charles Barkley
NBA MVP. 11x NBA All-Star. 5x All-NBA First Team. The Round Mound of Rebound, Charles Barkley was the most dominate player in the NBA after Michael Jordan. Unfortunately, he happened to be one of the many great NBA superstars who played at the same time as Jordan so it's truly unfair to diminish his success over a lack of championship rings. Plus he's the best NBA analyst right now and makes the pre and post game shows must-see TV.
2. John Stockton and Karl Malone
Karl Malone: 2x NBA MVP. 14x NBA All-Star. 11x All-NBA First Team. John Stockton: 10x NBA All-Star. 2x All-NBA Team. I know I'm cheating by grouping these two together but their success in the NBA was completely linked. The greatest tandem in history. During the 90's the Utah Jazz seemed to be the only team that truly threatened Michael Jordan and the Bulls. It's like these two teams met in the finals every single year and every match-up was a nail bitter. Would have loved to see the Jazz squeak by at least once. Malone and Stockton deserved it.
1. Allen Iverson
NBA MVP. 11x NBA All-Star. 3x All-NBA First Team. Outside of Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson is the greatest NBA player in the 2000's. The difference is that Kobe has 5 titles and Iverson has a grand total of zero. You can say that many of his 76ers teams were weak and Iverson was forced to carry most of the load. What's most remarkable about Iverson's career is how well he played without practicing which he made very clear to us all was a ridiculous thing.