The Top Five Greatest Players to Never Win a Ring
The Top Five Greatest Players to Never Win a Ring
5) Patrick Ewing
11× NBA All-Star (1986, 1988–1997) All-NBA First Team (1990) 6× All-NBA Second Team (1988–1989, 1991–1993, 1997) 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1988–1989, 1992) NBA Rookie of the Year (1986)
Patrick Ewing is one of the most underlooked centers of all-time due to the extremely stacked center position in the 1990’s. He was a very good big in all aspects of the game; a defensive specialist, an excellent shot-blocker, had a great jumper with a lethal turnaround in the post. Most of his playoff runs were blocked by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1996). The New York Knicks-led by Ewing-beat the Bulls in 1994 when Jordan retired and played baseball. However, they were defeated by Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets in the 1994 NBA Finals. In 1999, Ewing got injured in the Eastern Conference Finals as Latrell Sprewell took the lead role. New York Knicks was defeated in the NBA Finals that year by Tim Duncan, David Robinson, and the Gongfu Tea Cup. People don’t appreciate how great Patrick Ewing was for carrying the New York Knicks throughout his career. Ewing singlehandedly made the Knicks a contender each and every year. Ewing never had a Clyde Drexler on his side, or a Pippen, or a Kobe. He was all alone trying to go out there and carry the team night in and night out. Other than John Starks, he never really had a great player to help him. Ewing carried the Knicks to an impressive thirteen straight postseasons. Since the Ewing-era, no Knicks player has accomplished the feat he achieved. As a Knick, he averaged 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 blocks on 50% FG. In the post-season with the Knicks, he averaged 20.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks on 47% shooting. Ewing’s best year was in 1990 where he averaged 28.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.0 blocks on 55% FG. Patrick Ewing was the pride of the New York Knicks in the 1980’s/1990’s, and every fan loved him. He is easily one of the greatest Knicks, if not, the greatest Knicks player of all-time.
4) John Stockton
10× NBA All-Star (1989–1997, 2000) 2× All-NBA First Team (1994–1995) 6× All-NBA Second Team (1988–1990, 1992–1993, 1996) 3× All-NBA Third Team (1991, 1997, 1999) 5× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1989, 1991–1992, 1995, 1997) 9× NBA assists leader (1988–1996) 2× NBA steals leader (1989, 1992) NBA all-time assists leader NBA all-time steals leader
John Stockton’s game has no flash or flare, but he could drop twenty dimes on you to go with fifteen points and five rebounds on you without even knowing it. Stockton was a great shooter, excellent passer, fantastic defender, and had incredible court vision. His intelligence on the court is something that will never again be duplicated. He wasn’t a flashy ball-handler like other point guards of his time, but had good control of the ball and was very patient with it. To go with Karl Malone, the dynamic duo took the pick and roll and pick and pop to the next level. Stockton missing just twenty two games in his career proves how consistent he was. He and Malone combined for 32 games missed in 18 years; that’s absolutely insane. They were so good for so long, and barely missed games but in spite of this, they both ended up ringless. Stockton and Malone’s Utah Jazz were one of the most feared teams of the 1990’s, and made back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals. However, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls prevented their team from winning a chip.
Stockton in his prime (1989-1994) averaged 16.3 points, 13.4 assists, 2.8 steals on 50% FG. Stockton in the post-season as a starter averages 14.1 points, 10.7 assists, 1.9 steals on 47% FG. Like Malone, he maintained his high level of play until the twilight of his career. In 2001, Stockton led the league in advanced stats such as True Shooting Percentage, Assist percentage and Offensive Rating. .Stockton led the league in assist percentage 15 times, including his last season (2002–03) at age 40. John Stockton left the NBA with an unbreakable record of 15,806 assists total, Kidd comes close with 12091 assists. At the end of the day, Stockton is regarded as a Top 5 PG of All Time.
3) Charles Barkley
NBA Most Valuable Player (1993) 11× NBA All-Star (1987–1997) 5× All-NBA First Team (1988–1991, 1993) 5× All-NBA Second Team (1986–1987, 1992, 1994–1995) All-NBA Third Team (1996) NBA All-Rookie First Team (1985) NBA rebounding leader (1987)
Charles Barkley was a 6’4 rebounding machine. A very strong and athletic hybrid, and a one man freight train that could run the break. He’s one of the greatest rebounders of all-time and the greatest rebounder for his size. Sir Charles was a beast on offense, great at running the fast breaks and was an efficient scorer. He used to back down his man in the low post with ease; he was so good at this that the five-second backdown rule was implemented to stop Barkley in the post. A knock on his game has been his poor defense. Nevertheless, he was pretty good enough that he won MVP over Michael Jordan in 1993. Barkley made had six playoffs appearances out of eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. In 1992, the “Round Mound of Rebound” was dealt in a trade to the Phoenix Suns. In his first season with the Suns, Barkley won the MVP and led them to the Finals. Unfortunately, their opponent was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, and we all know how that ended. Barkley completed five seasons averaging 25+ points while shooting above 55%. In his prime (1986-1996), he averaged 24.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 steals on 55% FG, He also led the NBA in rebounding in 1987. He wasn’t called the “Round Mound of Rebound” for nothing. Despite Sir Charles being a bad NBA analyst that says a lot of stupid stuff, Barkley as a basketball player is regarded as one of the best PFs to ever play the game.
2) Karl Malone
2x NBA Most Valuable Player (1997, 1999) 14x NBA All-Star (1988–1998, 2000–2002) 11× All-NBA First Team (1989–1999) 2× All-NBA Second Team (1988, 2000) All-NBA Third Team (2001) 3× All-Defensive First Team (1997–1999) All-Defensive Second Team (1988) NBA All-Rookie Team (1986)
Karl Malone is an athletic freak; incredibly strong and bulky. He could rebound, has a sweet touch and a refined post game. He was consistent for two decades, He is regarded as the Mailman because of his consistent delivery. Delivering 25 points a game and consistent trips to the playoffs. In his 18th season in the NBA, Karl Malone was putting up 21-8-5 a game at the age of 39. Karl Malone is also one of the best scorers ever. Karl Malone has 17 consecutive seasons with 20+ PPG, 11 consecutive seasons with +25 points per game and he averaged +26 points per game above 51% shooting 10 times in his career. Karl Malone is currently #2 on the all-time scoring list. Karl Malone is one of the most accomplished individuals in NBA having had back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals togeher with John Stockton. However, Jordan and the Chicago Bulls stopped the Jazz team from winning a chip. In his 19th season, Malone decided to play with the Lakers and join Shaq and Kobe in an attempt to win his first ring but they failed. Karl’s career is underrated due to the fact that he has never won a ring and is somewhat overshadowed by Duncan who currently has 5 and is regarded being the best PF of All Time.
1) Elgin Baylor
NBA Rookie of the Year (1959) All-NBA First Team 10 times (1959–65, 67–69) All-NBA First Team 10 times (1959–65, 67–69) Holds NBA Finals single-game record for most points (61) on April 14, 1962 against the Boston Celtics Scored 71 points (8th highest in history) against the New York Knicks (Nov. 15, 1960) No. 4 all-time with 87 regular season 40-point games Ranked sixth in NBA Finals all-time scoring (26.4 in 44 games) Ranked seventh in NBA playoffs all-time scoring (27.0 in 134 games)
Elgin Baylor is probably the greatest player to never win a ring and the most underlooked player in NBA history. Here’s some facts about Elgin Baylor; he LITERALLY saved the Lakers franchise. The Lakers were at the verge of bankruptcy but they flipped the situation around when they selected Elgin Baylor out of Seattle University as the 1st overall pick. Lakers owner Bob Short said the franchise would have gone bankrupt if Elgin Baylor hadn‘t been drafted to save the franchise. Not only did Baylor save the franchise from bankruptcy, he also saved them from being the worst team in the league. Elgin Baylor took the team from the bottom of the league to the NBA Finals in just his rookie season. As a rookie, he earned an All-Star appearance and won the Rookie of the Year award. Elgin Baylor’s impact has been tremendous. He was a phenomenal player. During the 1962 season, Elgin Baylor only played 48 games because he was on military duty and couldn’t practice yet he still averaged 38-19-5. His career peaked between 1960 to 1963, in that stretch, he averaged 33.8 PPG, 17.1 RPG and 4.5 APG. Unfortunately, Elgin Baylor had knee problems during the 1963–64 season and never was the same player after that. Despite being a dominant player in his career and having 8 finals appearances, he never won a ring. Funny thing is that when he retired nine games into the 1971-72 season because of knee injuries, the Lakers went on to have a 33-game winning streak and won a ring. That’s pure bad luck. Nevertheless, Baylor is remembered as one of the greats to ever play the game. He also is the original highflyer before the likes of Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter showed up.