Monday, October 31st, 2011 at 10:15 am  |  39 responses

Videos: Ringless Stars

The best to never win a ‘Chip: Barkley, Ewing, ‘Nique and more…

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

When viewed in retrospect, the defining measure of an athlete’s success is obvious, and for a lot of guys, cruel and painful. No matter how many points you score, regular season games you win or highlights you produce, you’re not certified until you hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Fact is, many of the greatest basketball players to ever breathe have exited the hardwood with the unfortunate—and sometimes shameful—absence of a Championship ring.

LeBronMelo. CP3. DWill. DRose. Durant. Dwight. All of these guys are phenomenal, out-of-this-world basketball players, but all are yet to achieve greatness at its highest level. In a matter of a few seasons, the window for some of the NBA’s elite to win a title will begin to wane, and before we know it, it’ll shut, with their legacies locked away for eternity and their shortcomings irreparable. Some eventually get over the hump—it took MJ seven years, Dirk 13 years, Gary Payton 17 years, and so on—but opportunities to win a Championship are few and far between.

Below are 10 of the best players to never win a ‘Chip. Although they ultimately fell short, we relive some epic single-game performances (and one highlight mix) that help demonstrate each player’s superb talent. There’s a wide range of guys on our list, from Pete Maravich to Reggie Miller to everyone in between. Not trying to downplay anyone’s accomplishments, but there’s a harsh reality at hand: the players in this gallery will forever remain ringless.

Note: There are a countless number of All-Stars and Hall-of-Famers who fit the bill, so for the purpose of narrowing the field, we’ve excluded guys who played in the ABA (George Gervin, Connie Hawkins, Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, etc.) or later won a Championship as a coach (Lenny Wilkins). We’ve also excluded active players, and guys without good footage on YouTube—which really sucks—such as Elgin Baylor, Nate Thurmond, Walt Bellamy and many others.

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  • Mike


  • J.C.



  • manu

    iverson really was a 1 man team…man if he had a low post scoring threat

  • andy

    AI, more like a hair BELOW six feet, or so I’ve heard many times. In some court-level video clips the dude looks 5’10″… amazing

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Man I was just 14 again watchin that Iverson clip. I hope there is another player with a similar amount of courage and skill sometime soon (I realize there won’t be anyone as good at that size in the near future).

  • marc

    An eric snow basket sighting lol

  • http://nba.com GP23

    No Chris Webber?..

  • http://nba.com GP23

    …or Dikembe Mutombo?

  • Yann Blavec

    Allen Iverson is the best 6’0″ shooting guard of all time.

  • MLK4Life

    That Game 1 of those Finals is my favorite game of all time. AI, my favorite player of all-time. Everyone thought they’d get swept.

  • Matthew Richardson

    No Elgin Baylor, Walt Bellamy, George Gervin, Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore??

  • LA Huey

    No Keyon Dooling?

  • http://SLAMONLINE.COM rocksinmypants

    man,i remember watching that iveroson game when he destroyed my lakers, but i didnt remember all the kobe turnovers.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    No Laker fan ever does

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    Some pretty impressive stuff here. Something I don’t get is that if someone ‘only’ makes 4 or 5 all star games( e.g. B. King or C. Mullin), why/how are they justified as HOFers or considered greatest of all time. I get that All-star appearances don’t mean ‘best’, but seems like their would be some correlation.

  • thegfunk

    Watching Barkley go to work in the post is great.

  • http://Slamonline.com rocksinmypants

    Lol @ nbk. It’s not like that at all. I’m a Kobe guy but I ain’t blind. I was also amuse at Derek fisher getting blown by lol. Given it was to an in his prime A.I. But……. The lakers won so no worries. To bad ai didn’t have a better supporting cast

  • coggie13

    what about A.I’s 60 point game?

  • Dr. DL

    Man I’d forgotten just how good AI was, that year especially. The most painful experience of my life as a sports fan was seeing my Blazers choke against the Lakers in game 7 that year, so of course I loved seeing Iverson singlehandedly beat them in game 1. Of course he couldn’t do much beyond that in the series, though. The other thing I’d forgotten was just how unwatchable the rest of the 2000 76ers were. Aside from Mutombo the roster was full of Eric Snows, Matt Geigers, George Lynchs and Tyrone Hills. Guys who don’t crack the rotation let alone start for plenty of other teams. It just shows what leadership and grit can do for a team as Iverson had both in droves.

  • Showfan12

    how about steve nash!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Haha, that Bernard King video, during that 1st half, they ran a variation of the same play 4 straight times and he still scored off it. Damn.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    I really see Carmelo Anthony as a new Alex English. And I thought Gilbert Arenas was going to be a new Bernard King, but he got a little lost on the way.

  • robb

    I’m glad Miller never got one.

  • Dre

    Barkley has better post-moves than Dwight

  • RJ

    AI’s stepback over Lou..

  • L

    No CWebb? L

  • Donatello

    I’m officially drained. No CWebb?

    C’mon, slam

    @RJ not Lou but Lue

  • Jwizz

    dj mbenga has more rings then all these guys :(


    so ALLEN IVERSON is the BEST player from the last decade hands down


    Luke Walton has more rings then all of em -_-

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That Iverson game is one of my best NBA memories of all time. Seriously.
    That game and the shot Jordan hit in 1998, are two moments I can remember so vividly.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And if Eric Snow, Aaron Mckie and Deke weren’t injured that series, Sixers might have taken it to six, possibly seven. They would have still probably lost though.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m sorry, but y’all know this is one of my favorite topics. Dude averaged 35.6 points for the series. It’s crazy that Lue got a label as an Iverson stopper for “holding” Iverson to 35.6 points per game.

  • http://Slamonline.com rocksinmypants

    Just shows how good iverson was. Or how stupid people are.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Holla at me if you still want to discuss that Isiah/Kobe thing.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Yup Allen, I’m interested in this big time.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    We are talking about building a title team around one of them as your centerpiece right?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    you need to get a twitter Allen, or someway to holler at you without the use of luck lol

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    My bad. this is my email ajpowell75@gmail.com