What does it say about a great NBA player who never wins the Championship? As it stands right now, Allen Iverson will retire never reaching his ultimate goal. To me this makes A.I. and others a collection of the greatest losers in NBA history.
Iverson will be remembered for a lot of things; sweet hair styles, making neck tattoos ok in the work place, and the toughest 5’ ft nothing guard to lace them up.
All the players mentioned in the following list can be described, remembered, and pictured transcending the game in one way or another but ultimately finished there careers as 2nd place, runner up, first class great losers.
Some of the active great losers in the NBA are; Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, and sad but true Grant Hill. These men hypothetically still have a chance to avoid this list.
With it appearing that Iverson’s career will end without a title for sure I have created a top 5 list consisting 6 great losers from within Iverson’s generation. How can I name 6 on a top 5 list you ask? Stick around and see if your list matches mine.
5. Reggie Miller, the deadliest 3 point shooter since the invention of the arc played 18 seasons in the NBA and never sniped his way to the title. Truthfully the Pacers never really had a chance during Miller’s time because Jordan’s Bulls didn’t disassemble until ’99.
Miller has the 3rd most games played for one team as he falls to two other men on this list to be named later.
He finished as the all-time leader in 3 point field goals made in the regular and post season and ranks 12th on the all-time scoring list.
Miller’s best shot at winning the Championship came in 2000 against Shaq and Kobe’s Los Angeles Lakers, the final result 4 – 2 series defeat.
4. Charles Barkley, also known as Sir Charles and one of the most controversial NBA players to date retired without a ring. Barkley was one of those players I always thought would somehow get it done because he could do everything well. Chuck’s chances like the majority of this list suffered from the Bulls Dynasty.
Despite his smaller stature for a power forward Barkley became the shortest man in NBA history to lead the league in Rebounding.
In ’93 season Barkley was named the League MVP.
Sir Charles best chance to win the Championship also came during the MVP season were he would meet his good friend Michael Jordan in the finals and fall in six games.
3. Patrick Ewing, the Big Apples very own giant lottery ticket, but he never cashed in like expected. Talk about someone suffering nightmares of MJ, not only did Jordan beat the Knicks at home he put together a highlight reel in the Garden that plays over and over in the memory of Ewing and Knick Fans.
Patrick “Chewing”, as currently known from the recent snickers commercial, was the 10th player in NBA history to record 22,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.
Ewing was the 1986 Rookie of the Year with 20 PPG, 9 RPG, and 2 BPG.
Ewing’s best chance to win the NBA title was thanks to the retirement of MJ, aka “Baseball Experiment” in ’94. Unfortunately for Ewing he ran into a man who’s dream was greater to win the championship and fell to Hakeem Olajuwon’s and the Houston Rockets in seven games after leading 3 – 2.
2. Allen Iverson, arguably the best small scoring guard in NBA history and one player who did the most with the least. AI never realistically had a chance to win it all based on the supporting cast he played with and that may be partially responsible for the personal success.
Iverson aka “The Answer” was named Rookie of the Year in ’96.
AI enjoyed his best season in ’01 being named the league MVP.
Iverson’s career has mounted him as one of the most prolific scorers in League History slotting himself in the 5th position.
The Answers mind boggling run to the finals in ’01 was his best shot at winning an NBA title. After winning the first game of the series the Sixers lost four straight to the Los Angeles Lakers and proved the fact that one man cannot win by himself.
1. Karl Malone & John Stockton, is probably the best combination to never win it all, on top of that they were coached by Jerry Sloan. You can’t put one of them on a list like this and not the other, also cannot rank one lower than the other because they are equally responsible for not getting it done.
Malone aka “The Mailman” is the all-time leader in defensive rebounds and the 2nd all-time scorer in league history.
Stockton is the all-time leader in assists and steals.
Both men played 19 seasons for the Jazz organization, more than any other player in League history.
Malone was twice named league MVP in seasons ’97 & ’99.
The two long time Utah Jazz members had there best shot(s) to win it all in ’97 & ’98 (and to continue with an underlying tone in this piece), the Jazz lost to the Bulls in consecutive years in six games both times.