The 10 Best Players Who Have Never Won an NBA TItle
After watching yet another early playoff exit for Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, a question came to mind: Will two of the NBA's greatest players fall victim to the exclusive no-ring club?
It's hard to imagine that these two will not achieve NBA immortality by capturing the only award that matters to an NBA player when their career is over, but it has happened to many of the greats that proceeded them.
Thinking about this made me wonder where Dirk and J-Kidd would rank among the greats to never win an NBA Title.
In order to figure out the top 10 players who've never won an NBA title, I had to solicit the help of the Bob Evans Formula.
If you remember, I used this formula to predict the top 10 players in the NBA three years from now, which you can view here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/386299-prediciting-the-2011-nba-award-winners
In order to discover the top 10 who've never won an NBA title I had to change around the statistical categories to gain a better perspective of the players that were chosen.
I still evaluated 16 players from a list that I personally chose after conducting some research online, but I used the following categories to rank them from 1-16: Points, Steals, Assists, Blocks, and Rebounds per game, as well as, playoff appearances, and games played in the career.
The maximum points that a player could have would be 112 (seven categories multiplied by 16 points), but not one player achieved perfection in this system.
Also, I did not include any active players under the age of 30 because I feel that their careers have not been long enough for them to have the most opportunities to get the ring.
Now that you understand the formula, let's take a look at who made the list!
Those Who Missed the Cut
It is hard to leave players of this caliber out of the top 10, but the Bob Evans Formula rules in these rankings.
11) Alex English—53 points: English had a stellar career that featured a 21.5 point per game average and 68 playoff appearances, but he fell just short of making the top 10.
12) Vince Carter—51 points: Carter has the opportunity to be knocked off this list completely while playing with the Orlando Magic, but just like in his quest for a ring, Vinsanity comes up just short of the top 10.
12) George Gervin—51 points: Gervin tied Vince with 51 points, and it's a shame his 26.2 points per game weren't the only statistic considered, or else he would be in. Gervin was hurt by the fact that some of his career was spent in the ABA.
14) Reggie Miller—50 points: Sometimes the great players fall short on a list compiled based on statistics, and that's what happened with Miller. He was never prolific at one thing (other than shooting 3s), but he was one of the game's greatest all-around players.
15) Pistol Pete Maravich—48 points: I have to give credit to a guy who can average 24.2 points per game WITHOUT a three-point line for a part of his career. The Pistol probably would have averaged over 30 points per game with one.
16) Steve Nash—39 points: Nash falls victim to the total statistics category much like Reggie Miller did. He still has time to gain that ring and get off this list altogether, but until then, he's the low man on the list.
9-Tie) Tracy McGrady: 56 Points
With his recent potential retirement announcement, I fear that T-Mac will end up on this list forever.
He will never be the athlete that he once was, but he could be a solid role player on a championship team if he decides to return.
Until then, he comes in tied for ninth on our list.
His career averages of 21.5 points, 4.7 assists, and 6 rebounds per game rank among the best on this list, but his 38 playoff appearances hurt his chances at a ring, and at a higher ranking.
9-Tie) Dominique Wilkins: 56 Points
The "Human Highlight Film" was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history.
He is mostly remembered for his amazing performances in the NBA Slam Dunk contest, but he should be remembered for his performance on the court.
Wilkins had lifetime averages of 24.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and was the catalyst for his team's 56 playoff appearances.
If Wilkins had more help in Atlanta, he may have had the opportunity to win an NBA Championship.
Although, I think anyone playing in the East during Michael Jordan's reign would have had problems winning a ring too.
8) Dirk Nowitzki: 58 Points
Is it just me, or do you feel a little bit bad every time Dirk walks of the court with his head down?
Dirk has one of the sweetest jumpers in the NBA and the poor guy can't seem to catch a break since the Finals loss to Miami.
Maybe a change of scenery is coming for the perennial NBA All-Star, because I just can't imagine him winning a title in Dallas with its aging group of guys.
After 103 playoff appearances with Dallas, I think it may be time for him to move on to a contender and less money for a chance at the ring.
7) Patrick Ewing: 64 Points
Poor Patrick. Like Dominique, he fell victim to the MJ reign in the East during his career.
His best chance came in the 1993-1994 season when he led his Knicks to the NBA Finals.
However, Ewing and the Knicks could not take advantage of a Jordanless league and fell to the Houston Rockets in a thrilling seven-game series.
Ewing dominated the post during his career, posting averages of 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
6) Allen Iverson: 65 Points
If we were to create a list of the NBA's most controversial athletes of all-time, I am sure A.I. would top that list.
However in the rankings of top 10 without a ring, Iverson comes in at No. 6.
Like many of his peers on this list, Iverson fell victim to the reign of MJ in the East during the early portion of his career.
Iverson made it to the Finals during the 2000-2001 season against the Lakers, but after a 48-point game one win, the heavily favored Lakers proved to be too much for A.I. and the 76ers and won the next four games.
Iverson will always be known for his amazing scoring ability and his great isolation game, but one of the statistics that many people fail to realize is his 6.2 assists per game for his career.
4-Tie) John Stockton: 69 points
Oh, how close John Stockton got to his NBA Title.
Stockton and the Utah Jazz made it to the NBA finals in two consecutive seasons, 1997 and 1998, but ran into the buzzsaw known as Michael Jordan and the Bulls.
Do you notice an "MJ preventing people from getting their title" theme in this top 10?
Stockton holds the highest career assist average per game out of any player on this list, and was the man behind the "Pick n Roll" that featured him and Karl Malone.
I bet Stockton has nightmares of the day Jordan said he was returning to the NBA.
4-Tie) Jason Kidd: 69 Points
How fitting is it that Jason Kidd and John Stockton are tied for fourth place on this list?
Both players have similar unselfish play, and they both ran into dynasties in their attempts at achieving NBA greatness.
In Kidd's case, he ran into the Shaq-Kobe dynasty in 2002 with New Jersey, and the Duncan-Spurs dynasty in 2003 with New Jersey.
Kidd will always be known as one of the best passing and rebounding point guards of all-time, but like Dirk, I feel his best chance to win a title is outside of Dallas.
3) Charles Barkley: 76 Points
Charles Barkley was one of the most outspoken players in NBA history, and the running of his mouth has continued onto TNT as an NBA analyst.
When he wasn't running his mouth, Barkley was putting up 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.
He was another victim of the MJ era in the NBA, and even after demanding to be traded out of the East to the Phoenix Suns, he still fell victim to losing to Jordan in the NBA finals.
Barkley will go down as one of the greatest players in NBA history, and the Hall of Famer will always find himself in the top of this list as well.
2) Elgin Baylor: 77 Points
Elgin Baylor is one of the players that I wish I could have had the opportunity to see play the game.
Baylor's scoring ability (27.5 points per game) and rebounding (13.5 per game) made him one of the game's deadliest players of all time.
He spent his entire career with the Laker franchise, first in Minneapolis, and then in Los Angeles.
During that career he was an 11-time All-Star, an All-Star game MVP, and Rookie of the Year in 1959.
If only he could have spent one more season in the NBA, he would have achieved the one thing he didn't: a championship.
1) Karl Malone: 89 Points
Karl "The Mailman" Malone tops the one list I bet he wishes he didn't.
Malone was the second part of the greatest "Pick n Roll" duo in NBA history, and just like his partner in crime, fell victim to the reign of Michael Jordan when it came to the NBA Finals.
Malone averaged 25 points and 10.1 rebounds per game during his career, and also led our list with 193 playoff appearances.
Malone's career included two MVP awards, 13 All-Star appearances, two All-Star MVPs, and much more, but it did not include an NBA Championship.
Like Stockton, I bet Malone has nightmares of the day MJ returned to the NBA.