Sports
25.5k voters

The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

Updated November 15, 2020 219.1k votes 25.5k voters 323.7k views161 items

List RulesVote up the top players who never quite reached the NBA mountaintop.

List of the greatest NBA basketball players of all time who never won a championship ring. Though winning a championship is the ultimate goal of any team in any league, often circumstances conspire to keep even the most elite athletes from actually making it to that pinnacle of achievement. Thus, it has become a known and accepted truth that there must be other ways to measure the greatness of a basketball icon other than counting up their actual championship record. A number of lesser players whose names have been all but forgotten to history have collected more rings than legends like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Reggie Miller.

But what other measurements can be used to evaluate the dominance of a given player, if not by the rings on their fingers? Perhaps participation in NBA All Star competitions? Their central importance to a particular team or city? It'd be hard to argue against the greatness of six-time NBA All Star Shawn Kemp, nor to deny his integral position on the '90s Seattle Sonics. Yet in may ways because of the dominance of Michael Jordan's Bulls dynasty, Kemp was never part of a championship team. 

Below, vote for your favorite players who never managed to clinch a championship victory. And if you think a key player has been left off the list, add them by making your own re-ranked version. Thanks to your votes, we'll create a list of the best NBA players without a ring.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Allen Iverson
    8,134
    3,285

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceHampton, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2001)

  • 2
    Charles Barkley
    7,783
    3,524

    Charles Barkley

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1993)

    More Charles Barkley 

    22 Times Charles Barkley Made Everyone LOL#2 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

  • 3
    John Stockton
    7,396
    3,290

    John Stockton

    Point guard

    Age57

    BirthplaceSpokane, Washington

    TeamsUtah Jazz

    2 NBA Finals appearances (1997, 1998)

  • 4
    Karl Malone
    6,678
    3,096

    Karl Malone

    Power forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceSummerfield, Louisiana, United States of America

    TeamsUtah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

    3 NBA Finals appearances (1997, 1998, 2004)

    More Karl Malone 

    #37 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#30 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • 5
    Steve Nash
    6,244
    3,029

    Steve Nash

    Point guard

    Age45

    BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa

    Number10

    TeamsDallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns

    Stephen John Nash (born 7 February 1974) is a Canadian former professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia

    More Steve Nash 

    #55 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today#418 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 6
    Patrick Ewing
    5,271
    2,798

    Age57

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    TeamsOrlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

    2 NBA Finals appearances (1994, 1999)

  • 7
    Reggie Miller
    5,370
    2,830

    Reggie Miller

    Shooting guard

    Age54

    BirthplaceRiverside, California, United States of America

    TeamsIndiana Pacers

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2000)

  • 8
    Dražen Petrović
    2,214
    840

    Dražen Petrović

    Shooting guard

    AgeDec. at 29 (1964-1993)

    BirthplaceŠibenik, Croatia

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers, Brooklyn Nets

    Dražen Petrović (pronounced [drǎʒen pětroʋitɕ]; 22 October 1964 – 7 June 1993) was a Croatian... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Tracy McGrady
    4,479
    2,407

    Tracy McGrady

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age40

    BirthplaceUSA, Florida, Bartow

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2013)

  • 10
    Dominique Wilkins
    4,183
    2,500

    Dominique Wilkins

    Small forward

    Age59

    BirthplaceParis, France

    TeamsAtlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers

    Jacques Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is an American retired professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Vince Carter
    4,404
    2,521

    Vince Carter

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age42

    BirthplaceDaytona Beach, Florida, United States of America

    Number25

    TeamsAtlanta Hawks

    Vincent Lamar Carter (born January 26, 1977) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia

    More Vince Carter 

    #3 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time#14 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

  • 12
    Pete Maravich
    3,485
    2,272

    Pete Maravich

    Shooting guard

    AgeDec. at 41 (1947-1988)

    BirthplaceAliquippa, Pennsylvania

    Number44

    TeamsUtah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Jazz

    Peter Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was... more on Wikipedia

    More Pete Maravich 

    #24 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time#3 of 86 The Best Second-Generation NBA Players Of All Time

  • 13
    Elgin Baylor
    3,461
    2,305

    Elgin Baylor

    Small forward

    Age85

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    8 NBA Finals appearances (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970)

  • 14
    Chris Paul
    3,902
    2,602

    Chris Paul

    Point guard

    Age34

    BirthplaceWinston-Salem, North Carolina, United States of America

    Number3

    TeamsOklahoma City Thunder

    Christopher Emmanuel Paul (born May 6, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia

    More Chris Paul 

    The Coolest Chris Paul Signature Shoes, RankedThe Best Jordan CP3.XII Colorways, Ranked

  • 15
    James Harden
    2,380
    1,801

    James Harden

    Shooting guard

    Age30

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    Number13

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2012)

    More James Harden 

    The Best Harden Vol. 3 Colorways, RankedThe Best Harden Vol. 4 Colorways, Ranked

  • 16
    Dikembe Mutombo
    2,584
    1,964

    Age53

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    TeamsAtlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets

    2 NBA Finals appearance (2001, 2003)

  • 17
    Russell Westbrook
    2,870
    2,200

    Age31

    BirthplaceLong Beach, California

    Number0

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2012)

    More Russell Westbrook 

    The Best Jordan "Why Not?" Zer0.2 Colorways, Ranked#34 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • 18
    Penny Hardaway
    2,105
    1,597

    Penny Hardaway

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age48

    BirthplaceMemphis, Tennessee, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, New York Knicks

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1995)

  • 19
    Chris Webber
    2,474
    1,991

    Chris Webber

    Power forward, Center

    Age46

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan, United States of America

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Detroit Pistons

    Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III (born March 1, 1973) is an American former professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Jimmy Butler
    568
    372

    Jimmy Butler

    Small forward

    Age30

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas

    Number21

    TeamsMiami Heat

    Jimmy Butler III (born September 14, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    George Gervin
    2,199
    1,822

    George Gervin

    Shooting guard

    Age67

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan

    TeamsChicago Bulls

    George Gervin (born April 27, 1952), nicknamed "The Iceman", is an American retired... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Derrick Rose
    2,462
    2,016

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceUSA, Chicago, Illinois

    Number1

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    Derrick Martell Rose (born October 4, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Shawn Kemp
    2,240
    1,831

    Shawn Kemp

    Power forward

    Age50

    BirthplaceElkhart, Indiana

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle Supersonics

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1996)

    More Shawn Kemp 

    #40 of 141 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time#140 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History

  • 24
    Yao Ming
    2,261
    1,855

    Yao Ming

    Center

    Age39

    BirthplaceShanghai, China

    TeamsHouston Rockets

    Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980) is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional... more on Wikipedia

    More Yao Ming 

    #70 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#16 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

  • 25
    Muggsy Bogues
    669
    455

    Muggsy Bogues

    Point guard

    Age55

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland, United States of America

    TeamsWashington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors

    Tyrone Curtis "Muggsy" Bogues (born January 9, 1965) is a retired American basketball player.... more on Wikipedia