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The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

Updated November 15, 2020 226.8k votes 26.3k voters 325.6k 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.

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  • Allen Iverson1
    8,223
    3,734

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceHampton, Virginia, United States of America

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2001)

    Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former... more on Wikipedia
  • Charles Barkley2
    7,903
    3,947

    Charles Barkley

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceLeeds, Alabama, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1993)

    Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • John Stockton3
    7,475
    3,726

    John Stockton

    Point guard

    Age57

    BirthplaceSpokane, Washington

    TeamsUtah Jazz

    2 NBA Finals appearances (1997, 1998)

    John Houston Stockton (born March 26, 1962) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Karl Malone4
    6,783
    3,520

    Karl Malone

    Power forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceSummerfield, Louisiana, United States of America

    TeamsUtah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

    3 NBA Finals appearances (1997, 1998, 2004)

    Karl Anthony Malone (born July 24, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Steve Nash5
    6,328
    3,459

    Steve Nash

    Point guard

    Age46

    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

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    #418 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#53 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

  • Patrick Ewing6
    5,350
    3,222

    Age57

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    TeamsOrlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

    2 NBA Finals appearances (1994, 1999)

    Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame... more on Wikipedia
  • Reggie Miller7
    5,453
    3,250

    Reggie Miller

    Shooting guard

    Age54

    BirthplaceRiverside, California, United States of America

    TeamsIndiana Pacers

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2000)

    Reginald Wayne Miller (born August 24, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Dražen Petrović8
    2,647
    910

    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
  • Tracy McGrady9
    4,556
    2,844

    Tracy McGrady

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age41

    BirthplaceBartow, Florida, United States of America

    TeamsHouston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2013)

    Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. (born May 24, 1979) is an American former professional basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • Vince Carter10
    4,477
    2,950

    Vince Carter

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age43

    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
  • Dominique Wilkins11
    4,260
    2,878

    Dominique Wilkins

    Small forward

    Age60

    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
  • Chris Paul12
    3,965
    2,660

    Chris Paul

    Point guard

    Age35

    BirthplaceWinston-Salem, North Carolina

    Number3

    TeamsPhoenix Suns

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

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  • Elgin Baylor13
    3,519
    2,390

    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)

    Elgin Gay Baylor (born September 16, 1934) is an American former basketball player, coach, and... more on Wikipedia
  • Pete Maravich14
    3,541
    2,387

    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
  • Dikembe Mutombo15
    2,624
    1,994

    Age53

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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

    2 NBA Finals appearance (2001, 2003)

    Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo (born June 25, 1966) is a Congolese... more on Wikipedia
  • Penny Hardaway16
    2,143
    1,627

    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)

    Anfernee Deon "Penny" Hardaway (born July 18, 1971) is an American college basketball coach... more on Wikipedia
  • Russell Westbrook17
    2,900
    2,241

    Age32

    BirthplaceLong Beach, California

    Number0

    TeamsWashington Wizards

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2012)

    Russell Westbrook III (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia

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    The Best Jordan "Why Not?" Zer0.2 Colorways, Ranked#37 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • James Harden18
    2,416
    1,852

    James Harden

    Shooting guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    Number13

    TeamsBrooklyn Nets

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2012)

    James Edward Harden Jr. (born August 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player... more on Wikipedia

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  • Chris Webber19
    2,504
    2,016

    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

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    #1 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time#28 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

  • Jimmy Butler20
    595
    391

    Jimmy Butler

    Small forward

    Age31

    BirthplaceHouston, Texas

    Number21

    TeamsMiami Heat

    Jimmy Butler III (born September 14, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • George Gervin21
    2,233
    1,838

    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
  • Shawn Kemp22
    2,273
    1,844

    Shawn Kemp

    Power forward

    Age51

    BirthplaceElkhart, Indiana

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

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1996)

    Shawn Travis Kemp (born November 26, 1969) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

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    #40 of 141 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time#14 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History

  • Yao Ming23
    2,299
    1,874

    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

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    #69 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#8 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

  • Derrick Rose24
    2,494
    2,029

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    Age32

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    Number1

    TeamsDetroit Pistons

    Derrick Martell Rose (born October 4, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for... more on Wikipedia
  • Chris Mullin25
    202
    87

    Chris Mullin

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    Age56

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    TeamsIndiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2000)

    Christopher Paul Mullin (born July 30, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball... more on Wikipedia

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    #19 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History#20 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History