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The 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers are some of the biggest NBA football player — yet they’ll never have to worry around joining this list. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If anything is considered the pinnacle of a basketball career, it’s acquired to it is in winning an NBA championship. Setting aside the time-honored legacy of little boys shooting in the driveway, a ring on the resume the a skilled can do all the difference between two cliches: the gritty gamers who execute anything to win versus selfish sphere hogs.

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It goes there is no saying that these comparisons space unfair because that this team game. Any type of championship run calls for the perfect storm the savvy prior office negotiating, tough coaching, and also plain luck. You deserve to do whatever in your power to sign the ideal players and also manage egos, yet you still need to prevent injuries and also make sure your players knock under clutch shots.

At the end of the day, every game has losers and winners. The greatest NBA players to never win a championship are the exact same ones who routinely wound up on the wrong next of history, facing dynasties favor the Lakers, Celtics, and Chicago Bulls. The said, right here are five of the biggest NBA football player to never win a championship.

5. Patrick Ewing

One of the greatest NBA players of every time, Patrick Ewing never acquired to put a championship ring ~ above his finger. | note D. Phillips/AFP/Getty Images

The brand-new York Knicks selected Patrick Ewing v the first overall pick in the conspiracy-laden 1985 draft. That was claimed to be the savior of the franchise. Rather he turned into fodder for the Chicago Bulls. After ~ the negative Boy Pistons, Ewing and also the Knicks to be arguably the toughest playoff out for the Bulls. As Pat Riley stalked the sideline, the Knicks attempted come replicate the Pistons’ physics style, through Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, john Starks, Xavier McDaniel, and Ewing taking direct orders to sluggish down the game and also dole out hard fouls.

The Bulls, however, knocked Ewing and also his Knicks out of the playoffs in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, and also 1996. Ewing did get past the Bulls in 1994, through Michael Jordan in the interim on hiatus from the NBA. Sadly, the Knicks dropped to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets the season. Although ringless, Ewing average 21 points and 10 rebounds per video game over his 17-year career.

4. Allen Iverson

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Allen Iverson listens to his pan cheer. | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

At shooting guard, Allen Iverson gets the nod above both George “Ice Man” Gervin and Pistol Pete Maravich due to the fact that of a deep postseason run and a Finals appearance to his credit. In the 2001 NBA Finals, Iverson ran into the center of the Lakers’ three-peat, led through the formidable one-two punch of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

While philly went down 4 games come one, Iverson lugged on as the franchise’s sole hope, flanked by players favor Eric Snow and also an aging Dikembe Mutumbo. In any kind of event, A.I. Torched the Lakers for 36 point out per video game through this championship series.

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Allen Iverson poses top top the court as the Naismith Memorial Basketball room Of fame 2016. | Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Arguably the toughest guy to play the video game of basketball, Iverson stood simply 6 feet tall and weighed in in ~ a just 165 pounds, yet that didn’t avoid his fearless cd driver to the hoop. A.I. Never ever shied far from the contact and physical play of much bigger forwards and also centers. For his career, Iverson averaged 27 clues per video game after leading the league in scoring through four separate seasons.

Without a championship to his name, however, Iverson is often dismissed as a “me-first” man who famously refused to to visit or even talk around practice. A petulant performer, Iverson greatly wore the end his welcome in Denver, Detroit, Memphis, and also the NBA at big after his glory year in Philadelphia.

3. Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan laugh together they was standing on the court. | Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Charles Barkley unceremoniously predated the likes the Eric Lindros, Iverson, and also Donovan McNabb as a superstar who led perennially competitive teams but failed to bring championship glory ago to Philadelphia. In the City the Brotherly Love, Barkley averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, and also four assists per video game while do six trips come the playoffs in eight years.

The Philadelphia 76ers, however, never ever had enough to obtain past the Boston Celtics and a budding Bulls dynasty. In 1992, the 76ers dealt the ring Mound the Rebound to the Phoenix Suns in exchange because that spare parts, aka Tim Perry, Andrew Lang, and Jeff Hornacek.

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Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns waves to fans together Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers watches. | Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

During his an initial year in Phoenix, a rejuvenated Barkley racked increase 26 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists per game while claiming MVP honors. That postseason, sir Charles upped his per-game averages come 27 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists before facing off against Jordan in the NBA Finals. His Airness and the Bulls dispatched of the Suns in six games. Because that the series, Jordan went off for 41 points, ripe rebounds, and also six assists per game, as if he had a allude to prove in schooling the reigning MVP.

By 1996, Barkley left Phoenix for Houston and teamed up with Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, who both winner championships during Jordan’s first retirement. In 1998, Drexler retired, and also Scottie Pippen come on plank in Houston. As a Rocket, however, a past-his-prime Barkley was regularly injured and also failed to gain past the western Conference Playoffs.

2. Elgin Baylor

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Elgin Baylor speaks to the audience during an NBA event. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Minneapolis Lakers drafted Seattle University’s Elgin Baylor with the an initial pick in the 1958 NBA Draft. For his rookie season, Baylor put up 22 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists per game before leading his team come the NBA Finals.

As a sign of things to come, the Boston Celtics swept the Lakers and also took the 1959 championship. Then, two seasons after this Finals loss, the Lakers left Minnesota because that the bright lights of Los Angeles. Baylor emerged as the face of the climate one-sided rivalry in between the Lakers and Celtics. For his career, Baylor do eight trips come the Finals (seven for LA, one for Minneapolis) however lost each time.

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NBA legend and also former Laker Elgin Baylor acknowledges the crowd during a Los Angeles Lakers game. | freder J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

In all, Baylor and the Lakers lost seven championship collection to the Celtics. Baylor, plagued by an assortment the injuries, retired early in the 1972 season. This decision was all the more tragic because the ’72 Lakers, which featured wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and also Gail Goodrich, went on to victory an NBA title against the new York Knicks.

1. Man Stockton and also Karl Malone

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John Stockton and also Karl Malone deal with the media after shedding the NBA Finals. | Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

John Stockton and also Karl Malone might have been hailed as the greatest ever at their respective positions — had actually they matched the championship moxie the Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan. Stockton, in spite of his choirboy looks and tight shorts, to be a hard-nosed challenger out top top the floor. That pushed, grabbed, and also held on to frustrate opponents and also draw fouls.

Meanwhile Malone, at 6-foot-9, to be a physical specimen who overcame the low block. They were nearly inseparable ~ above the court during their NBA careers. It doesn’t seem appropriate to acknowledge one without the other, underscored by their 1993 All-Star game co-MVP awards. For their careers, Stockton dished the end a league-leading 15,806 assists, when the Mailman score 36,928 points. (He was second only come Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in total point output.)

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John Stockton owns multiple unbreakable records. | Jim Rogash/Getty Images

During the ’90s, “Stockton come Malone” was more than a a recurring phrase; it was a mantra repeated for layups, mid-range jumpers, baby hooks, and hammer dunks. To keep defenses honest, Stockton would certainly curl turn off solid Malone screens prior to rising up and burying a deep three-point bomb. Together an individual, Malone claimed MVP honors for the 1997 and 1999 continuous seasons.

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The Jazz made 2 back-to-back trips come the NBA Finals with this run. Both involved Stockton and Malone in their prime. Michael Jordan, however, prevailed against this duo in the NBA Finals through his flu game heroics and also fourth-quarter strip of Malone in ~ the basket. With time winding down, Jordan buried the game winning-jump shot. The closed out the 1998 Finals in prior of Byron Russell and a shocked Salt Lake City crowd.