This is a list of the best NBA players who never won a NBA championship. The retired players on this list have had long and distinguished careers. They accomplished great feats like winning scoring titles and MVP Awards. All of the active players have also accomplished great things so far in their careers.
Despite great achievements, these players have all failed to win a NBA Championship. Most of the retired players are in the Basketball Hall Fame, and all of the active players are virtual locks to be enshrined one day too, whether or not they ever do win a championship.
Best NBA Players Who Never Won a Championship
- Elgin Baylor
Over a 14 year career with the Lakers franchise, Elgin Baylor averaged 27.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game. His points per game average is the fourth best in NBA history, while his rebounds per game average is the ninth best.
Elgin Baylor is one of only five NBA players to score over 70 points in a game, and he scored the second most points ever in a playoff game (61 points). Baylor was Rookie of the Year in 1958, he was an 11 time all-star, and was the All-Star Game MVP in 1959.
Despite all his great accomplishments in the NBA, Elgin Baylor never won a championship. Baylor made it to eight NBA Finals, but his team lost every time, including seven times to the Boston Celtics. Elgin Baylor was on the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, but retired during the season after nine games due to knee problems. The 1972 Lakers went 69-13 on the season, and won the NBA Championship.
- Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson averaged 26.66 points per game, the sixth best in NBA history. He won four scoring titles, three steals titles, was Rookie of the Year in 1997, MVP in 2001, was an 11 time all-star, and was twice MVP of the all-star game, but Allen Iverson never won a NBA Championship.
- Kevin Durant
So far in his career, Kevin Durant has won three straight scoring titles. His career scoring average of 26.59 points per game ranks the 7th best of all-time. Kevin Durant made the NBA Finals in 2012 with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in five games. Durant is only in his sixth season in the NBA.
- George Gervin
George Gervin, also known as the “Iceman,” won four NBA scoring titles in his career. Gervin averaged 26.18 points per game, the ninth best in league history.
In the last game of the 1978 season, George Gervin scored 33 points in one quarter, setting the NBA record for the most points in a quarter by a player. Carmelo Anthony has since tied that record. Gervin was also a nine time all-star, and was MVP of the 1980 all-star game, but he never won a NBA Championship.
- Karl Malone
Karl Malone scored the second most points in NBA history (36,928), while averaging the 12th most points per game (25.02). Malone was a two-time league MVP, a 14 time all-star, and was MVP of the all-star game twice. Karl Malone also played in the fourth most games in NBA history, but he never won a championship.
- John Stockton
Karl Malone’s longtime Utah Jazz teammate, John Stockton, also never won a championship. Stockton is the all-time leader in assists and steals, played in the third most games, won nine consecutive assists titles and two steals titles, has the second highest assists per game average in NBA history (10.51), and was a 10 time all-star player.
- Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has the 13th highest scoring average in NBA history (24.89), is a six time all-star, and once scored 33 points in a single quarter to tie the NBA record, but Carmelo Anthony has yet to win a NBA Championship.
- Dominique Wilkins
Dominique Wilkins was a nine-time all-star, won a scoring title, won two NBA Slam Dunk Contests, has the 14th highest scoring average in NBA history (24.83), and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but he never won a championship.
- Adrian Dantley
Adrian Dantley won two scoring titles, was Rookie of the Year in 1977, has the 18th highest scoring average in NBA history (24.27), and is in the Hall of Fame, but he never won a title.
- Pete Maravich
Pistol Pete Maravich scored 68 points in a game, won a scoring title, has the 19th highest scoring average in NBA history, and is in the Hall of Fame, but he never won a championship.
- Bernard King
Bernard King scored 60 points in a game, scored 50 points in consecutive games, won a scoring title with a very high average (32.9 points per game), and has the 25th highest scoring average in NBA history (22.49), but he never won a title.
- Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley scored 56 points in a playoff game, won a rebounding title, was league MVP in 1993, was an 11 time all-star, is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but he never won a NBA Championship.
- David Thompson
David Thompson scored 73 points in a game, once scored 32 points in a quarter (in the same game), is sometimes credited with inventing the “alley-oop” dunk play, led North Carolina State to an NCAA Championship, and has the 27th highest scoring average in league history (22.13), but he never won a NBA title.
- Alex English
Alex English won a scoring title, was an eight time all-star, scored 25,613 points, and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but he never won a NBA Championship.
- Vince Carter
Vince Carter has scored over 22,000 points, twice scored 51 points in a game, scored 50 points in a playoff game, and currently has the 38th highest scoring average in NBA history (20.90), but he has yet to win a NBA title.
- Nate Thurmond
Nate Thurmond averaged the fifth most rebounds in NBA history (15.0 per game), is one of only four players to officially record a quadruple-double in a game, once grabbed 42 rebounds in a game, holds the record for most rebounds in a quarter (18) in a regular season game, and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but he never won a championship.
- Walt Bellamy
Walt Bellamy averaged the seventh most rebounds per game (13.65) in league history, played in the most games ever in a season (88 due to a mid-season trade), averaged 20.1 points per game, is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but he never won a championship.
- Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard has already won four rebounding and two shot blocking titles so far in his career. His career rebounding average (12.95) is 11th best in NBA history. He has been Defensive Player of the Year three times already, and made the all-star team seven times. Dwight Howard carried the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, where they lost to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in four games.