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Ah yes, the ring. Also known as that thing LeBron James' critics kept pointing to as if there was some prize in tearing down basketball's next Great One. It's also that one thing even some of the greatest the hardwood has ever seen has had to retire without.
The NBA championship can serve as a means to validate a player's greatness, but some of the great ones had to rely on statistics and accolades to establish their legend. A lot of those players, especially on this list, have accomplishments that eclipses those who do have rings.
It could be because of mediocre teammates, crippling injuries, or just because of Michael Jordan's existence, but even the greatest players of all time (e.g. Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing) never had a chance to hoist that Larry O'Brien championship trophy (Walter A. Brown Trophy if you're talking pre-77). Obviously, they found other ways to shine. Will players like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant be the next great ones to retire without a championship? They're still in their prime—which is why they've been excluded from this list—but past evidence shows that skill doesn't always equal such glory.
Find out how The 20 Greatest NBA Players to Never Win an NBA Championship made it to the Hall of Fame.