We're getting deeper into the NBA playoffs now and things are starting to get tasty. The Miami Heat look unstoppable in the Eastern Conference while the West is closer than anything, with several game 7 match-ups already.
So what better time, with the title soon to be decided, to release a team of the greatest NBA stars of all time never to have actually got their hands on that trophy and felt a winners ring around their finger.
Let's see who makes the cut....
Point Guard: Allen Iverson
Accomplishments: 11x All-Star, 1x MVP, 3x All-NBA 2x All-Star Game MVP, 4x Scoring Champion, 3x NBA steals leader, 1997 Rookie of the Year
Team(s): 76ers, Nuggets, Pistons, Grizzlies
Stats: 26.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 2.2 SPG, .2 BPG
Finals appearances: 1 (2001)
Iverson is the best point guard of the 21st century by a landslide. I'm sorry CP3 and Steve Nash but the crossover king is taking his place at the throne of the one spot. The Answer really was the man on the court, everyone wanted to be like him and playgrounds were full of kids wearing headbands, trying to break their schoolmates ankles. And of course, he hated practice.
Missing out: Pete Marovich, John Stockton, Steve Nash.
Shooting Guard: George Gervin
Accomplishments: 9x All-Star, 5x All-NBA First Team, 1980 All-Star Game MVP, 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
Team(s): Spurs, Bulls
Stats: 25.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Finals appearances: Zero
'The Iceman' was awesome and the fact that he cannot boast a shiny ring is a shame to all of basketball. Gervin is arguably one of the best shooting guards in the history of the NBA and his prowess on the court deserves a better legacy. Gervin averaged at least 14 points per game in all 14 of his years as a professional basketball player, winning three straight scoring titles, the first ever guard to do so.
Missing out: Dave Bing, Reggie Miller.
Small Forward: Elgin Baylor
Accomplishments: 11x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 1959 All-Star Game Co-MVP, 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, 1959 Rookie of the Year
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.3 APG
Finals appearances: 8 (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970)
Yes you read that right. The great Elgin Baylor appeared in EIGHT separate NBA finals series, and came away empty handed every single time. The man saved the Lakers franchise with his incredible displays, but unlike future Lakers; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, he never got his hands on the trophy. His 61 points in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals is still the most in the league's history.
Missing out: Dominique Wilkins, Chris Mullin.
Power Forward: Charles Barkley
Accomplishments: 11x All-Star, 1993 MVP, 5x First Team All-NBA, Member of the Hall of Fame, 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
Team(s): 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets
Stats: 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Finals appearances: 1 (1993)
It really was a toss-up here between Chuck and Karl Malone. Whilst The Mailman had four more All-Star appearances than the 'Round Mound of Rebound', Barkley still comes away with the spot as the four on our team of nearly men. The fact that he was rebound leader despite only being 6"6 (or possibly even shorter), the fact that he could block centers, and that he would score so many points to go along with it, Barkley was just a freak of nature that unfortunately shone at the same time as one Michael Jordan.
Missing out: Karl Malone, Chris Webber.
Center: Patrick Ewing
Accomplishments: 11x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 1986 Rookie of the Year, 3x All-Defense, Member of the Hall of Fame
Team(s): Knicks, Sonics, Magic
Stats: 21.0 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.4 BPG
Finals appearances: 2 (1994, 1999)
If Charles Barkley was annpyed by Jordan after his one Finals appearance against the Bulls, then think about how Ewing must have felt. The center and his Knicks teammates were dominated by MJ and Chicago in the 90's, losing every single one of the four times they met. Ewing wasn't a chocker against the GOAT though. He averaged a double-double in each of those series against Jordan and is just one of 10 players in history to have over 22,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.
Missing out: Dikembe Mutombo, Nate Thurmond.
Well that's our team on ring-less superstars, who do you think should be in it? Tell us in the comment section below...
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