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Hague: Top 10 athletes to never win a championship

By Nathan Hague
April 15, 2017 at 11:04 p.m.


Now that the NBA Playoffs are here, many eyes will obviously be on the Golden State Warriors, for many reasons. People will be watching to see if they can make their third straight NBA Finals appearance and whether or not they'll get revenge from last year's loss to the Cleveland Cavs. Of course, many will also watch to see if Kevin Durant can win his first NBA Championship.

Everyone is well aware of Durant bolting from Oklahoma City for the West Coast as most people have strong opinions of the move. Mine, is it was a weak move. It definitely had the "If you can't beat them, join them mentality." Despite the fact he has been injured for a good portion of the season, if the Warriors don't win the finals this year, he'll be one of the most criticized player in sports until he finally does win the ring, and that might not even stop it.

Durant is probably the best current player in the league to never win a championship and that got me thinking, who are the greatest athletes throughout history, not just in basketball, to never have won it all. That being said, that led me to coming up with my own Top 10 list of best athletes who never won it all.

10. Patrick Ewing – He was one of the most dominant big men in an era of dominant big men. Unfortunately for him, his Knicks kept running into the Chicago Bulls. He went ring chasing but came up empty.

9. Jim Kelly – He will always be remembered for being on a squad that lost four straight Super Bowls. Truth is however, he was one of the most underrated quarterbacks the game has ever seen.

8. Ken Griffey, Jr – He was a human highlight reel, at least when he was healthy. Maybe injuries are why he's not higher on the list, or perhaps they're the reason he's on the list at all.

7. Ty Cobb – It's hard to argue with 14 batting championships. He came so close to winning that ring but his Detroit Tigers lost three straight World Series.

6. Charles Barkley – He's another one of those people who would likely have at least one run if it weren't for some guy named Jordan in Chicago. Sir Charles was named MVP in 1993 before losing to those pesky Bulls.

5. Karl Malone – Being the No. 2 all time leader in scoring speaks volumes but unfortunately for the Mailman, he was able to deliver pretty much everything but a championship to Utah.

4. Ted Williams – I don't think most people realize just how great Ted Williams was, both on and off the field. Giving up time to serve in our military doesn't get him on this list but ending the 1941 season with a batting average of .406 certainly helps his case. Nobody has had a batting average that high ever since.

3. John Stockton – He lost two Finals to the Bulls. He had 15,806 assists. That's an average of 10.5 per game. Do I need to say more?

2. Barry Sanders – There's no question, if he didn't retire early, he would be the NFL's all-time leading rusher. He only played 10 years but he made the Pro Bowl every year. He rushed for 2,000 yards in 1997 and earned MVP honors. His biggest accomplishment was making the Lions fun to watch on Thanksgiving.

1. Dan Marino – I'm sure pretty much everybody thought Marino would end his career with at least one ring, especially after making a trip to the Super Bowl in his second season. His numbers were ridiculous. I would love to see him in today's pass-happy league.

Others making honorable mention are Warren Moon, Steve Nash and Clayton Kershaw. I'm sure I missed somebody. What are your thoughts?

Regardless, we'll find out sooner or later whether or not Kevin Durant will one day be added to this list.

(nhague@marshallnewsmessenger.com)

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