Throughout the history of the sport, countless luminaries have retired without ever savoring the satisfaction and success of a title.
A situation that does not necessarily haunt them – when it comes to being elected to a Hall of Fame – but that is reflected when it comes to comparing legacies.
Who are the greatest professional athletes in American sports who never won a championship?
Stephen A. Smith gives us his ‘top 5’:
5. Dan Marino
The legendary quarterback was never able to win the Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins. Marino was selected to nine Pro Bowls, three times to the All-Pro First Team, and named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1984.
In 17 seasons as a professional, Marino completed 4,967 passes for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns. Likewise, he became the first quarterback in history to exceed 5,000 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes in one season.
4. Carmelo Anthony
Despite winning the NCAA title with Syracuse, ‘Melo’ has not played an NBA Finals in his 18-year career. A future member of the Hall of Fame, the forward with Puerto Rican roots did win three Olympic gold medals and a basketball World Cup.
As recently as March, Anthony – now with the Portland Trail Blazers – moved to 11th on the NBA’s all-time scorers list, beating former center Hakeem Olajuwon.
3. Charles Barkley
Great commentator and better player still in his time as a player. ‘King’ of rebounds and paint, although he was only 6’6 “(small for his position), Barkley had his chance in 1993, when the Phoenix Suns faced the Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan and company in the Final. .
Barkley, who was part of the mythical Dream Team 1992 and then also Team USA in 1996, won the 1993 ‘MVP’ and participated 11 times in the All-Star Games.
2. Barry Bonds
Possibly the greatest player in MLB history alongside Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, the famed San Francisco Giants slugger is sidelined from baseball due to his shadow on steroids.
Bonds, a seven-time MVP winner, home run king (762) and WAR leader (162.8) by offensive production, helped his teams advance to the postseason seven times, but only appeared in one World Series. Bonds never violated baseball’s anti-doping program, but was prosecuted for lying.
1. Allen Iverson
The guard who changed the culture of basketball in the 2000s. He led the Philadelphia 76ers to the Final in 2001 practically alone, with the respect of his peers, in 2001. He lost to the Lakers of Kobe and Shaq.
Iverson won Rookie of the Year in 1997, ‘MVP’ in 2011 and was in the All NBA team three times. He participated 11 times in the All-Star Game and was elected to the HOF in 2016.