The 15 greatest NBA players without a championship ring, ranked

All Star West Team players Allen Iverson
All Star West Team players Allen Iverson / TIMOTHY A. CLARY/GettyImages
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Winning a championship is the hardest thing to do in professional sports. Talent isn't always enough to win and many great players across all sports have ended their careers without achieving this tremendous feat.

With the 2024 NBA Finals underway as the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics battle for the Larry O'Brien trophy, at least one superstar will be immortalized. With that in mind, here at Hoops Habit, we decided to have some fun and go down memory lane, ranking the 15 greatest NBA players without a ring.

Honorable Mentions

Chris Mullin

Chris Mullin spent the majority of his illustrious career with the Golden State Warriors, where he was renowned for his exceptional shooting and leadership. He was a key member of the iconic "Run TMC" trio alongside Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond. He helped lead the Warriors to multiple playoff appearances. 

In the final year of a three-year stint with the Indiana Pacers at the tail end of his career, he finally made it to the NBA Finals but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Although he never won a championship, Mullin was voted to five All-Star games, four All-NBA Team selections, two Olympic gold medals (one as a member of the Dream Team and one as an amateur), and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Vince Carter

Vince Carter played in the NBA for 22 seasons and is the only player in league history to play in four different decades. Known for his exceptional athleticism and jaw-dropping highlight-reel dunks, Vinsanity is regarded as one of the most electrifying and entertaining players in basketball history. 

The 2024 Hall of Fame inductee averaged at least 20 points per game for 10 consecutive seasons from 1999-2009. During this time, he was selected to eight All-Star games and two All-NBA teams. Carter was also instrumental in leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise's first-ever playoff appearance in 2000 and its first-ever playoff series win in 2001.

Although Carter was a prolific scorer and a walking highlight-reel for much of his career, his most iconic and career-defining moments arguably came during exhibition events. Carter set the basketball world ablaze during the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest when he soared so high that when he dunked the ball he put his arm inside the rim, hanging from the basket by his elbow.

That same year, during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Carter rocketed over 7-foot-2 French center Frederic Weis for an electrifying dunk that left fans and players alike in awe. Both of these events catapulted the Half-Man/Half-Amazing into superstardom and helped him become a household name.