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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2. Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor played his entire 14-year NBA career for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers, averaging a whopping 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He was a prolific scorer, renowned for elevating the small forward position with his acrobatic moves, mid-range jump shot, and ability to finish around the basket. 

The Big Hurt was named the 1959 NBA Rookie of the Year and finished third in MVP voting in the same season while leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals. He was an 11-time NBA All-Star, earned All-NBA First Team honors 10 times, and led the league in scoring in 1959-1960 with an average of 34.8 points per game, a record at the time. 

He would make seven trips to the Finals during his illustrious career but failed to capture the Larry O’Brien trophy. Knee injuries and a torn Achilles led to his premature retirement just nine games into the 1972 NBA season. He still holds the Lakers franchise record for total rebounds (11,463) and points per game. He also ranks fifth and tenth all-time in the NBA in points and rebounds per game, respectively. 

Baylor was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, named to the NBA 35th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1980, the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, and the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.