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DAR Sports: 7 Active NBA Players To Never Win A Championship

By @TrueGodImmortal

The focus in the NBA is to win. At least it should be. A championship is essentially what you play the game for, and over the last 10 years or so, there have been so many greats earning championships. From Steph Curry to LeBron James to Dwyane Wade to Kevin Durant to Dirk Nowitzki to Kawhi Leonard to Kyrie Irving to Kobe Bryant to Pau Gasol to Ray Allen and more, the championships won over the last 10 years have all been important and special for the most part. With all the big names that have won championships and lifted trophies, there are many greats who never tasted championship glory. Today, we look at the greats currently in the game who have yet to win a title and what their chances might be in the coming years of their careers. Which players are on the list? Let's take a look.

*Carmelo Anthony
(Chances of Winning: 25%)

-It is interesting. Last season, the Houston Rockets were one game away from making the NBA Finals and knocking off the Golden State Warriors, and now.... I'm not even 100% sure that they get back to the Conference Finals. Last season was their best chance, as the cards aligned in their favor and then things went wrong at the worst possible moment. So, after that disappointment, the Rockets decided to let their best wing defender and defensive anchor Trevor Ariza go and allowed their second best defensive player last year Luc Mbah A Moute walk away, while picking up Michael Carter Williams and Carmelo Anthony up. Numbers show Melo actually was a worse shooter and offensive performer than Ariza and he was 10 times worse defensively. MCW is.... well, MCW. So, with the Rockets essentially having lost two key defensive pieces and replacing them with defenders who were not nearly as competent, and slightly less efficient offensively, will this be the team that knocks off Golden State? Likely not. Will Melo turn back the clock and become the elite scorer he was years ago? Likely not. Will Houston win a title this coming season? Likely not. In year 16, Melo is a shell of the legendary scorer he was in Denver and he is even worse defensively. Simply put, the window is closing or has closed. I give him the same percentage as Harden and Chris Paul to win only because he is on their team and there is the possibility he signs with a contender next season to get that ring. The question however would be if his ISO heavy style works in an era where teams see sharing the ball is a huge part of the formula to win. Will Melo ever breakthrough and win that title? I doubt it, but we will have to see how the next few seasons play out. I wouldn't bet on it though.

*Anthony Davis
(Chances Of Winning: 50%)

-I actually feel as though there is a path for AD to win one, because the feeling amongst the league is that he will eventually make his way to Boston or even worse, Golden State. If that happens, he is almost guaranteed to win a championship. If he stays in New Orleans, I guess an upset is possible, but he is still young. AD has many years ahead of him, and the truth is, he isn't an All Time great just yet, but he is well on his way to being that. I give AD the greatest chance of every name listed here simply because I think he is a top 4 player in the game today and still entering the prime of his career. We don't know how good he can really be just yet, and all narratives point to him developing his game even more and being a frontrunner for MVP. With a top 2 MVP finish last season (he should have won) and a nomination for DPOY last season as well, the sky is the limit for AD for sure. Will New Orleans dethrone Golden State this year? Unlikely, but who knows in two or three years? They added a solid player in Julius Randle, could keep Mirotic, and Jrue Holiday continues to showcase his ability, plus they grabbed Elfrid Payton. Perhaps that team isn't ready yet, perhaps AD isn't ready yet, but with free agency not too far in the future for him, we could see him join a contender and get that championship. Of all of the people on this list, he is not a veteran beyond his prime, his is not well into his NBA career or beyond 11 or 12 seasons, and he is not a big man that is limited in his ability on the court. AD has all the potential in the world in the next few years and if he decides that he wants that championship, there may be nothing that can stop him.

*Dwight Howard
(Chances Of Winning: 10%)

-I will always give Dwight a small window to win, because the truth is, he could always join a contender in a year or two and get a ring that way. It seemed as if he was a frontrunner for the Warriors before Boogie Cousins signed with them, and who knows what the next few years can bring for him. Dwight is still a capable player, but the more small ball lineups get implemented and evolve, his playing time and role might take a hit. Dwight can still be a contributor on a possible championship team, it just seems as if he ruins every team he has been on since the Magic and isn't the same player despite his numbers. Will Dwight try to evolve his game to stay relevant somewhat? Will he ever sign with a contender to grab a championship and compete? That remains to be seen. Could his new situation with the Wizards lead him to the Finals in a wide open Eastern Conference? It is unlikely, but definitely possible. With that being said, Dwight has a very small chance of winning a championship, and the days of leading a team there like he did in 2009 with Orlando are long gone. His best bet is to take the vet minimum and sign with a championship team in the next two years, but the question would be, do any of these teams want him? That will be the lasting legacy of Dwight if he doesn't get a championship. Will he? I wouldn't bet on it.

*Russell Westbrook
(Chances Of Winning: 30%)

-I actually think Russell Westbrook has a bigger chance to win a title more so than Chris Paul, Carmelo, and James Harden. It might sound crazy considering what the Rockets accomplished last year, but I actually think Russ works better with just one star by his side who can complement his style versus a Big 3, like they attempted last year. Russ has been in the Conference Finals multiple times, made the NBA Finals before, and I think with Paul George, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, and the additions of Nerlens Noel (who has potential) and Dennis Schroder make them a possible force for years to come. Simply put, they are stuck with this team for years, but last year they showed flashes of a team that could defeat the Rockets and give the Warriors some problems. Defensively, they should be as good as they were for the most part last year when Roberson was a part of the team, and they might be the second best team in the West now because of that. It remains to be seen how it all works together, but the fact remains, if anyone has a shot considering age, ability, and how his team has been constructed, I would say Russ is the guy. He might not be the most efficient, but he hasn't shied away from stepping up and has been the most durable during the playoffs at least the last 3 years of the other names listed here. Ideally, I would love to see Russ win a title, but in this Golden State era, it seems slim for pretty much any player not on that team (unless you go to Boston), but a lot can change in the next 2-3 years, so we shall see. Health is the biggest factor for Russ having a slightly higher percentage, but as you can tell, it still seems unlikely at the moment. Time will tell.

*James Harden
(Chances Of Winning: 25%)

-I am far from a Harden fan, but he earned respect from me for how he played for part of the Western Conference Finals this year. His game doesn't translate nearly as well to the playoffs, but I definitely respect him for the effort he put in, however, I feel as though his window has now closed. At least for the next few seasons. Unless the Rockets magically acquire a huge free agent next season, I can't see the Rockets making the Finals, although stranger things have happened. The truth is, Harden is a great player for the regular season, and decent in the playoffs, but it hasn't translated into postseason success. Will Harden finally breakthrough soon? That remains to be seen at this point, but with him approaching his 10th NBA season, it needs to happen sooner rather than later before the window completely closes. This year doesn't seem likely, but who knows right?

*Vince Carter
(Chances Of Winning: 0%)

-It hurts me as a fan to see Vinsanity not ring chase at this point. 20 years in the NBA and nothing to show for it. He has had a great career and is a legend and a Hall Of Famer for sure, but I've always wondered why he didn't take his talents to the Golden State Warriors the last two seasons. A veteran who could score is always needed on a championship team, but Vince would end up on the Sacramento Kings and now on the Atlanta Hawks. His window for winning a championship has passed and he seems to be okay with it. That bothers me as a fan, but I guess it is all relative, especially if he has made peace with that. He could have signed the vet minimum with Golden State and got to a ring, but his last two signings basically say he is more into being a mentor instead of producing for a contender. That's unfortunate, but the window is closed. He's still one of the greatest dunkers ever and a HOF for sure.

*Chris Paul
(Chances Of Winning: 25%)

-Last season meant everything to Chris Paul. He led the Rockets to 65 wins alongside James Harden and the Rockets were one game away from the Finals. Unfortunately, it feels as though their window to win has closed and the addition of Boogie Cousins along with the development of Jordan Bell make the Warriors a bit ahead of the Rockets once again. While CP3 is one of the greatest point guards to play the game, the reality is that he is getting older and the Rockets team has got no younger unless you include MCW, which you should never. If all teams stay healthy, I think CP3 and the Rockets can fall in the second round this year, and their ceiling is the WCF once again. Perhaps the motivation will be greater for CP3 this year, but I doubt it. That coupled with his injury prone playoff runs make me doubt the chance of a win for him, but regardless, there is a possibility of a surprise win. I wouldn't bet on that either though, however, if CP3 does have a chance at a ring, it would likely be in the 2019-2020 season where things could change for other teams than this upcoming season. Will he ever get a ring? Or will he join the rest of the legendary point guards that finish their careers without one? That remains to be seen.


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