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7 Best Players to Never Win an NBA Finals

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 30:  Karl Malone #32 of the Utah Jazz shoots past Vlade Divac #21 of the Sacramento Kings in Game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at Arco Arena on April 30, 2003 in Sacramento, California.  The Kings won 111-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn

Of course, the NBA is not far; not every player who deserves to win an NBA Finals actually gets the chance to do so. The unfortunate truth is that greatness often goes unrewarded. These seven players in particular stand out as the best to never reach the top of the NBA mountain.

7. Reggie Miller

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 13:  Former NBA player Reggie Miller attends the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 13, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Verizon Slam Dunk Contest 2016 | Elsa

In 18 NBA seasons, Miller, a Hall of Famer, only made the NBA Finals once. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the dynastic Lakers in six games. Miller averaged 18.2 points per game during his career with the Pacers, shooting 47.1% from the field. A prolific shooter, Miller was never able to bring the title home.

6. Allen Iverson

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 02:  Allen Iverson #3 of 3's Company surveys the court during week two of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Spectrum Center on July 2, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
BIG3 - Week Two | Streeter Lecka

Perhaps the most prolific scorer of his generation, Iverson was a four-time scoring champ who averaged 26.7 points per game in his career. Like Miller, though, he only got one crack at winning it all, falling to the Lakers in five games in 2001.

5. Patrick Ewing

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05:  NBA Hall of Famer and former Georgetown Hoyas player Patrick Ewing is introduced as the Georgetown Hoyas' new head basketball coach at John Thompson Jr. Athletic Center on April 5, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Georgetown Introduce Patrick Ewing | Mitchell Layton

Ewing and the Knicks were playoff regulars at his peak. His suffocating defense and scoring ability at the center position were crucial to their success. He came ever so close to winning the title in 1994 when the Knicks took a 3-2 series lead against the Rockets, but back-to-back losses shut the door on what would turn out to be his only taste of the Finals.

4. Steve Nash

SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 enshrinee Steve Nash speaks during the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Symphony Hall on September 7, 2018 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony | Maddie Meyer

Nash did all that he could during his career to squeeze the most out of his teammates. The two-time MVP averaged 8.5 assists per game across 18 NBA seasons, including averaging over 10 per game in seven of them. Despite playing on some ridiculously stacked teams, though, Nash never even appeared in an NBA Finals game.

3. Charles Barkley

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 06: CBS commentator Charles Barkley looks on during the 2019 NCAA Final Four semifinal between the Auburn Tigers and the Virginia Cavaliers at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 6, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Auburn v Virginia | Streeter Lecka

Barkley was a model of consistency and a quality player during his 16-year career. He averaged 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game throughout his career. Barkley managed to make the Finals once during his time in the league, but unfortunately he had to take on Jordan and the Bulls, and he and the Suns lost in six games. Probably should've imported more jump shooting, Charles.

2. John Stockton

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Former NBA player John Stockton speaks onstage during the 30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria on October 6, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)
30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis - Dinner | Bryan Bedder

Stockton was one of the most well-rounded players the NBA has ever seen. A two-time steals champion and nine-time assists champion, he was vital on both ends of the court for the Jazz for his entire career. If not for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Stockton and the Jazz perhaps could have won two NBA Finals titles.

1. Karl Malone

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Former NBA player Karl Malone speaks onstage during the 30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria on October 6, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)
30th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis - Dinner | Craig Barritt

Malone, a 14-time NBA All-Star, suffered just as much as Stockton did. He and Malone were teammates for 13 years, and despite averaging 25.4 points per game during that span, including a mark of 26.3 in his 172 playoff games with the Jazz, the Mailman was never able to seal the deal. He also got a chance to win a title with the Lakers in the twilight of his career, but again, his team feel in an upset, to the upstart Pistons. It simply wasn't to be.