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Top 15 basketball champions not in the Hall of Fame
Many great players are not elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame because their body of work on the court doesn't include winning a championship. However, there are also many players who have won multiple championships, but are not considered good enough for the HOF. Is there a double-standard in basketball royalty?
26 players have won 5 or more championships in NBA history. Kobe Bryant(notes) and Derek Fisher(notes) are the only two active players on that list. Of the 24 retired players on the list 11 of them are not enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. It is a shocking revelation which bears repeating; eleven players have won 5 or more NBA Championships and have not been enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
These are not scrub players who happened to be lucky enough to ride the pine for a ring or two. These are all-star players who contributed to championship teams, some multiple times, yet they are still overlooked by Hall of Fame voters.
This is not a list of all retired players overlooked by HOF voters. This list only includes retired players who won at least one Championship in the NBA, ABA, or any other Professional Basketball Leagues in the past 60 years. All eleven players who have won 5 or more championships and are not in the Hall of Fame have made this top 15 list. Which of the following 15 champions do you think should not be in the HOF? Are there any players you think should expand this list?
Top 15 retired players not in the Basketball Hall of Fame
15. Michael Cooper
5 rings: L.A. Lakers 1979-80, 1981-82, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1987-88
Michael Cooper was arguably one the best back-up point guard in NBA history. The Forum in Englwood California was home to "Cooooop" a skinny baller with high socks. Cooper provided support to the Showtime Lakers of the 1980's. Pat Riley used him primarily as a back-up to Magic Johnson. Cooper could run the high-octane offense and spread the defense with his ability to drain the 3-ball. His best asset however was his lock down defense. Larry Bird has credited Cooper as the best defender he faced during his career; high praise from one of the deadliest scorers in NBA history. Cooper was selected 5 times for the All-Defensive First Team, and 3 times All Defensive Second Team, and was chosen as the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year in 1987.
7,729 career points, 3,666 career assists, and 1,033 steals with a career average of 8.9ppg, 4.2apg, 3.2rpg, 1.2spg are not numbers that will impress Hall of Fame voters. However, if defense truly wins championships, then Cooper deserves the nod.
Upon his retirement in 1990 Cooper was ranked in the top 10 in nine categories in Lakers team history; three-point field goals (428), games played (873), total minutes played (23,635), steals (1033), blocked shots (523), assists (3,666), defensive rebounds (2,028), offensive rebounds (741) and free throw percentage (.833).
As a coach Cooper has earned one D-League championship and two WNBA Championships.
It would be great to see a player in the Hall of Fame based on his defensive efforts leading to 5 NBA Championships.
14. Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr is the only player to win 4-straight NBA Championships since the early NBA Celtics players of the 1960's. He is one of the greatest 3-point scorers in NBA history. When he retired in 2003 he was the NBA's all-time leader in three-point shooting percentage for a season (.524 in 1994-95) and career (.454). He is also the 1997 NBA All-Star 3-point Champion.
Kerr's best NBA years were with Chicago and San Antonio. He was a member of the NBA record 72-10 Chicago Bulls team of the 1995-1996 season, en-route to the NBA Championship, his first of 5 rings.
Kerr's 2nd NBA title in 1997 was highlighted by his game-winning, championship-winning shot in Game 6 on an assist from Michael Jordan.
In the Bulls Championship 3-peat of 1998 Kerr's play helped frustrated the Utah Jazz. After missing a three-point attempt, Kerr got his own rebound and dished the ball to Jordan for an easy layup, helping the Bulls to tie the series, which they eventually won in 6 games.
The next season Kerr was traded to the San Antonio Spurs where he helped David Robinson, and rookie Tim Duncan(notes) to the 1999 NBA Championship against the New York Knicks. It was Kerr's 4th Championship in a row.
In 2003, Kerr's clutch 3-point shooting in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals helped propel his Spurs to the NBA Finals where he won his fifth and final ring of his career against the NJ Nets.
His career totals are: 5,437 points (6ppg), 1,060 rebounds (1.2rpg), and 1,658 assists (1.8apg).
Like 5 time champion Michael Cooper, Kerr is one of the greatest bench players of the past 30 years. Who would you rather be Charles Barkley with no rings, but in the HOF or Steve Kerr?
13. AC Green
3 rings: LA LAKERS 1986-1987, 1987-1988, 1999-2000, Iron Man
AC Green set an NBA record of 1,192 consecutive games played. Between, 1986-2001 Green missed only 3 games. During his 1,284 game career he often played despite having injuries.
AC Green was voted a starter for the 1990 All-Star game. He played in 5 NBA Finals winning 3 rings with the LA Lakers (1987, 1988, 2000). During the 1980's he started for the Showtime Lakers as a small-forward.
AC Green's career is an example of why quantity trumps quality. He may not have averaged huge numbers, but he was a consistent contributor for every team he played for.
The Iron Man record is ranked 6th all-time in the Top 25 greatest NBA records. In comparison Randy Smith is second on the all-time consecutive NBA games played list at 906. Cal Ripken's streak of 2,632 is the best in Major League Baseball history (1998). Doug Jarvis' 964 is Hockey's best, set in 1987. The NFL leader from 1988 to the present is Jeff Feagles with 352 and counting.
AC Green became a Christian in High School. Throughout his career Green was a spokesman for abstinence and sexual purity. He became a widely recognized leader within the Christian Evangelical movement. Other than David Robinson, no other NBA player has had such an intentional public testimony of Christian faith. The 3-time NBA Champion missed only three games during his career, while consistently leading his teams in rebounding. Today he continues to promote virginity for teenagers with his AC Green Youth Foundation.
1 ring: Miami Heat 2005-2006
Alonzo Mourning is one of the greatest shot-blockers in basketball history, at every level.
He is the 10th on the all-time career blocks list with 2,356, just 5 blocks shy of HOF Center Robert Parrish. Mourning collected those blocks in just 838 games, nearly half of Parrish's 1611 games, and fewer than anyone else on the top 10 blocks list.
As a Junior in High School Mourning led his team to 51 straight wins and a state title. As a senior at Indian River High School he averaged 25 points, 15 rebounds and a stunning 12 blocked shots per game. He was named Player of the Year by Naismith, Gatorade, Parade, and USA Today.
As a freshman at Georgetown University, Mourning led the nation in blocks, and was selected as an All-American in his senior year.
The Charlotte Hornets chose Mourning with the second pick of the 1992 NBA Draft. Shaquille O'Neal(notes) was the top pick and also beat out Mourning for the Rookie of the Year award. As a rookie Alonzo averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game. In 1993 in Game four of the first-round playoff series, Alonzo hit a 20-foot shot at the buzzer to lead his Hornets over the Boston Celtics 104-103 and the series win.
In 1996 Mourning inked a $105,000,000 contract with the Miami Heat en-route to winning the Defensive Player of the Year award and the All-NBA First Team selection. He averaged 20.1 points (.511FG), 11 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game. Over the next several years Mourning and teammate Tim Hardaway would lead the Miami Heat to an intense battle for supremacy against the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls with memorable brawls etched in the archives of hardwood history.
In 2000 Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease. Despite playing in the 2002 NBA All-star game he missed the entire 2003 season. He retired from the NBA in 2003 as a member of the New Jersey Nets. After a few years of entangled issues of contract disputes, playing time complaints, and medical concerns in relation to the NJ Nets and the Toronto Raptors, Mourning re-signed with the Miami Heat on March 1, 2005.
With limited minutes, Mourning once again played second-fiddle to Shaquille O'Neal. The intense competitor could have quit again, but instead he accepted his role off the bench, earned the nickname of Ultimate Warrior by fans and teammates, and finished the 2005 season averaging 2.6 blocks per game (3rd highest in the NBA).
Though his role was reduced, Mourning contributed 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 blocks in the decisive 6th Game of the 2006 NBA Finals and achieved the elusive NBA Championship.
11. Ron Harper
5 rings: Chicago Bulls 1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1997-1998, LA Lakers 1999-2000, 2000-2001
Ron Harper contributed to 5 of Phil Jackson's eleven Championships. The 6'6'' guard played in the NBA for four teams between 1986 to 2001, during which he compiled 13,910 points (13.8ppg), 4,309 rebounds (4.3pg), and 1,716 steals (1.7spg).
He helped Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to their last championship 3-peat then followed Coach Phil Jackson to LA where he helped the young squabbling Shaq and Kobe learn the trademark Triangle Offense. Harper started in all 6 games of the Lakers 2000 NBA Finals Championship run, averaging almost 11 points per game.
Before his NBA career, Harper was a star at Miami University while averaging 24.3ppg, 11.2 rpg, 3.2spg, and 2.4bpg.
Harper's starting role on the two of the greatest dynasty's off all time is worthy of HOF conversation.
10. Larry Siegfried
6 rings: Cleveland Pipers (ABL) 1961-1962, Boston Celtics 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66 1967-68, 1968-69
Larry Siegfried began his professional basketball career with the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League, winning the ABL Championship in the 1961-62 season.
The following year Siegfried became a starter with the Boston Celtics of the NBA, alongside John Havlicek and Sam Jones. Twice he led the NBA in free throw percentage in 1966 and 1969.
His defense and free throw shooting are credited for contributing to Boston's 1968 and 1969 NBA Championships. In all, he won 5 rings with the Celtics and six professional championships overall.
9. Don Nelson
5 rings: Boston Celtics 1965-66, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1973-74, 1975-76
The 2-time All-American averaged 21ppg and 10rpg at Iowa University. He became the 19th pick in the NBA Draft. After one season with the Chicago Zephyrs and two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers he was traded to the Boston Celtics in 1966. He may have been just a role-player among a legendary cast of teammates but he did contribute to 5 NBA Championships. In Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals Nelson made one of the most famous shots in hardwood history with about a minute remaining in the game, helping the Celtics defeat the Lakers for the Championship.
Nelson's number 19 jersey was retired in 1978 by the Boston Celtics.
Don Nelson became an even better NBA coach after retiring as a player in 1976. From 1976-1987 he coached the Milwaukee Bucks, 1995-1996 the New York Knicks, 1997-2005 the Dallas Mavericks, and 1988-2010 the Golden State Warriors. Nelson was voted Coach of the Year in 1983, 1985, and 1992.
In 2010 Nelson became the coach with the most wins in NBA history. His 1,330 wins are about 200+ more than Larry Brown and Phil Jackson, and 300+ more than George Karl, who are the only other active coaches on the top 10 list of coaching victories.
Despite his coaching success he and Jerry Sloan are the only coaches in NBA history to win 1000+ games and never win an NBA Championship as a coach.
Based on Nelson's playing and coaching record he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
8. James Loscutoff
7 rings: Boston Celtics 1956-57, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64
James Loscutoff spent nine seasons in the NBA from 1955 to 1964, as a forward and solid defender for the Boston Celtics and won seven championships.
Always a defensive force, Loscutoff's best offensive season was 1956-1957 when he averaged a double double 10ppg and 10rpg.
"Jungle Jim" or "Loscy" as he was nicknamed may have been overshadowed by teammates such as Bill Russell but he was never underappreciated by his HOF teammates. The Boston Celtics tried to honor Loscutoff by retiring his jersey number 18, but he asked that it not be retired so that a future Celtic could wear it. The Celtics did retire number 18, but in honor of Dave Cowins years later. The Celtics honored Loscutoff with a banner that simply states, "Loscy."
7. Dennis Rodman
5 rings: Detroit Pistons 1988-89, 1989-90, Chicago Bulls 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98
Dennis Rodman, a self-proclaimed bi-sexual, dated Madonna, and teamed up with Hulk Hogan for the World Championship of Wrestling before losing to Andre' the Giant. It isn't exactly the kind of information that will help HOF voters elect him to Basketball's shrine. The Worm in a wedding dress, Rodman kicking a camera man in the groin, Dennis' sexual escapades with Carma Electra, a botched tenure with the LA Lakers, and 2010 Celebrity Apprentice alcoholic misfit; these are all headlines that overshadow a stellar career.
Simply stated, Rodman was one of the greatest rebounders ever to play in the NBA. But there was nothing simple about him or his career. His off the court behavior spilled into unpredictable outbursts on and off the court. Beyond the red or green haired side-show was an extremely intelligent power-forward who studied rebounding like a painter studies art. He could explain how certain player's shots came off the rim in specific directions, and was able to position himself for success. He couldn't however explain his disruptive behavior.
With two championships with the Bad Boys of Detroit, and three rings with MJ's Chicago Bulls, Rodman proved his worth as a player. And despite his lethal behavior he continues to be loved by former teammates, coaches, and fans alike. Let's hope the HOF voters will like his Championship resume' enough to elect him.
6. Jo Jo White
2 rings: Boston Celtics 1973-1974, 1975-1976
One of the reasons why Jo Jo White is so high on this list is because he was the NBA Finals MVP in what many consider to be the greatest game and series in hardwood history.
The 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist had many options as a professional athlete. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, and the Cincinnati Reds of MLB. The 6'3'' superstar might have been a Baseball or Football Hall of Famer, we'll never know. But one thing is for sure, he should be a Basketball Hall of Famer!
This Boston Celtic embodies everything great about a Champion. The original ironman didn't miss a game for 5 straight seasons and logged more than 3,200 minutes for each of seven straight seasons in the mid 1970's.
Fans remember Jo Jo for the greatest single performance in an NBA Finals game. It happened on June 4, 1976 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns. Jo Jo White's 33 points (in 60 minutes of playing time) in the triple-overtime game led Boston to a 128-126 victory and White to the Finals MVP award!
The Boston Celtics retired Jo Jo White's number 10 jersey. Today he works for the team as the Director of Special Projects and Community Relations Representative.
5. Tom "Satch" Sanders
8 rings: Boston Celtics 1960-1961, 1961-1962, 1962-1963, 1963-1964, 1964-1965, 1965-1966, 1967-1968, 1968-1969
"Humble" is one word to describe Tom "Satch" Sanders. It's not what you might expect from an eight-time NBA Champion. His teammates loved him. His #16 has been retired in Boston Celtics archives for 38 years.
The 6'6''New York University Forward was the 8th pick in the 1960 NBA Draft. During his 13 seasons in green and white he played in 916 games. Only 5 Celtics' players have played in more games. Nearly half of those games (450) were played consecutively. Satch Sanders was an iron-man of dependability, a defensive force on a star-studded legendary teams that included Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, John Havliceck, and KC Jones among other Hall of Famers. During Sanders' career they posted 8 NBA Championships. Sanders also served as the Head Coach for stints from 1977-1979. His 9.6ppg average doesn't impress HOF voters, but the number 8 should. Only five other players in NBA history have won 8 or more rings and they are all in the Hall of Fame.
Sanders has not been inducted into the HOF however he did receive the 2007 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame which is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame outside of Enshrinement. The award honors coaches, players and contributors whose outstanding accomplishments have impacted the high school, college, professional or international game.
"Satch embodies the true spirit of this lifetime achievement award, as his impressive contributions to the great game of basketball stretch from his playing days to his accomplishments as a coach and his groundbreaking work to assist players manage the many pressures of life in the NBA both on and off the court", stated John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President & CEO. "I have personally heard many Hall of Famers speak of Satch's amazing on-court abilities and his instrumental role in claiming eight NBA titles, and for every one story of his basketball talent there are ten equally impressive examples which speak to his contributions as a coach, mentor, executive and leader who made it his mission to provide current and retired players the tools to succeed in life."
Sanders has been overlooked for too long by HOF voters. It's time to elect him.
4. Donald Barksdale
1 ring: AAU Oakland Bittners 1949
Who? That's the sad response most basketball fans give, when the name Donald Barksdale is mentioned. Barksdale is name worthy of honor and tribute. He helped pioneer the integration of Professional basketball.
At UCLA Barksdale became the first black All-American in NCAA history.
In 1947, after college, the all-white NBA was not an option for Barksdale. Instead, he played for the Oakland Bittners, winning the 1949 AAU Championship, and being selected as an AAU All-American 1948, 1949, and 1950.
In 1948 Barksdale became the first African American Basketball Olympic Gold Medalist.
In 1951 at the age of 28 he broke into the NBA with the Washington Bullets.
In 1953 he became the first black NBA player to play in an NBA All-Star Game.
He finished his 4-year NBA career with the Boston Celtics.
Barksdale became the first African American Disk-Jockey in the Bay Area, and the first African American to own his own beer distributorship in America.
In 1983 he established the Bay Area's, Save High School Sports Foundation.
Barksdale has been enshrined in the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame, PAC-10 Basketball Hall of Honor, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, and the Berkley High School Athletics Hall of Fame. However, Donald Barksdale has never been enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. (Spencer, SportsHaze-Philadelphia)
3. John "Wonderboy" Isaacs
2 rings: New York Rens 1939, Washington Bears 1943
40 years before Darryl Dawkins became the first player to go straight from High School to the NBA in 1975; there was John "Wonder boy" Isaacs. In 1935 Isaacs led his High School team to the NY City Championship. With his mother's permission, the following year the wonder boy began his professional basketball career with the NY Rens. During his first three seasons he led the Rens to 122-19, 121-19, and the greatest record in Pro-Basketball history of 127-15 record in 1939 en-route to winning the first World Championship.
In a profound statement, using a razorblade, Isaacs cut off the word "Colored" from his championship jacket, so it simply read "World Champions."
He won another championship in 1943 with the all black Washington Bears. He also played for the Hazelton Mountaineers of the Eastern Pennsylvania League, the Utica Olympics of the New York State Professional League, and Brooklyn and Saratoga of the American Basketball League.
After his playing career, Isaacs worked for 40 years as a mentor at the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club in Bronx, NY.
He was the last surviving member of the famous Renaissance team, before his death in 2009. He was 93 years old. Seven of his Rens and Bears teammates are enshrined individually into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Sadly, John Wonder Boy Isaacs has never been enshrined into the HOF.
There are many players on this list with more championships than John Isaacs and Donald Barksdale, however none have as much significance in relation to pioneering the integration of Professional Basketball. For their rich place in hardwood history alone, these men deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
2. Robert Horry - The greatest NBA Champion in the past 30 years?
7 rings: San Antonio Spurs 2004-2005, 2006-2007, L.A. Lakers 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-02, Houston Rockets 1993-1994, 1994-1995
Robert Horry is the greatest NBA Champion in the past 30 years! I use that word greatest loosely. 1957-1969 is considered the golden era of Boston Celtics dominance. Led by Bill Russell, the Celtics won 11 NBA Championships. Rusell didn't do it alone, he had some help. There are only 9 players in NBA history with 7 or more rings. 8 of those players were teammates of Bill Russell. The only other player in history with 7 or more rings is Robert Horry. He is the only exception. He has the greatest amount of championship rings than anyone else in the past three decades.
Not only did Horry win 7 titles, he contributed to those victories. His value was not in dropping 40 or 50 points in a given night, but rather with clutch shooting performances in the postseason. Think of Horry's value in terms of quality of scoring rather than quantity of scoring. This was not a one-hit-wonder Trent Tucker moment. What intrigues fans are the fact that he delivered the clutch shot multiple times.
The first came on May 22, 1995 as a member of the Houston Rockets. With less than 7 seconds left in the game Horry hit the game winning shot to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 94-93 in San Antonio.
Three weeks later (June 11, 1995) in Game 3 of the NBA Finals with 14 seconds left and the game tied at 103-103, Horry nailed a 3-pointer and gave the Rockets a 3-0 series lead. They would sweep the Orlando Magic for the NBA Championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers lost the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals to the Utah Jazz 4 games to 1. As a member of the Lakers he scored seven 3-pointers in Game 2 (May 6, 1997) but the Lakers lost 103-101.
Philadelphia 76ers surprised the world when they stole game one of the 2001 NBA Finals against a dominant Los Angeles Lakers. Allen Iverson had given Philly fans hope with the series tied and Philly hosting game 3 (June 10, 2001). The Sixers were down by just 1-point with 47 seconds remaining in regulation until Robert Horry nailed a 3-pointer securing the win and eventually the 2001 NBA Championship.
April 28, 2002 Horry's Los Angeles Lakers were battling the Portland Trailblazers in game 3 in the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers trailed by 2 points with 10 seconds left. On an assist from Kobe Bryant, Horry nailed a game winning 3-pointer.
After surviving the battle with Portland, the Lakers found themselves in a war with the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers dynasty was on the line, as the Kings were positioned for a legitimate shot at winning an NBA Championship with a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 (May 26, 2002) the Kings held a 99-97 lead with 2 seconds to go Shaquille O'Neal's missed attempt to tie the game appeared to seal the Lakers' fate. Instead, former Lakers' Center and now All-Star for the Kings, Vlade Divac knocked the loose ball out of the paint, straight back to Robert Horry at the top of the key who instinctively shot the 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Lakers a 100-99 win and tying the series 2-2. The Lakers defeated the Kings in 7 games to 3-peat as NBA Champions. The Sacramento Kings organization never recovered and today is a basement feeder of the NBA.
June 19, 2005, now a member of the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA Finals series against the Detroit Pistons was tied 2 game apiece. With less than 6 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Spurs trailing by 2 points, Horry hit a 3-pointer in the left corner of the court to give the Spurs a 96-95 win, part of his 21 fourth quarter and overtime scoring effort.
April 30, 2007 in Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs Horry's Spurs were leading the Denver Nuggets by one point with 30 seconds remaining. Horry's 3-pointer secured the win and another contribution in an NBA Championship run.
Robert Horry and John Salley are the only players to win NBA championship rings with three different teams. Horry won with the Houston Rockets twice, with the Los Angeles Lakers three times and with the San Antonio Spurs twice. Salley won with the Detroit Pistons twice, with the Chicago Bulls once and with the Los Angeles Lakers once.
The greatest length of time between the first and last championships won in a player's career is 18 years by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The second longest tenure of titles run is 13 years held by John Havliceck and Robert Horry.
Nobody else has earned 7 rings in the past three decades. By these numbers, Robert Horry is the greatest NBA Champion of the past 30 years and the greatest champion not in the Hall of Fame.
1. Artis Gilmore
1 ring: 1975 (ABA) Kentucky Colonels.
Though Artis Gilmore won an ABA Championship, he never won an NBA Championship during a stellar NBA career. Of the Top 25 players never to win an NBA Championship Artis Gilmore is conservatively ranked at the 17th spot. He retired as one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. He is one of only three players in hardwood history to reach 20,000+ points and 10,000+ rebounds in their career. His one lone ABA Championship combined with heroic individual stats place Artis Gilmore at the top of this list!
"7 feet 2 inches tall with massive sideburns to go with the Afro, the A-Train could have leaped from the pages of a comic book. Artis Gilmore dominated the court from the start with the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association winning both the Rookie of the Year and MVP in 1972.
During 5 ABA seasons he averaged 22ppg, and 17rpg. His 12 seasons NBA career began in 1976 with the Chicago Bulls and continued with the San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 17ppg and 10rpg. He remains ranked in the top 10 in NBA history for rebounds, blocks, and games / minutes played. The A-Train ran for 17 seasons. Not winning an NBA Championship is heart-breaking enough, but not being elected to the Basketball Hall-of-fame is demoralizing. How do the basketball gods leave the A-Train out of the holy of holies? It's unexplainable. Artis Gilmore has the highest field goal percentage 59.9% than anyone in NBA history. In layman terms, that makes him the most effective scorer ever!" (Spencer, Yahoo Sports, Top 25 players never to win a championship)
Gilmore was a dominant player at every level. In High School he averaged 38ppg including a 75 point performance.
He still holds the NCAA career record with 22.7 rebounds per game.
In 1970, he led the Jacksonville Dolphins to the NCAA championship game against UCLA. Though they lost 80-69, Gilmore's 16 rebounds and 19 points was good enough to be selected for the All-Tournament team.
A 5 time ABA All-Star and 6 time NBA All-Star, was the 1974 ABA All-Star Game MVP, 1975 ABA Playoff MVP.
He played from 1971-1976 with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA, 1976-1982 Chicago Bulls, 1982-1987 San Antonio Spurs, 1987-1988 Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics.
Gilmore's Pro career totals are amazing. His 16,330 rebounds are fourth all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That's not bad company to be with. His rebounds combined with 24,041 points are good enough for seventh place in hardwood history.
Being overlooked for the Hall of Fame is in addition to being left off the top-50 players of all time list produced in 1996. Walt Bellamy, Dan Issel, and Artis Gilmore are the only players in Basketball history to score more than 20,000 points and earn more than 10,000 rebounds and not make the top-50 list. Bellamy and Issel are both in the Hall of Fame!
Artis Gilmore is often on the top of the list for all players who have been overlooked by the HOF. He likewise tops our list of the greatest champions not in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Championship ring or HOF ring, which is more important?
Would you rather have a career marked by multiple championships or be a Hall of Famer with zero championships? Which is more significant? It is a debate that continues to surface among basketball historians and avid fans alike.
Who would you rather be, Mike Penberthy or Charles Barkley? Mike who? That's my point. Penberthy played basketball for the Masters College a school with less than 500 students. While earning $7 per hour driving a forklift he tried out and made the Los Angeles Lakers team in 2000. His career was brief, but long enough to win a championship ring. in contrast, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is considered one of the greatest players in basketball history, yet he never won a championship.
So which is more significant the Hall of Fame ring or the Championship ring? Before you answer with the Championship ring, remember the 15 players on this list who won championships and aren't in the Hall of Fame.
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