No Rings, No Titles, Greatness? Part 1

Zach Piatt

Sports Editor

Every year players and teams strive to be the best of the best. The Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA Championship are the ultimate goal. At the end of the season, only one team will remain. When athletes do reach the top, it’s one of

Illustration by Lexi Crebb

Illustration by Lexi Crebb

the greatest feelings they’ll ever experience in their lives. However, not everyone gets a ring, pops champagne, or basks in the glory of being world champions, even if they truly deserve it. This is the start of the top 20 current athletes to never win a championship.

  1. Antonio Brown (NFL)

Brown came to Pittsburgh after their Super Bowl runs with “Big Ben” and Hines Ward. He now has six years under his belt and has caught over 500 balls for over 7,000 yards and 38 touchdowns. Brown is a four-time Pro Bowler and has led the NFL in receiving yards once.

  1. Anthony Rizzo (MLB)

Rizzo has been the face of the Cubs’ franchise for the past three years, and that’s why he doesn’t have a ring. The Cubs have been in a World Series drought for over 100 years, but the future looks bright. Rizzo is a dangerous power hitter who also has a knack for getting on base. He’s a two-time all star, and now that Chicago has some young talent, they’re looking to make a run at the World Series.

  1. Andrew Luck (NFL)

Luck has only been in the league for four years, but he has made a huge impact, following Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. He made the Pro Bowl and the playoffs in his first three years, and led the NFL in passing touchdowns once. Luck has thrown for just under 15,000 yards and 101 touchdowns in his promising career. If he can get a good offensive line and defense, he’ll be well on his way to the Super Bowl.

  1. Paul Goldschmidt (MLB)

“Goldy” is basically an Anthony Rizzo 2.0. He’s a power hitting first baseman with a great on base percentage (OBP). In five years, he has three all star game appearances, two gold gloves, and two silver sluggers.

  1. Russell Westbrook (NBA)

Westbrook has turned into a triple-double machine these past two years. He is averaging 21.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game over his eight year career. Russell is a five-time all star and has won all star game MVP twice. He has led the league in scoring and steals once and made the playoffs five times. Much of Westbrook’s success can be attributed to his “Thunder Buddy” Kevin Durant, who will later show up on this list if you keep reading.  

  1. Bryce Harper (MLB)

In four years, Harper has solidified himself as one of the best players in baseball. He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2012 and the NL MVP of last season. Harper has compiled 97 home runs, one silver slugger, three all star game appearances, and two playoff appearances. His numbers would be even better if he wasn’t injured for part of the 2013 and ‘14 seasons.

  1. Justin Verlander (MLB)

Verlander has started to fade away in recent years, but he was arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the early part of his career. He has 157 wins a career earned run average (ERA) of 3.52. He led the league in wins twice, ERA once, and was the 2011 AL Cy Young. Verlander is a six-time all star and has made the playoffs five times.

  1. Joey Votto (MLB)

Votto is MLB’s active leader in OBP (.423). He’s a clutch player and grinds out tough at-bats every time he comes to the plate. He led all of baseball in walks four times, is a four-time all star, has one gold glove, and was the 2010 NL MVP.

  1. J.J. Watt (NFL)

Watt is the only defensive football player on this list, and he’s alone for a reason. This dude just flat out scares offenses. Watt has proven he is the best defensive player in the NFL and could potentially be one of the greatest of all time. In five years he has 298 tackles and 74.5 sacks. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year award recipient.

  1. Carmelo Anthony (NBA)

“Melo” puts on a scoring clinic every time he takes the court. He has averaged 25 points per game in his career, which is good for fourth on the active scoring list. Anthony is a nine-time all star and has made the playoffs ten times, but can’t seem to surround himself with enough tools to win a championship.

These players make up spots 11-20 on this list of great players without a ring. The top ten is soon to follow.

*All statistics are as of March 17, 2016.

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