For superstar players, team titles are not a slam-dunk

In professional sports, there are no guarantees that the best players will ever play on championship teams. Among the many famous athletes shut out in that department: Baseball Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Ernie Banks; Dan Marino and Dan Fouts in pro football; and retired greats John Stockton and Karl Malone, who led the Utah Jazz to the playoffs many times during their 19-year National Basketball Association careers, but never over that final hurdle. A number of still-active NBA superstars remain in search of their first championship rings, such as 6 ft., 11 in. forward Kevin Garnett, whose trade to the Boston Celtics this season, after 12 frustrating years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, has helped to transform the Celtics into a serious title contender in the current playoffs. Some of the top NBA players who never suited up with a championship team and the number of years each spent in the league:

John Stockton 19
Karl Malone 19
Reggie Miller 18
Patrick Ewing 17
Charles Barkley 16

Jason Kidd* 14

Elgin Baylor 14
George Gervin 14
Kevin Garnett* 13
Allen Iverson* 12
Steve Nash* 12
Dirk Nowitzki* 10
* - still active

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