Karl Malone Named Best Player To Never Win A Title By ESPN
SALT LAKE CITY – John Stockton and Karl Malone were named top 30 players on ESPN’s All-Time NBA ranking. The site is ranking the 74 best players in league history to coincide with the NBA’s 74th year of existence. Malone is ranked 17, making him the best player to never win a title. In contrast, Stockton is the 28th ranked player according to ESPN’s analysts.
The site has ranked players 11-74. Wednesday will mark the release of the top 10 players. ESPN’s panel voted on the head to head matchups between players to establish their ranking system.
Malone dropped one spot from ESPN’s All-Time rank in 2016. Both Steph Curry and Kevin Durant passed the Hall of Fame forward. Meanwhile, the longtime Jazzman leaped Philadelphia 76ers legend, Moses Malone.
Likewise, Stockton dropped nine spots from 19 to 28.
Best Player To Never Win A Title
Though the rankings are incomplete, Malone will finish as the best player to never win a title. Jerry West, Julius Erving, Durant, Curry, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Oscar Robertson all made the list in front of Malone. It’s no coincidence each player has at least one title to their name.
Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neale, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell will round out the top 10 players in some order. Each player remaining helped lead their team to an NBA championship.
‘The Mailman’ will retain his ranking as the second-best power forward on the list. In 2016, ESPN named Duncan the best player to ever play the position.
Malone edged out Elgin Baylor (22) and Charles Barkley (23) as the best player to never win a title. Additionally, Giannis Antetokounmpo (27), Stockton (28), Allen Iverson (29), and Steve Nash (30) also made the list as top 30 players who never won a ring.
Stockton suffered the biggest drop of any player currently named in the top 30. The Jazz guard was leaped by Antetokounmpo (27), Dwyane Wade (26), Kawhi Leonard (25), David Robinson (24), Baylor (22), Scottie Pippen (21), Kevin Garnett (20), Durant (14), and Curry (13).
Furthermore, Stockton dropped a spot in the all-time point guard rankings. Curry’s climb to 13 ranks him behind Johnson in the top 10, and Robertson at 11.
However, the Jazz guard holds two unbreakable all-time records. Stockton’s 15,806 assists are 3,715 ahead of second-ranked Jason Kidd. His 3,265 steals are 581 ahead of Kidd.
Likewise, the Stockton and Malone Jazz were named the best team to never win an NBA title.