As summer approaches, it means that three of the four major sports in North America are in the offseason. In the NFL, teams are far more optimistic as they head into training camp and the preseason; most clubs in the NHL and NBA are regrouping and reflecting on a season that saw them fail to win a championship. Even in baseball, as the season is over a quarter in the books, some teams are starting to face the sure prospect of failing to make the postseason.
A lot goes into traversing a lengthy regular, and surely part of that is luck. In the NHL and NBA, it’s 82 regular season games followed by a grueling postseason. In the NFL, it’s a battle each and every week and often winning and losing comes down to a single play. With baseball meanwhile, that which worked over a 162-game schedule doesn’t necessarily hold up in short playoff series.
All of that is to say that it’s not always the best player that wins, but the team that plays the best at exactly the right moment –and the one that also gets a bit lucky. There are a select few positions in team sports where a player can carry his team on his back to the finish line – even a quarterback is only playing half the time.
Thus, there are some great players out there who, try as they might, have yet to win a major championship. While there is still time for these stars, they are increasingly in danger of never winning a title, and then losing that mark, that record on their legacy.
LeBron James, the greatest player in basketball right now, has already won multiple titles. In football, all the top quarterbacks – Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers – have all notched a Lombardi Trophy. It’s tougher in hockey, which is more of a team sport, but there we have seen Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane win. It’s hard to say exactly who the best player in baseball might be, but that most of all is a team sport.
With that in mind, we take a look at those great players in each of the four major sports who have proven their talents, but have yet to win a championship, and are in danger never accomplishing it in their careers.
15 Shane Doan
14 Carson Palmer
13 Dwight Howard
12 Carmelo Anthony
11 Tony Romo
10 Andre Johnson
9 Chris Paul
8 Adrian Peterson
7 Joey Votto
6 Philip Rivers
5 Joe Thornton
4 Felix Hernandez
3 Jarome Iginla
2 Derrick Rose
1 Alexander Ovechkin
The Washington Capitals are perennial underachievers. In the last eight seasons, they won the division five times, won the President’s Trophy once, but they've failed to get past the second round of the playoffs. While the Caps failed to make it to the playoffs in Ovechkin’s first two seasons, they’ve only missed them once since, but when they are there, they can’t do much, as the Caps seem to be lacking that intangible quality to make a deep run. Ovechkin is only 29 and Washington seems to have found a solid goalie, but Ovie's prime is slipping away without any deep playoff runs.
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