Anthony Davis won his first title last season. Arguments can be made whether he would have been able to do so without teaming up with LeBron James.
Kevin Durant couldn’t do it with Russell Westbrook and couldn’t do it without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He set sail to prove he was able to lead a non-super team to the ultimate victory and promptly created a new super team.
It’s to be expected though, wherever LeBron goes, the coattail riders are sure to emerge. The same could be said for Kevin Durant as both a destination and a coattail rider depending on you look at it. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may be the first Hall of Fame bound duo to spend their entire careers with one team since Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. As a result, there is nary an NBA player who would turn down a chance to be traded to the Golden State Warriors.
So who is the best player currently suiting up who will never win themselves a ring? It’s a fair question considering two season ago many would have laughed at the prospect of Dwight Howard hoisting a Larry O’Brien. The one certainty in the NBA is that anything can happen.
Take into account that LeBron couldn’t win a title in Cleveland during the first act of his career. The closest he got was being swept by the 2007 San Antonio Spurs. And for that matter, neither could AD during his time in New Orleans.
James Harden couldn’t pull the trigger in Houston and has now become the third option on a team destined for a deep run. Ironic considering he left OKC to avoid the shadow of Durant and Westbrook. But with age not on his side and his MVP caliber leveling off, he has seen the writing on the wall.
Chris Paul might stand as a cautionary tale for the next generation. Will Giannis Antetokounmpo be able to do win in Milwaukee? Or will he spend the latter half of his career looking for a combination of superstars and past-prime All-Stars who’ll take pennies on the dollar?
Who is the best current NBA player who is the least likely to win a championship?
[On a totally unrelated topic, if you are in the San Antonio area tonight, my band The Gunslingers is playing a free show at Backyard on Broadway from 9PM-midnight. Great eats, full bar, live music, in an outdoor, socially distanced venue. Come enjoy the first hints of the South Texas spring.]
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